Aston Villa player ratings v Manchester City: Guzan and Richards stand out in stalemate

Villa Park Outside

Remi Garde's first game in charge saw the hosts hold the Premier League leaders to a 0-0 draw.

Brad Guzan 8/10 – Produced three big saves, including a fantastic second-half stop to keep out Raheem Sterling’s close-range header. The test now will be to see whether he can build on this performance to get over what's been a testing 2015 so far.

Alan Hutton 6.5/10 – Let City get in a few too many crosses but was generally sound at the back, while also having some bright moments going forward.

Micah Richards 8/10 – Villa’s skipper was outstanding against his former club, coming up with four interceptions and eight clearances, as well as winning four out of five duels.

Ciaran Clark 7.5/10 – Justified his selection over Lescott with a rock solid performance, recording 11 clearances and blocking two shots to help preserve the clean sheet.

Jordan Amavi 7/10 – Excellent going forward during the opening stages but had to rein things in once Jesus Navas was introduced. Regardless, he was an obvious upgrade over Kieran Richardson.

Carlos Sanchez 7/10 – Held things down in front of the back four with both his smart positioning and simple but effective distribution, completing 87 per cent of his team-leading 55 passes.

Carles Gil 7.5/10 – Always looked capable of creating something when on the ball and only misplaced two of his 45 passes before going off for N’Zogbia just after the hour. If Garde knows what’s good for him, he’ll make sure the diminutive Spaniard is starting week in, week out from now on.

Jordan Veretout 7/10 – Looked neat and composed in the centre of the park, while also showing several glimpses of creativity. If this display was a sign of things to come then Ashley Westwood may be facing an extended spell on the bench.

Idrissa Gana 6.5/10 – Still a tad too careless in possession but his work-rate more than makes up for that. It won’t be long before one of his surging runs into the final third results in a first Villa goal either.

Scott Sinclair 6.5/10 – The ex-City winger was kept relatively quiet by his former club’s defence but he did have a couple of bright moments attacking down the left. Expect him to see more of the ball under Garde in future games.

Jordan Ayew 6.5/10 – Didn’t receive much service up top but worked his socks off and earned a standing ovation when he was replaced with seven minutes left.

SUBSTITUTES

Charles N’Zogbia (Gil 65) 6/10 – Kept things simple in his first appearance of the season.

Leandro Bacuna (Sinclair 71) 6/10 – Was almost the hero for Villa after spearheading a counter-attack that saw him put through on goal but the versatile Dutchman’s touch let him down.

Rudy Gestede (Ayew 83) 6/10 – Didn’t get much time to make an impact but did come close with one effort off a Veretout corner which he put over the bar.

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