Manchester City v Aston Villa - Follow LIVE text commentary

01 May 2010 03:00
Manchester City v Aston Villa

Follow every kick as Manchester City take on Aston Villa at City of Manchester Stadium in the Premier League
on 01-May-2010, kick off time 15:00

Manchester City v Aston Villa Live

Top-four chasing pair Manchester City and Aston Villa go head-to-head in a crucial clash that could go a long way to determining which side qualifies for next season's Champions League competition. Although Tottenham Hotspur currently occupy fourth place in the league, Villa and City sit directly below them and are breathing down their necks as the Premier League gets set for an exciting climax. A defeat for Martin O'Neill's visitors would see their challenge all but ended as they have played a game more than their two close rivals. Roberto Mancini's Citizens have picked up just one point from their previous two outings and this mini blip has significantly hindered their progress. A heartbreaking last-gasp 1-0 defeat at the hands of fierce foes Manchester United on April 17 was followed by a goalless draw at Arsenal last Saturday. These setbacks have enabled Spurs and Villa to take the initiative after big-spending City had looked on course to nail the fourth spot finish this term. Villa's form has been exceptional following their 7-1 humbling at Chelsea on March 27. Four wins and a draw in five matches, including last weekend's contentious 1-0 derby day win against Birmingham City, has certainly improved their standing at the top end of the table. City's injury woes took another hit at the Emirates Stadium as they lost star goalkeeper Shay Given for their important run-in. The Republic of Ireland shot-stopper dislocated his shoulder after saving an Abou Diaby effort and he joins fellow keeper Stuart Taylor (knee), Wayne Bridge (hip), Sylvinho (calf), Joleon Lescott (hamstring) and Martin Petrov (knee ligament) in the treatment room. Long-term injury victim Michael Johnson (knee) could be ready to return to action at the start of the 2010-11 campaign. Young midfielder Fabian Delph suffered a serious knee injury in training recently and will be missing for some time while Curtis Davies (ankle) is also out. The two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Villa Park in October. Richard Dunne, who was deemed surplus to requirements at City last summer before switching to Villa, opened his account against his former club in fairytale fashion, but Craig Bellamy's equaliser spoiled his day as the game ended all-square. On the opening day of last season, Villa thumped City 4-2 in the Midlands on a glorious summer's day. John Carew opened the scoring for the hosts before Brazil international Elano equalised from the spot. However, Villa took control and it was hat-trick hero Gabriel Agbonlahor who smashed a quick-fire treble to take the game away from the visitors despite Vedran Corluka adding a late consolation. City gained their revenge at City of Manchester Stadium last March as they grabbed a 2-0 victory. Elano was again successful from 12 yards as he opened the scoring from the spot before Shaun Wright-Phillips wrapped up the points with a goal at the death.

Source: DSG