The big Aston Villa defender was arguably culpable for the first goal.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has criticised Tyrone Mings after this afternoon’s 3-0 defeat at Manchester City.

The newly-promoted Premier League side were 45 minutes away from holding the reigning champions, but Raheem Sterling opened the scoring almost immediately from the restart.

Gabriel Jesus won a header against the burly Aston Villa defender following a long ball from defence, with Sterling latching on to the ball and firing home through Tom Heaton’s legs.

And the Villa manager has admitted to the club’s official website that Mings didn’t cover himself in glory, adding that Bjorn Engels and Frederic Guillbert also struggled.

Smith said: “We actually started it [the second half] quite well and forced them all the way back to the goalkeeper.

“For a team that’s known for intricate goals, it’s a 70-yard punt down the middle and Tyrone should do better with the first header. He knows that. Bjorn and Fred should have been in better positions to deal with it and, if you give top players like Sterling opportunities like that then you’ll get punished.”

Two goals in the space of five minutes from Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan then killed off the visitors entirely, although there was more than a hint of controversy for City’s second.

Aston Villa have already being the victim of suspect referee and VAR calls this season and this was another, as Sterling, in an offside position, appeared to block Heaton’s vision for the De Bruyne goal.

Smith’s side are 14th in the Premier League table, but they host Liverpool next weekend.

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