Player ratings: Manchester City v Aston Villa

Hart – Little to do for large periods of the game. Finally called upon to make a save and it was an impressive one on one to preserve the clean sheet. 7

Richards – Noticeable how Micah brings more aggression to his game than Boateng. An accomplished return after missing the last couple of games. 7

Kompany – After getting into trouble when failing to shepherd the ball out, Vincent pulled off a Zidane style pirouette to bring the ball out of defence. Awesome. 8

Lescott – Scored our first headed goal of the season, and showed his defensive sharpness with a clearance after a shot rebounded off Hart. Another solid performance. 7

Zabaleta – Strengthened the case for those who believe Pablo is our best left-back, defensively at least. Never gave the opposition an inch, even when switched to midfield. 7

De Jong (Bridge 77 mins) – Villa refreshed their entire midfield from the game on Sunday, but they still had no match for Nigel’s energy. Exerted control of the midfield early on, enabling the rest of our midfielders to press forward. 8

Vieira – A vintage display of short passing that kept us ticking over. His experience told and made the Villa midfield look weak. 7

Y Toure (Jo 63 mins) – Terrific first half up until the moment he broke with Balotelli and fluffed his pass to the Italian. Villa couldn’t compete with his strength on the ball, as shown best in the build up to the third goal. 7

Silva (Milner 58 mins) – Drifted here, there and everywhere, linking up play and slicing open the Villa defence, most noticeably to play in Balotelli for the first penalty. Deserved to get on the scoresheet. 8

Balotelli – Didn’t actually do a great deal, yet bagged a hat-trick. Waiting for Friedel to make the first move for BOTH penalties was coolness bordering on arrogance. 7

A Johnson – Had it not been for Balotelli’s hat-trick and Silva’s masterclass, then Adam would be winning the plaudits. Tormented the Villa defence throughout, not just for a spell, in his best 90 minutes for a long time. 8


Milner – Looked keen to make an impression against his former club, even if Fabian Delph took offence. 7

Jo – Came on to provide his usual display of pass and move. Could have had a couple of goals but wasn’t quite able to take the chances. 7

Bridge – A surprise to see him get a run out. Slotted back into the Premier League without a problem. 6

Man of the match: Everyone did their bit, but David Silva edges it.

Preview: Manchester City v Aston Villa
Preview: Manchester City v Blackpool

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