Remi Garde’s reign at Aston Villa began with an excellent 0-0 draw at home to Manchester City this afternoon in a match which nearly ended in controversy.
Villa striker Rudy Gestede angered Joe Hart when he returned the ball with a bit of extra force after City had put it out to allow Charles N’Zogbia to receive treatment.
Watch more brilliant snippets like this with fanatix’s FREE sports video news app.
Referee Craig Pawson allowed the subsequent corner to stand despite City protests, and Gestede nearly rubbed salt into the wounds by scoring as his flick looped just over the crossbar.
That was the closest that Villa came to scoring in a game in which Manuel Pellegrini’s side had all the best chances, when they did manage to open up a defence which Garde got well organised.
Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne both missed sitters, while Fernando smashed the woodwork with a late header as Villa just about hung on for a point which ends their seven-match losing streak.
The Midlands club remain bottom of the Premier League. City are top but will be knocked off their perch if Arsenal win the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium.
(Video) Raheem Sterling denied penalty as makeshift striker after Wilfried Bony limps off versus Villa
(Video) Arsenal fan favourite reveals commitment to Gunners amid links to Spanish giants
Stoke steward assaulted by Diego Costa… NOT! Chelsea rightly brush off outrageous complaint (video)