A late, late victory for the fallen champions, as viewed by the award-winning Stats Zone...
Manchester City survived a late scare to record their second straight Premier League victory with a dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium.
Manuel Pellegrini's side were gifted the opening goal inside three minutes when Brad Guzan's miskick allowed Sergio Aguero an easy finish.
Villa improved thereafter without really testing Joe Hart, but the game looked beyond them when Aleksandar Kolarov curled in a free-kick on 66 minutes to double City's advantage.
Tim Sherwood's relegation-threatened side dug in and halved the deficit two minutes later through Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley, who fired home from 20 yards with Hart caught in no-man's land.
It got worse for England's No.1 with five minutes to go when he was again punished for his failure to deal with a cross, and Colombia international Carlos Sanchez hooked into an empty net for his first goal in two-and-a-half years. Moments later Christian Benteke was incorrectly called offside when through on goal – and Villa were made to pay an even heavier price.
In the 89th minute, Fernandinho reacted quickest after some penalty-box pinball to poke home for three points and spare Pellegrini another poor result.
- Manchester City have won more Premier League games (21) and scored more goals (68) vs Aston Villa than against any other team.
- Sergio Aguero has scored 4 goals in his last 3 Premier League games after going 5 without scoring.
- Only Rob Green (6) has made more errors leading to a goal than Brad Guzan this season (4).
- 8 of Aleksandar Kolarov's 16 goals in all competitions for City have been via direct free-kicks (3 of 6 in Premier League).
- Kolarov also assisted Fernandinho's goal. He has now scored and set up a goal in the same Premier League game on 3 occasions (the previous two came vs Sunderland).
- Tom Cleverley scored his first Premier League goal since scoring against Villa in December 2013 while at Manchester United.
- That goal was the first City had conceded at home in 483 minutes in the Premier League.
- Aston Villa have scored more league goals under Tim Sherwood this season (14 in 9 games) than they managed under Paul Lambert (12 in 25 games).
- This is the first game in Premier League history to see goalscorers from three different South American countries.
- Villa have conceded 3 or more goals in each of their last 6 Premier League games away at Manchester City.
Fans' view: Steven Allweis (@viewfromablue)
"In a game defined by errors, City produced a moment of high drama at the death. Both goalkeepers had nightmares and both defences were all over the place, but City had just about enough to get the points.
"Villa's recovery and their confidence to get the ball down and play was hugely impressive, yet City continue to insipidly stutter. The points, though, are all that counts."