Aston Villa fell to a 3-0 defeat to Man City at the Etihad Stadium in a game of two halves in Manchester.
Dean Smith handed Douglas Luiz a start against his former club Man City, whilst Anwar El Ghazi made way Trezeguet.
Man City was held at the interval after a solid defensive display kept Villa in the game before the break.
Though they had little to show for their initial efforts when Tyrone Mings clumsily let Raheem Sterling race through and finish past Tom Heaton, seconds after the white blew for kick-off.
The England international did, however, atone for a rare error by spectacularly clearing off the line minutes later. All of that under the watchful eyes of Gareth Southgate.
Another under the microscope was, of course, Jack Grealish. The Villa skipper was praised by City boss Pep Guardiola after the game.
The Spaniard said: “He (Jack Grealish) is an incredible player. A top player. I like the fact he played for Villa in the Championship and could have gone away. He always created something. He’s too expensive for Manchester City!”
More VAR controversy
Despite Villa’s and Grealish’s best efforts, Villa conceded another but only after an intense VAR check. But yet again it was Villa on the wrong end of a contentious decision.
After Kevin De Bruyne swung in his cross from the left flank, the ball nestled inside the far post. Though, after a VAR check was complete the goal stood even though David Silva was to be later award the goal as he made contact with the cross. Sterling was however stood in an offside position, obstructing Heaton’s view.
A third came through Gundogan who finished off another slick City move.
Worryingly for Villa and Dean Smith, Grealish left the Etihad Stadium on crutches after picking up a calf problem.
He may be rested for the Carabao Cup tie with Wolves on Wednesday before Villa host Liverpool next Saturday.