Manchester City, at home, were clear favourites to clinch a comprehensive victory against newly-promoted Aston Villa. The 3-0 scoreline might look one-sided on paper, but the Villans were headstrong and resilient until an error from Tyrone Mings at the back allowed Raheem Sterling to break the deadlock moments into the second half.
Mings, 26, resurrected his career since leaving Bournemouth for Aston Villa and earned his maiden England cap this month against Bulgaria. He has impressed enough to make it to Gareth Southgate’s plan, but Dean Smith rightly criticised his display from Saturday in the aftermath of the disappointing outcome.
“We actually started it [the second half] quite well and forced them all the way back to the goalkeeper. For a team that’s known for intricate goals, it’s a 70-yard punt down the middle and Tyrone should do better with the first header. He knows that.”
The gaffer reacted to the club’s official website while discussing the defeat.
The visitors were disciplined at the back despite the Citizens’ ruthlessness in the attacking third. But their good work went in vain when Mings failed to clear Ederson’s 70-yard pass, in spite of having an aerial advantage over the 5 ft 9 in Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian directed his header into the path of in-form Sterling who made no mistake in beating Tom Heaton.
Why Ming’s Vulnerability Is Causing A Problem
The Claret and Blue are currently struggling deep down the Premier League standings. Their lapses in deep defence led to late heartbreaks on several occasions and Mings, being the centre of attraction for his recent uprise, must take the blame for the same before it gets too late for Villa to retain their top-flight status.
The Englishman is majestic when in rhythm but loses the plot out of the blue moments later. It results in confusion and catastrophe, allowing the opponents’ to hit back against the run of play.
Why Aston Villa Must Seek Defensive Reinforcement In Winter
Although Mings’ made the initial mistake, the positioning of Frédéric Guilbert and Björn Engels was criticised too by the Villa boss. The Lions have a young and exciting ‘back four’ that should be handed more minutes together to gel and flourish. However, at the same time, they must start showing more consistency considering the competitiveness of Premier League football. It is difficult to rope in high-profile names in winter, but the club must go for the experience if they decide to strike a deal for a centre-half.
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