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Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Young on Aleksandar Kolarov. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
Joao Alves Jo takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fabian Delph by Carlos Tevez. Free kick taken by Barry Bannan.
Barry Bannan takes a shot.
Pablo Zabaleta is ruled offside. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
Handball by Pablo Zabaleta. Strike on goal comes in from Ashley Young from the free kick.
Kyle Walker is brought on as a substitute for Richard Dunne. Dedryk Boyata joins the action as a substitute, replacing Micah Richards. The assistant referee flags for offside against Joao Alves Jo. Ciaran Clark restarts play with the free kick.
Centre by David Silva, save by Brad Friedel.
Joao Alves Jo is brought on as a substitute for Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Inswinging corner taken by David Silva, Richard Dunne makes a clearance.
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by David Silva. Stiliyan Petrov takes the free kick.
The ball is swung over by Stewart Downing.
Corner taken by Ashley Young from the right by-line, clearance made by Carlos Tevez.
Corner taken short by Barry Bannan.
A cross is delivered by Stewart Downing, blocked by Pablo Zabaleta.
Aleksandar Kolarov is ruled offside. Chris Herd takes the indirect free kick.
Effort from the edge of the area by Aleksandar Kolarov goes wide of the right-hand post.
Stewart Downing replaces Nathan Delfouneso. Ashley Young replaces Michael Bradley.
Goal scored by David Silva from just inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 3-0 Aston Villa.
Unfair challenge on David Silva by Barry Bannan results in a free kick. Carlos Tevez crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left by-line, Michael Bradley makes a clearance.
Corner from the left by-line taken by Aleksandar Kolarov, Patrick Vieira takes a shot. Clearance made by Stiliyan Petrov.
Patrick Vieira concedes a free kick for a foul on Gabriel Agbonlahor. Barry Bannan crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Joleon Lescott.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nathan Delfouneso by Gareth Barry. Free kick taken by Stiliyan Petrov.
Shot from just outside the box by Stiliyan Petrov goes over the crossbar.
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Silva on Stiliyan Petrov. Richard Dunne takes the free kick.
Gabriel Agbonlahor is cautioned. Free kick awarded for a foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor on Aleksandar Kolarov. Carlos Tevez crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Barry Bannan.
Gareth Barry decides to take a short corner.
Aleksandar Kolarov takes a shot. Stiliyan Petrov gets a block in.
Ciaran Clark goes into the book for unsporting behaviour. Carlos Tevez joins the action as a substitute, replacing Mario Balotelli. Foul by Ciaran Clark on Mario Balotelli, free kick awarded. David Silva takes the direct free kick.
Mario Balotelli receives a yellow card. Mario Balotelli challenges Chris Herd unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
Gnegneri Toure Yaya produces a right-footed shot from long range that goes over the bar.
Foul by Mario Balotelli on Ciaran Clark, free kick awarded. Brad Friedel takes the direct free kick.
Micah Richards concedes a free kick for a foul on Gabriel Agbonlahor. Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
Unfair challenge on Micah Richards by Gabriel Agbonlahor results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Mario Balotelli from right by-line.
Corner taken by Barry Bannan.
Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a cross, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
Ciaran Clark gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Patrick Vieira. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
Barry Bannan takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Pablo Zabaleta.
Corner from the left by-line taken by Aleksandar Kolarov, Effort from the edge of the area by Mario Balotelli goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Micah Richards is ruled offside. Fabian Delph takes the free kick.
The ball is swung over by Aleksandar Kolarov, Michael Bradley makes a clearance.
Unfair challenge on Fabian Delph by David Silva results in a free kick. Fabian Delph restarts play with the free kick.
Foul by David Silva on Stiliyan Petrov, free kick awarded. Michael Bradley takes the free kick.
Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor on Patrick Vieira, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Jerome Boateng.
Emile Heskey takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart. Corner taken by Barry Bannan from the right by-line, clearance made by Patrick Vieira.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Aleksandar Kolarov. Indirect free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
Mario Balotelli grabs a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Man City 2-0 Aston Villa.Assist by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.
Centre by Aleksandar Kolarov, save by Brad Friedel.
Gabriel Agbonlahor is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
Aleksandar Kolarov takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Mario Balotelli produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.
The referee shows Stiliyan Petrov a yellow card. Foul by Stiliyan Petrov on Patrick Vieira, free kick awarded. Patrick Vieira restarts play with the free kick.
Foul by Richard Dunne on Gnegneri Toure Yaya, free kick awarded. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the direct free kick.
Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Aleksandar Kolarov.
Effort on goal by Barry Bannan from just inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
Micah Richards is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
Aleksandar Kolarov is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Michael Bradley takes the direct free kick.
Barry Bannan takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
Barry Bannan takes the inswinging corner, Gareth Barry manages to make a clearance.
The ball is sent over by Nathan Delfouneso, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
Gnegneri Toure Yaya scores a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 1-0 Aston Villa.Corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov played to the near post,
A cross is delivered by Aleksandar Kolarov, clearance made by Ciaran Clark.
The ball is delivered by Gareth Barry, Stiliyan Petrov gets a block in.
Gabriel Agbonlahor sends in a cross, save by Joe Hart.
Unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Mario Balotelli results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Richard Dunne.
Manchester City duo David Silva and Micah Richards could return to the side on Wednesday when they face Aston Villa in the FA Cup at Eastlands.
Silva missed the draw with Fulham because of an ankle injury while Richards was absent with a calf problem.
However, manager Roberto Mancini will again be without Vincent Kompany (hip), Nigel de Jong (ankle), Adam Johnson (ankle) and goalkeeper Shay Given (shoulder).
Mancini has reiterated his desire to end 35 years of hurt and deliver a trophy to City.
The Italian believes if they can succeed this season it will have a snowball effect.
City face Villa then Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie next week in Ukraine.
Mancini is fully aware of the history of the club and the fact they last won a major trophy on February 28, 1976 when Newcastle were defeated 2-1 in the League Cup final.
He said: "We have a big chance of winning something. The next 20 days are very important because we play against Aston Villa then the following week in the Europa League.
"We have two options. If we win one trophy it will lead to more trophies. This is important for our team. When I accepted this job I knew it was difficult but it is a big challenge and I believe we can win a trophy."
City go into the the Villa game following a lacklustre 1-1 home draw with Fulham on Sunday.
Mancini believes his players are feeling the effects of a tough fixture schedule at home and abroad.
But Mancini said: "It is better we have all these games because it means we are still involved in every competition. Everything is important for us.
"But our problem is having players injured. When you play every three days you cannot work, only recover with perhaps a light session. Is it difficult motivating the players? We are tired here (in our heads) because when you play every three days and use the same players it is very difficult. This is a big problem but only this."
Villa full-back Nathan Baker has been ruled out of the clash at Eastlands.
The 19-year-old is still suffering from concussion after a collision with Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson on Saturday.
Fabian Delph, who replaced Baker, may again deputise as Ciaran Clark will be required to play at centre-back with Carlos Cuellar (hamstring) and James Collins (calf) still ruled out.
Midfielder Jean Makoun is again suspended after his red card against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.
Villa manager Gerard Houllier admits part of his remit is to help find a "better balance" between the club's hefty wage bill and the turnover of the club.
Villa are targeting "managing" escalating wages while remaining competitive on the pitch after suffering losses of more than £37million for the year ending May 31, 2010.
The midlands club saw wages increase to almost £80million last season - an increase of £9million and they now account for 88% of the club's £90million turnover.
But Villa are confident they will comply with UEFA's 'financial fair play' regulations by the time they are fully in force by the beginning of the 2013-2014 campaign.
They relate to clubs living within their means, something Villa insist they are striving to achieve despite the backing of American owner Randy Lerner who has invested more than £200million.
Houllier said: "First of all, it (the money he has put in) shows how much Randy cares for the club.
"He didn't come here just to try to borrow money and do things. He put in money himself. The club has grown and is now the 20th club in Europe in terms of earning power.
"We probably need at the same stage to have a better balance between the salary (wage bill) and the turnover of the club. This is also part of my mission. It won't be done overnight, it will be done gradually and we've got a great academy as well.
"We want to maximise the potential of our academy and the facilities here are made for players to grow and improve."
Sources close to Villa point to the considerable initial financial outlay Lerner had to make when taking charge of Villa four and a half years ago, including a totally redeveloped training ground at Bodymoor Heath.
But a big focus for the forthcoming years is to harness staying a force on the field in the Barclays Premier League whilst having a club which can stand on its own two feet.
The aim is not to reduce the number of quality players at Houllier's disposal but to ensure there is no excess baggage in terms of having players on sizeable wages who make little meaningful contribution.
City move closer to ending long wait
Manchester City are just a home win over Reading away from their first FA Cup semi-final since 1981 after a thumping 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.
Gerard Houllier must bear the brunt of the Villa fans' ire after making eight changes to his latest Premier League starting line-up for a game against talented but tired opponents, with lower-league opposition the prize for victory.
None of this will bother City fans, who can once again think about ending 35 years without a trophy thanks to a fourth-minute opener from Yaya Toure and splendid efforts from Mario Balotelli and David Silva.
As City manager Roberto Mancini has been talking about how fatigued his players are at present, Houllier's team selection raised more than an eyebrow.
Showing improved form of late and inching clear of the relegation mire, the midlands outfit were expected to take the fight to their opponents.
Instead, Houllier made eight changes and left Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and Marc Albrighton on the bench, offering City a glimmer of hope their talent did not require.
When the two sides met in league combat on this ground in December, the Blues made a flying start. So they did again.
Villa were unfortunate in the sense Patrick Vieira's fourth-minute header struck Ciaran Clark after Aleksandar Kolarov had swung in a corner. The bounce fell perfectly for Toure, who duly smashed home from three yards.
Villa did rally, with Gabriel Agbonlahor going close, but suddenly the energy that appeared sapped from City legs at the weekend returned.
Balotelli could not exactly be described as enthusiastic. Economy of effort seems to be the Italian's mantra.
However, the 20-year-old is a supreme talent and his superb reading of Toure's through-ball allowed him to streak clear of the Villa defence after 25 minutes.
Confidence is not a problem for the former Inter Milan star either, judging by the nonchalant manner in which he lifted a shot into the roof of the net with Brad Friedel powerless to stop it.
It was the striker's 10th goal in 18 eventful games for the Blues and Mancini must have felt fully vindicated in his decision to leave both Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko on the bench.
What must have been worrying though was the sight of Balotelli ruefully rubbing his right knee, which carried on for the remainder of the half, given he has already been sidelined for extended periods twice this season with a problem in the same area.
After a suitable period for dramatic effect, Balotelli emerged for the second half.
He hung around for a further 15 minutes, during which time he took on the unaccustomed role of peacemaker in a feud between Toure and former City skipper Richard Dunne and also, completely needlessly, swiped an arm into Herd's face to pick up a yellow card.
Balotelli can be accused of many things. Being dull is not among them.
The same could also be said of Silva, who has even eclipsed Tevez as City's outstanding performer this season.
And when Clark made the fatal mistake of nodding Pablo Zabaleta's cross into the Spaniard's path, the result, a blistering shot into the bottom corner, was entirely predictable.
Beaten and bruised, there seemed no obvious reason for Houllier to go through with his plan to introduce Young and Downing when the possibility of injury was the only thing on offer.
The Frenchman must have taken a sharp intake of breath when Young limped away from one challenge too, although the England man was able to continue.
City were in command though.
Tevez thundered a shot into Friedel's chest after Kolarov had fired wide from long-range, then the Argentina star was thwarted by the American once more as his fruitless hunt for a goal continued.
Having started to abandon thoughts of victory from the moment they became aware of Houllier's team, the Villa fans amused themselves with an impromptu game of headers with the ball Young used to fire a free-kick over the bar.
City were already looking ahead to Reading's arrival on March 13.
"Is AVB on the brink of getting the sack?"
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