With Dean Smith continuing to produce the goods at Norwich City, the Englishman’s dismissal from Aston Villa may have been the best move for everyone involved, as Gerrard made it two for two against Palace on Saturday.
Matt Targett broke the deadlock in the 15th minute following a corner, before John McGinn wrapped up the three points with a delightful finish from outside the area with four minutes remaining, and Marc Guehi’s consolation came too late for Palace to salvage a comeback.
Gerrard’s 100% start to life back in England sees Villa sit 13th in the Premier League table ahead of the midweek round of fixtures, with the West Midlands outfit one of three sides sitting on 16 points, and a top-half spot could be theirs for the taking if results go their way this week.
The hosts welcome Man City to Villa Park having scored in all of their Premier League home games so far this term – winning three of them – and City can take nothing for granted as Gerrard aims to bring even more festive cheer to the Villa Park faithful
Heavy snowfall from the devastating Storm Arwen saw the postponement of one Premier League game in Burnley vs. Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, but Man City’s battle with West Ham went the distance in Arctic conditions as Pep Guardiola’s men ultimately prevailed.
Ilkay Gundogan drew first blood in the 33rd minute before turning provider for Fernandinho to wrap up the points in the dying embers of the encounter, with Manuel Lanzini scoring an eye-catching but otherwise inconsequential consolation right at the death.
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Victory over David Moyes’s side represented a fifth win on the bounce for City in all tournaments – four of which have come at the Etihad Stadium – and Chelsea’s draw with Manchester United means that the second-placed champions are now just one point off top spot.
The Citizens will therefore be praying for Watford to do them a favour during their derby with Chelsea, and Guardiola’s side travel to Villa Park having taken 13 points from the last 15 on offer away from home – scoring 10 goals and conceding just three in that span.
Furthermore, City have claimed four victories from four against Villa since the hosts were promoted back to the top flight in 2019, and not since September 2013 have the West Midlands side prevailed in this fixture, winning 3-2 under Paul Lambert.