Ciaran Clarke owes the Villa fans no apologies. He played his heart out and for the most part played well. However, next time he needs to shop for a gift for the Guzan’s he might want to get something extra special for his keeper after his gaffe ruined an almost perfect performance by the American.
Man City didn’t look like Man City for almost 30 minutes. Villa controlled the tempo the game and looked the more dangerous. Then Villa had the temerity to almost score; a bullet header from Benteke that was cleared by Tevez.
From that moment on it was all City until the break. Rodwell hit a snap shot that Guzan dealt with easily, but the former Everton midfielder pulled his hamstring on the shot and was soon replaced. The replacement, Dzeko made all the difference. His strength, his presence and the fact he played further up the field put pressure on Clarke and Baker who had almost seemed relaxed.
Guzan made 3 saves in the next ten minutes, all world class. He was coming out and taking crosses, plucking them out of the air. There was nothing he could do in the 1st minute of injury time when Clarke tried too much, fell and allowed Dzeko to feed Tevez who finished cooly.