- Venue:City of Manchester Stadium
- Referee:Clattenburg, M
The referee blows the whistle for full time
Downing shoots with his right foot but the ball goes wide
Collins is booked for a kick at Zabaleta
Bellamy scores with a composed curled shot after brilliant build-up play from Wright-Phillips
Micah Richards comes on for Tevez
Downing tries to pick out Heskey from the half-way line but Fulop comes out to claim the ball
The City fans are in great voice now, as they sense the end of the game approaching, but Villa are looking really threatening at the moment, with Young looking very lively
Young does well on the right to make space for himself before swinging in a cross that just about misses everyone in the box
Tevez shoots into Cuellar after good play from Adebayor
Young's cross to the back post is cleared by Zabaleta, with Delfouneso hanging around dangerously
Kompany's header from a City corner is aimed towards the top corner of the goal but the ball goes wide of the target
Dunne's header from a Villa free kick is caught comfortably by Fulop
Shaun Wright-Phillips comes on for Johnson
Young's deep cross to the back post is headed away by Zabaleta but that's better from Villa, as Milner shoots straight at Fulop
Emile Heskey is on for Carew
Warnock is replaced by Nathan Delfouneso
Collins collides with Adebayor and hands City a cheap free kick
Villa have been very much on the back foot since half time and O'Neill might want to think about making a change soon
A poor corner from Bellamy towards the near post is headed away by Cuellar. Bellamy's corners could have been better today
Bellamy breaks forward quickly with the ball, cuts inside and tries to pick out Adebayor but Villa do well to clear
Bellamy sprints forward and shoots, forcing a great save from Friedel
Young is moving gingerly after a strong challenge from Patrick Vieira but he should be OK to continue
Adebayor's shot from a Bellamy corner smacks into Petrov and out of play for a throw
Tevez strikes the ball and Friedel dives down low to push it behind for a corner
Bellamy battles with Cuellar on the left but the City man's cross is eventually cleared easily by Milner
Adebayor piles the pressure on Dunne, who is in possession, but the defender plays the ball back to Collins
Zabaleta stands firm to prevent Young from cutting inside him with the ball
Downing's cross towards the back post is aimed at Young but he misses the ball entirely after flinging himself at it with a hint of desperation
Zabaleta's shot is deflected and zips narrowly over the bar, with Friedel stranded
Fulop looks indecisive again from a Villa cross before deciding to tip the ball behind for a corner
Adebayor tries to break for City but Cuellar stands firm and denies the big striker from winning the ball
Ashley Young, who has been quiet so far in this game, crosses towards the back post but City clear
Bellamy's weak shot on target is saved comfortably by Friedel
Bellamy's cross is deflected behind by Cuellar for a City corner
The second half is underway
Half Time: MAN CITY 2-1 ASTON VILLA.
Petrov is booked for a challenge from behind on Tevez
MAN CITY 2-1 ASTON VILLA. Carew hits the bar and then City break through Johnson and ADEBAYOR, who strikes to put City in front
MAN CITY 1-1 ASTON VILLA. TEVEZ steps up and sends the ball underneath Friedel with his right foot.
Warnock dives in on Johnson and gives away a penalty. That was clumsy play from Warnock
Richard Dunne challenges Tevez in the box and again the City fans appeal for a penalty but that looked like a good challenge from the Villa man
Emmanuel Adebayor hooks the ball into the box but there's nobody there to meet the cross for City
Villa look pretty comfortable at the moment and Martin O'Neill will be happy with the way his team have played so far
City are stringing together the passes in midfield but there's no incisive forward movement and Villa will be happy to defend like this all day long
Milner heads the ball across goal but Toure volleys it away
It's still the Villa fans making all the noise as their team continue to grow into this game
City appeal for a penalty as Tevez blasts the ball at the arm of Stephen Warnock in the box but the referee shakes his head
Tevez's shot is blocked by Milner and the ball goes out for a corner. Bellamy takes the corner but the ball is headed away by Cuellar
Downing is set up by Agbonlahor but his well-struck shot goes just wide
Zabaleta appeals half-heartedly for a penalty after clashing with Stiliyan Petrov but the referee isn't interested
From the free kick, James Milner shoots and Fulop fumbles the ball. Carlos Cuellar nearly pounces but the City goalkeeper manages to grab hold of the ball. That was another nervy move from Fulop
Vincent Kompany picks up a yellow card for a challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor
All the noise in the stadium at the moment is coming from the Villa fans; the home fans need to get behind their team
Johnson shoots from 25 yards but his effort is a little wild in the end and doesn't trouble Friedel at all
The City players and fans seem a little shocked at conceding that goal that really did come against the run of play
Friedel punches the ball away from a Bellamy cross despite being under pressure from Tevez
Toure hits the ball with the side of his foot but it's a weak attempt and fails to trouble Villa
MAN CITY 0-1 ASTON VILLA. From an angle, JOHN CAREW sends the ball straight underneath Fulop, who is at least partially at fault for that goal. Good play from Stewart Downing in the build-up.
Bridge bombs forward with the ball but takes it a little too far and the City attack breaks up
City are piling on the pressure at the moment, as Wayne Bridge's shot from a Johnson corner is blocked by Collins
Bellamy's corner is headed away by Collins
Bellamy turns and crosses and the ball takes a wicked deflection but Friedel is able to readjust his position and flap the ball away for a corner
Nigel de Jong shoots but his effort goes straight into the arms of Brad Friedel
Tevez lays the ball off for Bellamy, who tries to pick out Tevez in return but the ball doesn't quite fall for him. Good play from City
Fulop slices the ball away from a Kolo Toure back-pass. Fulop will want to make a good impression today
Craig Bellamy plays a ball through for the lively Tevez but Collins comes across to prevent the striker getting on the end of the pass
Johnson brings the ball down before finding Carlos Tevez with a simple pass. This has been a bright start from the home side
Adam Johnson beats his man on the wing beautifully and finds Pablo Zabaleta but his cross is headed away by James Collins
Referee Mark Clattenburg gets the game underway
Emergency loan signing Marton Fulop starts for City, whilst Villa are unchanged in this crucial clash in the battle for fourth place
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.
Manchester City won the first of their three cup finals as the race for Champions League qualification enters the final stages after coming from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-1 in a tense match at Eastlands.
Goals from Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy sealed a vital victory for Roberto Mancini's men after John Carew had put Villa ahead.
Villa were unchanged for the sixth match in a row and they showed City a lesson in team play in the opening stages while the home side appeared to be a little lethargic, perhaps a side-effect of the intensive training regime prescribed by Mancini.
All eyes were on City's emergency loan keeper Marton Fulop, Sunderland's third-choice shot-stopper, who was making his first start since a 7-2 thrashing by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in January.
A jittery atmosphere in the early stages of the match was not helped much by a decidedly nervy start by Fulop, who looked rusty throughout the game despite cheers from home fans at his every move, as he spilled easy balls and sliced an early clearance.
Villa were much better organised and it came as little surprise when they got the opening goal through Carew after 16 minutes.
Stewart Downing's slide-rule pass to the Norwegian striker was turned into the back of the net with City's defence in pieces. Fulop got a touch on the ball but it wasn't enough to divert it as it bobbled over the line.
Adam Johnson was the architect of City's late first-half recovery. It was his run into the area that wrong-footed Stephen Warnock and caused him to panic and mis-time his tackle as he brought down the young winger in the 41st minute.
Tevez was ice cool as he despatched the penalty with added venom just to the left of Brad Friedel, giving the American keeper no time to get down to save it.
Villa hit back after the restart and City fans had barely time to celebrate their equaliser before Carew had beaten Vincent Kompany and rattled the bar with Fulop stranded.
With attack a far better policy than defence, the home fans were ecstatic in first-half stoppage time when Patrick Vieira drifted into the Villa area and slid the ball to Johnson on the right.
With Adebayor making room for himself in front of goal it was easy for Johnson to slip a square pass to the Togo striker whose firm strike put City in front.
City had to endure a nervous game of cat and mouse in the second half before substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips left Carlos Cuellar trailing in his wake in the 89th minute and his left-wing cross allowed Bellamy to take a touch and then lift the tension with City's third goal with a shot into the top corner.
Shots off target