Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland has scored 10 goals in his first six Premier League appearances for Manchester City, the joint-fastest a player has reached 10 goals in the competition’s history alongside Mick Quinn back in December 1992

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard hopes his side can use their draw against champions Manchester City as a foundation to kickstart their season.

Champions City missed a chance to go top of the Premier League as Leon Bailey’s equaliser earned Aston Villa an excellent draw at Villa Park, while the point took Villa out of the bottom three.

“No-one gave us any hope or any chance before a ball was kicked,” said Gerrard.

“I’m really pleased and proud of what the players gave us and no-one can begrudge us a point, and it’s a big point.

“But the players need to take that confidence moving forwards. You hope it’s a foundation but it’s only a big point if you reset and back it up against Leicester and Southampton.

“The danger is if you think you’re moving in the right direction but don’t reset. There has been a lot of external noise and rightly so, but it’s now for me to lead even more and be stronger.

“We need to stick together and keep developing.”

The league’s top goalscorer Erling Haaland got his 10th goal in six games when he was in the right place at the back post to volley in Kevin de Bruyne’s superb cross.

After scoring in the 50th minute, Haaland had another two efforts saved by Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez and De Bruyne also hit the crossbar with a 22-yard free-kick.

Those missed chances proved costly as Bailey struck a sweet first-time shot into the top corner from Jacob Ramsey’s square pass to make it 1-1 in the 74th minute.

Officials admitted they were wrong – Gerrard

Villa thought they had scored a winner when Philippe Coutinho put the ball in the net off the underside of the bar.

However, the assistant referee had already put his flag up for offside – even though Coutinho was actually onside – and some of the City players stopped before the ball went into the net.

Gerrard revealed he had spoken to the officials about the decision after the match, and they admitted they had made an error.

“I’ve spoken to the officials calmly, and given them enough time after and asked for their side of it,” said Gerrard.

“The referee blew the whistle too soon. When something is so tight it’s worth an extra bit of time and we could’ve scored a second goal.

“Fair play to the officials, they recognised that afterwards. It was nowhere near offside.”

Gerrard’s Villa show fighting spirit to earn draw

Villa had only won one of their first five matches of the season and had been booed off after their last game at Villa Park, a 1-0 loss to West Ham.

The pressure was mounting on the former England midfielder after a 2-1 loss at Arsenal in midweek left Villa 19th in the table, but this point was enough to take them out of the relegation zone and to 17th.

But Gerrard, who called for his side to “surprise the footballing world”, will be delighted with the spirit and fight his team showed to come back from a goal down as City, champions four times in the past five years, looked to claim their fifth win of the season.

City had 73% possession but Bailey scored with Villa’s only shot on target in a result that Gerrard will hope will kick-start their campaign.

Meanwhile Pep Guardiola will see this as two points dropped for City and will wonder how his team did not claim the win. They would have moved above Arsenal, who play at Manchester United on Sunday, with a win, but instead are second, one point behind the Gunners.

The visitors should have gone ahead in only the fourth minute but England defender Kyle Walker shot wastefully wide with only Martinez to beat.

Haaland, a £51m summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, had scored back-to-back hat-tricks in City’s wins over Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest and only touched the ball 10 times in the first half.

However, he showed his class within five minutes of the restart by scoring from close range after De Bruyne’s cross had looped over Martinez.

Haaland became a handful for the home defence and twice was denied by Martinez and also won a free-kick, which De Bruyne hit the bar with.

Villa’s equaliser came against the run of play but City still had chances to win it late on but Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden both missed opportunities as Villa held on for the draw.

Player of the match

De BruyneKevin De Bruyne

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number31Player nameBailey

  2. Squad number1Player nameMartínez

  3. Squad number18Player nameYoung

  4. Squad number41Player nameJ Ramsey

  5. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

  6. Squad number5Player nameMings

  7. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  8. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  9. Squad number44Player nameKamara

  10. Squad number27Player nameDigne

  11. Squad number23Player namePhilippe Coutinho

  12. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

  13. Squad number2Player nameCash

  14. Squad number10Player nameBuendía


Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-2-1

  • 1Martínez
  • 2CashBooked at 26minsSubstituted forYoungat 27′minutes
  • 4Konsa
  • 5Mings
  • 27DigneBooked at 71mins
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 44Kamara
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forCoutinhoat 65′minutes
  • 31BaileySubstituted forBuendíaat 90+1′minutes
  • 41J Ramsey
  • 11Watkins


  • 9Ings
  • 10Buendía
  • 16Chambers
  • 17Augustinsson
  • 18Young
  • 20Bednarek
  • 23Coutinho
  • 25Olsen
  • 35Archer

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 2WalkerSubstituted forAkéat 80′minutes
  • 5Stones
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 7Cancelo
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 16Rodri
  • 8Gündogan
  • 20Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forMahrezat 73′minutes
  • 9Haaland
  • 47Foden


  • 6Aké
  • 10Grealish
  • 18Ortega
  • 19Álvarez
  • 21Gómez
  • 26Mahrez
  • 80Palmer
  • 82Lewis
  • 97Wilson-Esbrand

Simon Hooper


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