Man City 4-1 Aston Villa: Phil Foden scores stunning hat-trick as champions keep pace in title race

 (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)
(Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

Phil Foden scored a stunning hat-trick as Manchester City beat Aston Villa to keep pace with Arsenal and Liverpool in the title race.

On the same night Arsenal made easy work of Luton to climb back to the top of the table, City made a statement by beating a top-five team for the first time this season.

City monopolised possession from kickoff and took the lead in the 11th minute when Rodri poked in Jeremy Doku's cross.

Villa silenced the home crowd, however, when 20-year-old Jhon Duran slotted into the far corner after a neat one-two with Morgan Rogers in the 20th minute.

With City's league-leading scorer Erling Haaland an unused substitute, however, Foden went to work, finding a gap in Villa's wall with a superb free kick just before half-time.

Rodri dribbled through Villa's defence before laying the ball off for Foden to claim his second in the 62nd minute and the 23-year-old completed his hat-trick with a rocket into the top corner from 25 yards.

It was his 21st goal this season for City across all competitions and the England international left the field to raucous applause and a standing ovation when he was substituted.

Additional reporting by Reuters.