Player ratings: Manchester City v Aston Villa

Hart – The crucial save from Agbonlahor at 0-0 spared City from a much harder afternoon. Nonchalantly plucked a fierce Warnock drive from the air. 8

Richards (K Toure 64) – Another solid display with an inadvertent assist for the opening goal. It’s to be hoped Micah’s latest injury isn’t serious. 7

Kompany – Apparently took some stick from his team-mates last season for being the only outfield regular not to get on the scoresheet. Not any more! 7

Lescott – Allowing himself to be muscled off the ball by Agbonlahor was a howler. After that everything was fine, but Joleon really needs to iron out that kind of mistake. 6

Clichy – Once again the opposition tried to exploit his supposed weakness in the air, this time by stationing Heskey on the wing. Once again Gael rose (literally) to the challenge. Another excellent showing. 8

De Jong – The midfield was a more secure place with Nigel back. As the player who completed the most passes, he also set the tempo for our domination of the second half. 8

Barry – A few wayard passes in the first half gave cause for concern. Increasingly comfortable as the game wore on. 6

A Johnson (Hargreaves 77) – The goal may not have been as spectacular as the one against Blackburn, but Adam’s overall display was much better. His involvement in all three other goals was testimony to that. 7

Y Toure (Silva 64) – Moved back into the advanced role, Yaya had an interesting day linking up with Mario. It was a little hit and miss with the odd argument but effective enough overall. 7

Milner – Fabulous pass and finish for the fourth goal. As good as anything he’s produced. 8

Balotelli – The first goal was the most crucial and Mario finally perfected the bicyle kick finish he’s attempted previously. Once again showed he’s more effective as a striker than out wide. 8


K Toure – Interesting to see him come on at right-back, where he looked perfectly suited to the position. 7

Silva – Gave a boost to our possession stats for the final quarter and nearly bagged a goal. 7

Hargreaves – Fantastic to see him make his league debut, and the first touch was a sliding tackle. 7

Man of the match: Mario Balotelli

Preview: Manchester City v Aston Villa
Verdict: Manchester City 4 Aston Villa 1

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