The key Remi Garde decision that made all the difference against City

Carlo Ancelotti with Remi Garde

Aston Villa drew 0-0 with Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.

Who would have thought it? Not playing an out-of-form defender leads to a clean sheet!

Indeed, that's exactly what Remi Garde achieved against Manchester City on Sunday as Aston Villa held the side that sat top of the league going the game to a goalless draw.

Micah Richards and Ciaran Clark started for Villa against City and duly ensured no one scored past them.

It took a few moments of magic from a reinvigorated Brad Guzan too but the key strength was no doubt the lack of basic errors Joleon Lescott has been producing all season.

Did Lescott have Tim Sherwood under a spell? Kevin MacDonald, meanwhile, immediately proved his incompetence by once again starting Lescott and several other underperformers once Sherwood was sacked.

The key decision for Garde was to drop Lescott. And it wasn't rocket science. It wasn't a bit of managerial genius from across the Channel.

No, this was a coach sensible enough to acknowledge a central defender that has been in woeful form all season should be demoted to the bench.

There were no doubt plenty of other things Aston Villa got right against Manchester City. But dropping Lescott made all the difference. So far, so sensible from Villa's new boss.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch