New Aston Villa boss Remi Garde oversaw the club’s best performance of the season as they held in-form Manchester City . Garde rang the changes after replacing Tim Sherwood and ended the bottom club’s seven-game losing streak in the Premier League.
City could find no way past the hosts as Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne missed good opportunities.
Villa failed to test Joe Hart in the away goal but kept the ball much better than previously this term and produced a promising opening display under their new manager.
City need Sergio Aguero back
Wilfried Bony hobbled off with an apparent hamstring injury to stretch City’s attacking resources and boss Manuel Pellegrini will hope to have Sergio Aguero back after the international break to spearhead their attack again as they missed him
Garde still likes his French connection
New Villa boss Garde may have banned French from the dressing room but a first glance at the team-sheet showed why he has been brought in. Recalls for former Ligue 1 quartet Veretout, Gana, Amavi and Ayew underlined what owner Lerner meant when he spoke about “harvesting” the club’s new talent.
Delph remains public enemy No.1 at Villa
After quitting Villa for City in a cut-price release clause this summer, Delph predictably got pelters on his return. His second half appearance off the bench sparked a furious response but Delph was also an easy target for Villa fans to take their frustrations out on following the club’s long-term decline.
Garde right to axe Lescott
Joleon Lescott was one of the few players former boss Tim Sherwood sign himself rather than the club’s acquisitions committee -but he has been very poor this term for Villa and badly exposed for his lack of pace. Fellow left-footer Ciaran Clark got the nod to replace him and was excellent.
Penny seems to have dropped for Navas
The Spanish flyer was widely criticised earlier this season for his poor final ball for Man City but after coming on at Villa Park, Navas provided the balls for most of City’s best opportunities such as giving Sterling a free header six yards out.