Champions Manchester City missed a chance to top the Premier League when Leon Bailey’s equalizer gave Aston Villa an excellent draw at Villa Park.
The league’s top scorer Erling Haaland scored his 10th goal in six games when he found himself in the right place at the back post to volley a superb Kevin de Bruyne cross.
After a goal in the 50th minute, Haaland had saved two more attempts from Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez and De Bruyne also hit the bar with a free-kick from 22 meters out.
Those missed chances proved costly as Bailey pulled in a lovely first shot into the top corner of Jacob Ramsey’s square pass to make it 1-1 in the 74th minute.
Villa thought they had scored when Philippe Coutinho put the ball in from under the bar but the assistant referee had already flagged it for offside.
City would have moved with a win over Arsenal, who play Manchester United on Sunday, but are instead second, a point behind the Gunners.
Gerrard’s Villa shows fighting spirit to earn a tie
Steven Gerrard’s Villa had won just one of their first five games of the season and had been whistled after their last game at Villa Park, a 1-0 loss to West Ham.
Pressure mounted on the former England midfielder after a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal in midweek dropped Villa to 19th in the table, but that point was enough to push them out of the relegation zone and down to 17th.
But Gerrard, who urged his side to ‘surprise the football world’, will be delighted by the fighting spirit and fighting spirit his side showed when they came back from behind as City, who have won four championships in the last five years, tried to get her fifth win of the season.
City had 73% possession but Bailey’s lone shot on target produced a result that Gerrard will hope will boost their campaign.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola will see this as two points lost for City and wonder how his team didn’t get the win.
The visitors should have taken the lead in the fourth minute, but England defender Kyle Walker lavishly fired a shot wide, leaving only Martinez to beat.
Haaland, a summer signing from Borussia Dortmund worth £51million, had scored back-to-back hat-tricks in City’s victories over Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, touching the ball just ten times in the first half.
However, he showed his class within five minutes of the restart when he scored from close range after a De Bruyne cross looped over Martinez.
Haaland became a handful for home defense and was thwarted twice by Martinez and also won a free-kick which De Bruyne hit the bar with.
Villa’s equalizer came against the flow of play but City still had chances to win it late but Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden missed both opportunities as Villa retained the tie.
- 2CashBooked at 26 minutesReplaced byYoungat 27′protocol
- 27WorthyBooked at 71 minutes
- 6Douglas Luis
- 7McGinnReplaced byCoutinhoat 65′protocol
- 31BaileyReplaced byNice dayat 90+1′protocol
- 41J Ramsey
- 10Nice day
- 2walkerReplaced byWhatat 80′protocol
- 3Ruben Dias
- 17De Bruine
- 20Bernhard SilvaReplaced bymahrezat 73′protocol
- 47The foot
- Simon Hopper
Game ends, Aston Villa 1, Manchester City 1.
Second half ends, Aston Villa 1, Manchester City 1.
John Stones (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa).
Foul by Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City).
Lucas Digne (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Emiliano Buendia replaces Leon Bailey.
Offside Manchester City. Phil Foden tries a through ball, but João Cancelo is caught offside.
attempt saved. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joao Cancelo.
Offside Manchester City. Erling Haaland tries a through ball, but Ilkay Gundogan is caught offside.
attempt failed. Rodri (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).
Ashley Young (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Manchester City. Nathan Ake replaces Kyle Walker.
Offside, Aston Villa. Ollie Watkins tries a through ball, but Philippe Coutinho is caught offside.
Goal! Aston Villa 1, Manchester City Leon Bailey (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the center of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Jacob Ramsey.
Substitution, Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez replaces Bernardo Silva.
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Boubacar Kamara (Aston Villa).
Lucas Digne (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
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