Bernardo Silva’s controversial first Premier League goal of the season helped earn Manchester City a hard-fought 2-0 against Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
City knew that victory would see them go to the top of the Premier League — at least temporarily — while Villa’s first team was playing in its first match since Jan. 1 due to a coronavirus outbreak at the club, which has seen several fixtures postponed.
Manchester United’s 2-1 win at Fulham later on Wednesday pushed City down to second place, level with Leicester City, with United on top.
Both sides had chances to win this match with City guilty of a string of horrendous misses as well as last-gasp defending to stop the visitors taking the lead.
City eventually did take the lead 11 minutes from time in controversial fashion as Rodri came back from an offside position to lay off Silva, who fired in from just outside the box.
The goal was allowed as Villa defender Tyrone Mings had chested the ball into Rodri’s path, which signalled the end of the original move and meant the Spain international was allowed to interfere with play. Villa manager Dean Smith was red carded for his protests.
“It was a farcical decision,” Smith said afterwards. “I’ve not seen a goal like that given. It needs to be looked at. I don’t think anyone in this stadium thought it was a goal.”.
Pep Guardiola’s side made it 2-0 in stoppage time through Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty after Matthew Cash handled a Gabriel Jesus header and the City boss was pleased with his side’s overall performance.