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Thursday
Feb092012

Mancini wants ruthless citizens against Villians 

History

Aston Villa have always been linked with Manchester City since that infamous defeat back on April 29th 1905. It was the final match of the season and was highly controversial because of allegations of match fixing on City's part and player violence on Villas side caused the FA to investigate. Financial irregularities were uncovered and City went from being the first Manchester side to lift the FA Cup and only points away from being the first to lift the title to becoming a shell of a club. Directors and players were banned and moved on more of which can be read at http://www.bluemoonovermanchester.com/man-city/2011/12/4/manchester-united-history-pishtory.html.

In fact the season before this was the closest date we faced Villa to this Sundays. February 13th 1904 we played Villa away and lost 1-0, and funny enough the home fixture that season was only two days after our home fixture that season! The next season we got in trouble for financial irregularities and with FIFA's Financial Fair Play coming into view I hope it isn't an omen!  

In the second to last game of the 1958-59 season we hosted Villa and with both sides facing relegation the 0-0 scoreline did neither any favours. In the final game City were beating Leicester by a score of 3-1 which wasn't good enough as Villa were also winning. Then in the last few minutes West Brom equalised against Villa to send the Midlanders down and save City, Villa were managed by Joe Mercer at the time. 

The last win that City have enjoyed at Villa park in the League was back on November 29th 2006 when Vassell, Barton and Distin scored to give us a 3-1 victory. Last season we didn't even get on the scoresheet and came away having been beaten by the single goal.

That said we have won big away from home this season and at Villa Park City have also enjoyed similar scorelines in the past. 1991 saw David White score four times as City romped home to a 5-1 win and fourteen years before that in 1977 Dennis Tueart scored a hattrick in a 4-1 win. Also though we have been on the wrong end of a hiding away at Villa. The most recent being the opening season game for the 2008-09 season where despite goals from Elano and Corluka we would lose 4-2. December 3rd 1960 we would lose 5-1 with Denis Law scoring our goal in his first spell with us. In fact his last two goals for City in that first spell came against Villa later that season this time in a 4-1 City win. However the worst defeat came over a century ago on December 9th 1900 with that game ending in a 7-1 defeat for newly promoted City. 

Willie Donachies last game for City was against Villa in a 2-2 draw back in 1980 and Bell and Asa Hartford also played their final games for City against Villa opposition a year earlier. More recently, crowd favorite Shaun Wright Phillips scored his last goal for City in his first spell with the club in an away win in 2005. It also marks firsts and none more important than that of Ernest Mangnall whose first official game in charge of Manchester City was a 1-0 victory at home to Villa. It was Mangnall who had only just watched his new side beat his old side 1-0 and celebrated, the United manager had already helped out a struggling City side who were still rebuilding after the 1905 controversy. He had been the first manager to bring a trophy to United, winning the FA Cup with ex City players. He made City an attractive team to watch and they were regarded as the top team in Manchester and even had a game called off in 1913 because if overcrowding. He was also instrumental in our move to Maine Road. 

Sundays Game

To Sundays game though and Manchester City have met Aston Villa in the League 135 times with our first taking place on October 21st 1899, a game we lost 2-1. Since then though we have gone on to get the upper hand in the spread of results though and our win total now stands at 56 with Villa slightly behind us on 51. 

Earlier in the season you may remember we beat Aston Villa by a 4-1 scoreline and certainly a similar outcome for us on Sunday would do. Our closest rivals Manchester United host Liverpool and Tottenham welcome Newcastle 24 hours before in what proves to be a tightly contested run in for the title. However with ex City players Given, Dunne and Ireland all potentially starting for Villa and the always annoying-against-City Robbie Keane in the mix it is going to be far from easy.

Villa haven't won at home since beating Norwich 3-2 in November and that takes their total of home wins up to three for the whole season. That said, after a good start, City have only won the one away fixture in the League and that was against bottom side Wigan in January. 

Aston Villa have been boosted by the possible return of Agbonlahor, Collins and Albrighton who were forced to sit out the defeat against Newcastle. 

City are still without the Toure brothers whose Ivory Coast have made it all the way to the African Cup of Nations final, played also on Sunday and of course Mario serves the last match of his ban. It is a testiment to the management skills of Roberto Mancini that despite a very troubled January with the loss of key players through either International duty(Toures), bans(Balotelli, Kompany) or injury(Silva) that we are still points clear at the top. Now THAT Mr Rooney is a sign of winners, like a boxer that no matter how many punches you land won't go down, City are still there despite taking some knockout blows. If you want to tie all your games after going down by three goals then I guess we will just have to deal with all the psychological blows! 

Aston Villa have been boosted by the possible return of Agbonlahor, Collins and Albrighton who were forced to sit out the defeat against Newcastle.  

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