Manchester City 3-0 Aston Villa
Goals: Raheem Sterling (£12.1m), David Silva (£7.7m), Ilkay Gündogan (£5.2m)
Assists: Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m), Kevin de Bruyne (£10.1m)
Bonus Points: Sterling x3, Ederson x2 (£6.1m), Silva x1, Gundogan x 1
Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa was a match that both elated and devastated managers in ownership of popular Manchester City assets.
Raheem Sterling (£12.1m) finally got back in the goals to reward those who had both kept the faith and handed him the captain’s armband for Gameweek 10.
Kevin de Bruyne (£10.1m) owners were less fortunate. They witnessed the Belgian awarded Manchester City’s second goal of the afternoon, only to see the Premier League Goal Accreditation panel alter the decision after the full-time whistle.
There had been a strong suggestion that David Silva (£7.7m) had touched the ball on its way into the net, which the aforementioned panel confirmed by awarding the Spaniard the goal, downgrading de Bruyne’s points to those of an assist.
There was also a knock-on effect for Benjamin Mendy (£5.9m) who had originally been given the assist when the goal was considered de Bruyne’s. The overturned decision removed five points from the Frenchman’s score, three for the assist and a further two bonus.
While Sterling and De Bruyne’s attacking returns will still be (relatively) pleasing to managers who had backed the duo to deliver, there can be no looking past Guardiola’s decision to not only bench Sergio Aguero (£12.2m), but to give the Argentinian a 15-minute cameo for a one-point return.
This was the first time since last December that Guardiola opted to start Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) for a second successive league game, and the Brazilian duly delivered to justify his manager’s decision. Just as the second half was getting underway, Jesus flicked a header onto Sterling to claim an assist for the Englishman’s goal.
Given Aguero’s benching and his manager’s notorious reputation for rotating his star men, there can be now no guarantees as to whether the premium forward will start matches on a regular basis. Previously, it had been thought he was safe for home matches – that is clearly no longer the case.
However, the true nature of the dilemma for his owners is that the next side to come to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League are Southampton, who were so bad defensively against Leicester that they conceded nine goals. Aguero owners may find it hard to sell him ahead of such an appealing fixture.
Whilst the game was naturally dominated by both the presence and absence of Manchester City’s attacking assets, a second consecutive clean-sheet will be pleasing for those managers invested in their defence. In Gameweek 10, City looked assured at the back to weather a number of promising Villa attacks.
The emergence of Mendy and right-back Joao Cancelo (£5.3m) in the full-back positions could allow greater confidence of starts for Fantasy managers compared to those at centre-back.
It must also be said that Mendy’s return to the team is likely a key reason why we’ve seen Sterling score four goals in his last two matches. The Englishman was forced to stay out wide while Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.3m) was holding down the fort on the left, but he has come back into the middle now that Mendy is back. Zinchenko’s long-term injury should ensure he’s in the team for a prolonged spell if he can stay fit.
As mentioned, it’s harder to invest in the middle of Manchester City’s defensive unit right now.
Fernandinho (£5.2m) and Rodri (£5.5m) had formed a promising centre-back partnership against Palace, but an injury for the latter saw John Stones (£5.3m) return to the side for this one.
Furthermore, there was something of a blot on Fernandinho’s copybook in Gameweek 10 as he was sent off in the 87th minute for a second bookable offence.
The Brazilian will not miss Gameweek 10 though as his one-match suspension can be spent on the upcoming midweek EFL Cup tie against Southampton – leaving him available to face the Saints in the Premier League.
However, it will still be interesting to see either of the fit and recognised centre-backs in Nicolas Otamendi (£5.5m), who was on the bench against Villa, and Stones, who impressed against Villa, work their way into Guardiola’s plans.
With Sterling and D Silva both getting their names on the scoresheet, it was Ilkay Gundogan (£5.2m) who capped off an impressive team display with a well-taken goal to add gloss to the scoreline on an afternoon where City
Against a newly-promoted side who are visiting the Etihad, the Citizens will have scope to not be playing at the imperious standards they have set for themselves, but sterner tests are likely to arise – with Guardiola’s side
For Dean Smith and Villa, the first-half display was a template performance as to how to frustrate City at home whilst also creating a number of genuine chances.
Jack Grealish (£5.9m) and Wesley Moraes (£6.1m) pressed Guardiola’s defensive unit, although the Brazilian striker did look isolated at times given the fact that the majority of Villa’s chances came on the counter-attack.
Villa’s captain Grealish ended up leaving the City ground on crutches having been substituted in the 84th minute, and the extent of the injury will have to be assessed ahead of the West Midlands side’s game against Liverpool next weekend.
An impressive performance from John McGinn (£5.9m) was nearly capped with a consolation goal late in the game, though the Scotsman struck the post as City held on to close the gap to three points with league leaders Liverpool ahead of their clash against Tottenham on Sunday.
Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Mendy (Angeliño 73′), Fernandinho, Stones, Cancelo; Gundogan, D Silva, De Bruyne (Foden 76′); Sterling (Aguero 76′), Jesus, B Silva.
Aston Villa XI (4-3-3): Heaton; Targett, Engels, Mings, Guilbert; Nakamba, Douglas Luiz, McGinn; Grealish, Trezeguet, Wesley (Davis 71′).
Lessons learned from Gameweek 10
- Southampton 0-9 Leicester City
- Manchester City 3-0 Aston Villa
- Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 Everton
- Watford 0-0 Bournemouth
- West Ham United 1-1 Sheffield United
- Burnley 2-4 Chelsea
- Newcastle United 1-1 Wolves
- Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace
- Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Norwich City 1-3 Manchester United
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