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Villa miss chance to improve CL placing

Manchester City thoroughly deserved their 2-0 victory over a jaded looking Aston Villa. City dominated proceedings, particularly in the first half, and took the lead through an Elano penalty.

Shaun Wright-Phillips had earned the spot kick and settled the outcome with a second goal late on.

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes: "Our performance was excellent - certainly in the first half when we were technically very good, and we created numerous chances.

"We should maybe have been out of sight after the first half.

"But in the second half we showed another side to us and we were resolute and hard to beat.

"It was probably the best we have played."

Villa are now only three points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal - their rivals for the last Champions League spot.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill admitted his side had been below their best.

"We didn't play well enough in the first half. We just did not get to grips with the game early on.

"We came out with determination and we had plenty of the ball in the second half. We were camped around their area but we couldn't break through.

"It is disappointing but we are still in the fight. It has been a bad few days - but that cannot be helped now."

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