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Brad Guzan, Aston Villa on the wrong end of Manchester City’s awakening

Nov 17, 2012, 12:44 PM EST

Britain Soccer Premier League AP

For most of the season, Manchester City has seemed intent on becoming the least impressive undefeated them since, well, Juventus. They’re conceding more often than they did last year, scoring less, yet they still came into Saturday’s match against Aston Villa undefeated (7-0-4). If that’s what City does when they’re not playing well, they might be title favorites when they finally wake up.

On Saturday, City showed their first signs of life, battering Aston Villa 5-0 at Eastlands. Carlos Tévez scored twice. Sergio Agüero, Edin Dzeko and David Silva Sergio Agüero added two more, and David Silva also got on the scoresheet in a match which, despite two penalties called by a linesman, played as lopsided as the score indicates. City got 10 shots on target to Villa’s two (26-11 overall) and had an Opta-reported possession of 67 percent. It was a bludgeoning.

And of course, Brad Guzan bore the brunt of the assault, though whereas the U.S. international has generally been a bright spot in goal for Villa, today he was culpable for a goal that should have been stopped. Having conceded three, Guzan left too much space between himself and his left post in the 67th minute, allowing Agüero to blast a sharp-angle shot just past the keeper’s left foot.

It was a rare error for Guzan, though you wonder if the former Chivas USA star may eventually suffer the same kind of shell shock that befell Dan Kennedy. Like the former Goat goalkeeper, Guzan’s getting no help while trying to stay sane behind a defense that’s missing Richard Dunne and a midfield that has Barry Bannan and Ashley Westwood trying to protect the defense.

And things don’t get much easier for Guzan next week. Arsenal, scorers of 18 goals in their last five games, visit Villa Park on Saturday.

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