Slip sliding away

Slip sliding away
Manchester City v Newcastle United - Barclays Premier League
Football - Manchester City v Newcastle United - Barclays Premier League - Etihad Stadium - 19/8/13 Yaya Toure celebrates scoring Manchester City's third goal with David Silva.

MAN CITY v ASTON VILLA

(Tomorrow, 2.45am, SingTel mio TV Ch 102 & StarHub TV Ch 227)

Samir Nasri summed up the feelings of an entire football club yesterday morning (Singapore time) when he took to Twitter in praise of Crystal Palace after they fought back from three goals down to hold Liverpool to a 3-3 draw.

"What a game, what a league, I love Crystal Palace so much! Now it's our turn to do a job," Nasri tweeted.

It is indeed all down to Manchester City now and they could not have been given more of a morale boost than what they saw yesterday morning.

With 12 minutes to go, there was a genuine fear that Liverpool might power home enough goals to bring the title back into range.

By full-time, it was a very, very different story.

City now have two home games, both against weak opponents with nothing to play for except pride, and there has been little evidence of that from Aston Villa this season.

Paul Lambert's team have survived for another season in the time-honoured fashion of ensuring that there are at least three worse teams beneath them.

Villa's 3-1 victory over Hull City last weekend secured their safety, but it came after a miserable run of just one point from six games.

The Villans are paying the price for a managed decline, a desperate bid from owner Randy Lerner to balance the books.

Having initially invested heavily in a bid to lift Villa into the Champions League, the American owner found himself with a large squad full of high-earning nearly men on long contracts.

Hordes of senior players have since been discarded, replaced by youngsters from the lower leagues and hopeful punts from abroad. There have been mixed results.

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