Smith explains Aston Villa’s quick start against Man City; honest about red cards

Dean Smith has revealed that Aston Villa has spoken of a quick start ahead of their game against Manchester City.

Villa took less than half a minute to face City. But they couldn’t keep their lead and ultimately lost 2-1. Both teams had one player sent off each, with Matty Cash receiving two yellow cards in three minutes.

It was a missed opportunity for Villa, who couldn’t have started the game better. But City’s quality eventually caught up with them.

Smith explained the secret of their first goal before lamenting the two they conceded.

He said Sky Sports: “Good start – we played a ball behind with a quick free kick that we talked about and then had to defend a lot because they had 25 minutes of wonderful football.

“The disappointing part for me is the way of the goals. We know Ederson has a good strike on him and they pick up the second ball there and if you lose to Man City you want them to work wonderfully executed goals; you don’t want to concede those kinds of goals.

“Matty Cash’s first yellow was tough, but the second was just plain stupid and reckless. With them having 10 men, you won’t have a better chance of beating City.

“The first one was an attraction, we don’t seem to see much of it giving way. Their red card [John Stones] was probably also yellow.

“I think you can slow everything down and it looks worse. It was right in front of me and he went to get the ball and grabbed the man. You see this all the time.

“Our plan was to take him up to the top two and fall behind, but we never followed them enough. We had a few crosses at the start but once we get the man sent off the halftime shot goes out the window.

“It was a little more even at 10-10, but they have better technically gifted players than we have on the ball.”

Guardiola praises City’s performance

Meanwhile, his counterpart Guardiola noticed an improvement in City’s performance after Villa lost their male advantage.

He told Sky Sports: “We played really well. After 10 against 11 and after the expulsion of Cash, it was a very good performance.

“The Premier League is the most important title to win.

“We controlled the game 10 against 10. It was late [John Stones’ challenge] but the intention was no.

“Now because we won I’m happy. If we had lost, I would be miserable.

“We had a good game.”

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