Thursday, 22 April 2021 06:47

Staff Reporter.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said the failed European Super League (ESL) was a "closed chapter" after his side beat Aston Villa to move closer to becoming Premier League champions.

City were one of 12 clubs to sign up to the breakaway ESL on Sunday, but withdrew on Tuesday after widespread criticism of the proposals, which would have seen no promotion or relegation and a split in English football.

"As a club we accept and learn and focus on the reason why we're here," said Guardiola, whose side need eight points from five matches to become English champions for the third time in four seasons.

"It's a chapter which is over, a closed chapter. They [the owners] don't need to apologise [to me], I know them, I know how they are."

City's win leaves them 11 points clear of Manchester United with Guardiola saying his side were "so close" to the title.

However, they had a scare when centre-half John Stones was sent off just before the break for a knee-high challenge on Jacob Ramsey.

But Villa wasted the man advantage when Matty Cash was dismissed 11 minutes into the second half following two bookings in the space of three minutes.

The hosts had earlier gone ahead after only 20 seconds as John McGinn guided a shot past Ederson following Ollie Watkins' low cross.

The impressive Phil Foden finished off a fine City team move to equalise before Rodri headed what proved to be the winner following Bernardo Silva's cross.

City led 2-1 when they went down to 10 men, but Villa could not capitalise on the extra player and then offered little threat when it was 10-a-side.