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Watch – Manchester City’s title bid in the balance after nervy first half

May 7, 2014, 3:47 PM EDT

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Manchester City have 45 minutes to go two points clear at the top of the Premier League standings, as the Citizens have had a nervy first half against Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Drawing 0-0 at half time, Manuel Pellegrini’s men desperately need all three points to all but seal the PL title going into their final game of the season, a home game versus West Ham.

However if Villa really upset the apple cart and beat City on Wednesday, then a win on the final day for Liverpool will seal them the PL title.

Surely not….

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Early on City pushed to go ahead as Aleksandar Kolarov bombed on down the left but his cross was hacked away by Villa’s defense. Soon after Vincent Kompany rose to try and head home a corner kick but USMNT ‘keeper Brad Guzan did just enough to put him up as City’s skipper headed wide. Guzan came up big again soon after, as James Milner‘s reverse ball found Pablo Zabaleta and he cut the ball back to Yaya Toure slotted the ball goalwards but Guzan denied City’s Ivorian powerhouse with a reaction stop. City continued to prod and probe but Villa’s defense held firm and made it extremely difficult for the Citizens to engineer clear-cut opportunities early on.

As the first half came to a close City still couldn’t break down a stubborn Villa side who showed no sign of attacking intent (apart from a brief chance at the back post for Jordan Bowery and a Andreas Weimann breakaway) in the pouring rain at the Etihad Stadium. Zabaleta was getting free down the right-hand side and played in David Silva before the break but the Spaniard saw his effort blocked. In first half stoppage time City again worked the ball to the right where James Milner delivered a perfect ball into the six-yard box but Samir Nasri directed his effort wide of the near post.

After 45 minutes the Citizens were on course to drop two points and let Liverpool back into the title race. Can the Citizens seal a crucial win in the second half?

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