Manchester City scored three first-half goals as they beat Aston Villa 3-1 to close the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal to three points.
Kevin De Bruyne returned to the Manchester City side as the champions made four changes for the visit of Unai Emery’s side.
Captain Ilkay Gundogan also came back in along with Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias.
With three of the players making way being defenders in Rico Lewis, Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake, it remained to be seen how the back line would be made up.
Villa made one change as centre-back Callum Chambers came in, with Tyrone Mings missing out altogether.
The Premier League anthem was drowned out by loud booing from the home supporters prior to the kick-off at the Etihad Stadium.
The match was City’s first since they were charged with 115 breaches of the competition’s Financial Fair Play regulations.
City got off to a flying start with a goal from Rodri inside the opening four minutes, the midfielder breaking free to meet Riyad Mahrez’s corner with a powerful header that flew inside the near post.
City dominated play and were rewarded with a second goal in the 39th minute.
Chambers played his side into trouble with a poor backward header that was too far away from Emiliano Martinez for the World Cup-winning goalkeeper to clear.
Erling Haaland seized possession and the ball was fed across goal for Ilkay Gundogan to tuck home.
City made it 3-0 with a penalty from Mahrez before the break.
Former Villa star Jack Grealish went down in the area after a challenge from Jacob Ramsey and Mahrez made no mistake from the spot.
Villa pulled one back on the hour against the run of play.
Douglas Luiz robbed Bernardo Silva in midfield and released Ollie Watkins, who beat Ederson with a low shot.
More to follow…
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