In the closing moments of the game Villa had a corner and a perfect opportunity to try and claim a point against Manchester City. What happened next summed up their displays this season.
Last night was never expected to be the night Aston Villa would send a message to their relegation rivals as they welcomed Premier League champions Manchester City to Villa Park.
The first half belonged to City and Villa were indebted to the American stopper Brad Guzan for his display in the opening period as he continually kept City at bay on numerous occasions.
With the first half storm seemingly weathered a moment of pure silliness cost Villa the game. When Ciaran Clark tried to be too clever with Edin Dzeko bearing down on the young captain he came unstuck as the Bosnian disposed him of possession before steaming clear and setting up Carlos Tevez for the one and only goal of the game.
But that is not the moment of madness I am referring to in regards to the one that summed up Aston Villa’s season. Sure it was a moment of naivety that went punished but it was a moment in the final minutes that truly frustrated me to a degree where I felt like a Villa fan myself.
In the final stages of the game Villa started to put some pressure on the champions with Christian Benteke proving a threat in the air and Gabriel Agbonlahor finally coming into the game.
After impressive work down the right hand side Matthew Lowton managed to earn the side a late corner-kick.
Such an opportunity was perfect for Villa. With the aerial threat posed by the likes of Benteke, Clark, Nathan Baker and Brett Holman and the added pressure of City defending in front of the Holte End with two minutes remaining it was the perfect chance to potentially grab a vital equaliser and a crucial point in the relegation battle.
With no Barry Bannan on the pitch their choice of corner kick takers was always going to be in short shrift. However the likes of Fabian Delph or Joe Bennett are both left-footed players more than capable of swinging in a dangerous delivery and giving Villa one last chance at saving the game.
Instead nobody bothered to make the trip across the pitch and Lowton hung an awful delivery straight over the bar; the chance was gone and Villa went down 1-0.
Such naïve and inexperienced mistakes and poor decision making have been the centre of Villa’s problems this season and in a campaign where every point is going to count such moments should not be underestimated.
image: © little-pete