Manchester City 4-1 Aston Villa: Fabulous Foden hits hat-trick to sink Emery’s men

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Phil Foden scored a superb hat-trick to sink Aston Villa and keep Manchester City’s title challenge on track.

The England international took centre stage in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland – both left on the bench after looking jaded during Sunday’s goalless draw with Arsenal.

Foden restored City’s lead just before half-time after Jhon Duran had cancelled out Rodri’s opener and then added two fantastic goals in the second half to move Pep Guardiola’s defending champions within a point of the summit.

The scoreline was arguably a little harsh on Villa, who remain fourth and still in contention for a Champions League spot.

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Robin Olsen, drafted into the Villa side when Emilliano Martinez fell ill shortly before kick-off, was called into action after 10 minutes, producing a smart save to deny Rodri.

The Spain midfielder was not to be denied, however, and his goal broke the deadlock a minute later. Foden played in Jeremy Doku down the right and his cross was swept home by the former Atletico Madrid man at the near post.

Villa were playing largely on the counter-attack but that approach reaped its rewards after 20 minutes with a well-worked equaliser.

Colombian Duran led the charge before exchanging passes with Morgan Rogers and then slipping his shot under the advancing Stefan Ortega.

Villa were relatively comfortable at 1-1 despite conceding much of the ball. That was, however, until first-half injury-time. Douglas Luiz brought down Foden on the edge of the area and the 23-year-old took the resulting free-kick himself, firing his effort through a disintegrating wall and into the net.

Ortega twice preserved the hosts’ lead within 10 minutes of the restart, keeping out a Douglas Luiz shot before palming clear a Clement Lenglet header from the resulting corner.

Foden made it 3-1 shortly after the hour mark, capitalising on some quick feet from Rodri to fire home from the edge of the area.

And he completed his hat-trick with his 13th Premier League goal of the season after 70 minutes. Villa failed to clear their lines and Foden hammered a stunning shot into the top right-hand corner, giving Olsen no chance.

Substitute Sergio Gomez could have made it five for City late on but his shot struck the post.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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