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Erling Haaland scores again but Manchester City drop points in Aston Villa draw

Erling Haaland scores again but Manchester City drop points in Aston Villa draw

Erling Braut Haaland‘s record-equalling 10th goal in just six Premier League games was not enough to hand Manchester City all three points this afternoon as Aston Villa held on for a 1-1 draw against the champions at Villa Park.

The Norwegian made it double figures for the campaign already with a simple finish from inside the six-yard box five minutes into the second half, but Leon Bailey‘s strike 16 minutes from time earned a point for the under-fire hosts.

Having come so close to denying Man City the title at the end of last season, Steven Gerrard‘s side caused Pep Guardiola‘s men problems again to deny them the chance of moving top of the Premier League table.

The champions now sit on 14 points after six games, one point behind leaders Arsenal, who will play their game in hand against Manchester United tomorrow.

The visitors dominated proceedings for much of the first half and made a particularly quick start to the game as Kyle Walker, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan all failed to capitalise on half-chances.

Villa proved obdurate opposition for the free-scoring champions, though, and almost took a lead into half time when Ollie Watkins saw a deflected effort zip just past the post in the 38th minute.

Haaland had been quiet up until his opener arrived five minutes into the second half, but the summer signing made no mistake when his chance came as he netted a 10th goal in his opening six Premier League games, keeping pace with Micky Quinn‘s record for the most prolific start to a career in the competition.

Manchester City's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring their first goal on September 3, 2022© Reuters

The ball was put on a plate for him by De Bruyne, whose floated cross to the back post took the entire Villa defence out of the game and left Haaland with a simple finish from close range – the sixth of his 10 league goals to have been scored from inside the six-yard box.

Haaland was denied a second twice by Emiliano Martinez after the hour mark, but the Villa keeper was indebted to his crossbar when De Bruyne’s brilliant dipping free kick clattered the woodwork.

De Bruyne came close again shortly afterwards, and Villa made the most of their let-offs by levelling things up 16 minutes from time as Bailey swept his finish into the top corner after Jacob Ramsey‘s lay-off.

Villa should have completed the turnaround moments later when Philippe Coutinho cut inside and unleashed a trademark long-range effort part Ederson and in off the underside of the bar, although the referee had already blown his whistle for an offside against the Brazilian despite replays showing that the flag had gone up incorrectly and prematurely.

Man City pushed for a late winner after getting away with that one, and Rodri drilled a low strike narrowly wide before Martinez was called upon to deny Phil Foden from inside the area.

Guardiola’s men could not find a breakthrough, though, as Villa held on for a draw which will ease some of the pressure on the shoulders of manager Gerrard, despite their winless run extending to four games.

The hosts now sit just outside the relegation zone on goal difference, but only Leicester City have picked up fewer points so far this season.

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