…as Spurs fight back to win against Saints
Manchester City moved closer to becoming Premier League champions after they beat Aston Villa in a match where both sides ended with 10 men.
City, playing for the first time since they signed up to the European Super League and then withdrew from the competition, had centre-half John Stones sent off just before the break for a knee-high challenge on Jacob Ramsey, reports the BBC.
However, Villa wasted the man advantage when Matty Cash was dismissed 11 minutes into the second half following two bookings in the space of three minutes.
Villa went ahead after only 20 seconds as John McGinn guided a shot past Ederson following Ollie Watkins’ low cross.
The impressive Phil Foden finished off a fine City team move to equalise before Rodri headed the visitors in front following Bernardo Silva’s cross.
City led 2-1 when they went down to 10 men, but Villa could not capitalise on the extra player and then offered little threat when it was 10-a-side.
Pep Guardiola’s team are 11 points clear of Manchester United and need eight points from their final five matches to become English champions for the third time in four seasons.
Stones will be suspended for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Tottenham at Wembley as City, who are also in the Champions League semi-finals, aim to pick up the first of a potential three trophies this season.
Earlier, Son Heung-min’s late penalty capped a Tottenham fightback against Southampton that handed interim head coach Ryan Mason victory in his first match in charge.
Former Spurs midfielder Mason, the Premier League’s youngest head coach at the age of 29, succeeded Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese was sacked on Monday.
He made a winning start to his tenure after Gareth Bale curled in a superb equaliser and then a late VAR intervention saw Son score after a Moussa Djenepo foul on Spurs midfielder Harry Winks was shown to be just inside the Southampton penalty area.
Until Bale’s composed finish on the hour mark the hosts had been second best to a slick Southampton side, who went in front when Danny Ings glanced in James Ward-Prowse’s corner.
With Harry Kane missing and still a doubt for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, Spurs were flat for long periods and appeared to have been affected by their tumultuous few days, with Mourinho departing fewer than 24 hours after the club announced they were to join a new European Super League.
Chairman Daniel Levy has since expressed regret over the “anxiety and upset” caused by the proposal, which has now collapsed following widespread condemnation.
Spurs 2 – 1 Southampton
Aston Villa 1 – 2 Man City