Premier League champions Manchester City travelled to Villa Park after a tough midweek Champions League game against Italian outfit, AS Roma.
Going into the game there was talk of how crucial three points would be for City, as a slip-up would give Chelsea the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Aston Villa once again had to make late changes, with illness striking the team. Just minutes before kick-off they had to replace Gabby Agbonlahor for Andreas Weimann on the team-sheet due to illness.
Early season signs from both teams promised an open game, with a counter-attacking team, in the form of Aston Villa, going up against a team who boast a brilliant front-line, but have often appeared shaky when defending against counter-attacks.
The first big chance of the game fell to City when Sergio Aguero picked up the ball and went on a textbook run, jinking in and out of the Aston Villa defence. He laid the ball into the path of right-back Pablo Zabaleta who struck a fierce effort, only to see it smash off of the near post.
Throughout the half Villa were constantly showing that they can be a threat. Come the 24th minute Charles N’zogbia nicked the ball from Fernandinho inside his own half and drove at the City defence. Running at pace, N’zogbia chose to ignore his team-mates and go it alone. The Frenchman went for an ambitious long range effort, but it was always going wide and never troubled Joe Hart.
Just minutes later, City left back Alexander Kolarov whipped an inviting ball into the Villa penalty area, on the end of the cross was Sergio Aguero. The Argentinian only needed to make slight contact with the ball to direct it goalwards, but his header failed to find the back of the net, despite beating Brad Guzan.
Despite Manchester City dominating the first half, Aston Villa were hanging on and went into the changing rooms at the half time with the game still goalless.
City started strongly in the second half and when Sergio Aguero was slipped through to go one-on-one with the Villa keeper, it looked certain he would put his side 1-0 up. A well taken side footed shot was denied by the post, but City were looking likely to break the duck.
As the minutes started to tick by, Villa started to get into the game, still looking threatening on the counter. They showed their intent by bringing on Christian Benteke, who returned to action following a six month injury. The Belgium striker was given a great reception by the Villa fans.
After eighty one minutes and immense pressure from Manchester City, Aston Villa finally caved in. A lapse in concentration allowed Yaya Toure the space he needed on the edge of the area to slot home an excellently placed shot. The goal had been coming and was a matter of when not if.
City kicked on and in the eighty seventh minute Sergio Aguero sealed the win by scoring City’s second. A deserved goal for the Argentinian striker who had come close previously in the game.
The two goals were enough for City, who took all three points following a deserved victory. The points see City jump up to second in the table, just two points behind Chelsea who face Arsenal on Sunday.