Manchester City moved closer to the Premier League title with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa in their first match since the remarkable European Super League fiasco.
City were among 12 elite clubs signed up to play in a controversial new continental competition until its spectacular collapse on Tuesday.
They appeared to be suffering a hangover from the affair as John McGinn gave Villa the lead inside the first minute, though the impressive Phil Foden and Rodri ensured Pep Guardiola’s men went in at the interval ahead.
City’s hopes of victory appeared to suffer a blow when John Stones was dismissed before half-time, but Matty Cash saw red before the hour to level things up as the leaders sealed a win that moved them 11 points clear of Manchester United, having played a game more than their neighbours.
City got off to a dismal start, conceding their second quickest Premier League goal after just 20 seconds.
Stones failed to cut out Matt Targett’s ball over the top, allowing Ollie Watkins to tee up McGinn for a low finish past Ederson from 10 yards.
The visitors pulled level after 22 minutes, Foden guiding home a controlled volley from eight yards after a sumptuous team move in which the England international played an integral role.
Bernardo Silva was the provider for Foden and the Portugal playmaker also laid on City’s second five minutes before the interval, his lofted cross from the right headed past a flapping Emiliano Martinez by Rodri.
Villa were handed a lifeline a few moments later, though, Stones receiving his first Premier League red card for an ugly challenge on Jacob Ramsey, given after referee Peter Bankes had been encouraged to review the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Numerical parity was restored in the 57th minute, however, when Cash received a second yellow card for a wild lunge on Foden.
Villa rarely looked like scoring an equaliser after that blow as City became the first team to secure 10 Premier League away wins in a row on more than one occasion, Guardiola’s side winning 11 consecutive games on their travels in 2017.