Premier League
Man City3Aston Villa2

Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa

Sergio Aguero
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has scored four times in his last three games

Manchester City scored a dramatic late winner to defeat FA Cup finalists Aston Villa and move second in the Premier League.

Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan sliced a clearance to Sergio Aguero, who tapped into an open goal to put City ahead.

Aleksandar Kolarov's curling 25-yard free-kick put the hosts 2-0 in front.

But a low strike from Tom Cleverley and Carlos Sanchez's 15-yard volley made it 2-2, before City's Fernandinho tapped in from close range in the 89th minute.

It was harsh on a Villa side who had looked to have earned a much-needed point in their fight to avoid relegation.

Villa boss Tim Sherwood will also be unhappy with a late decision when, with the score at 2-2, Christian Benteke was through on goal with only Joe Hart to beat, but the Belgium striker was denied by what appeared to be a harsh offside decision.

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Man City 3-2 Aston Villa: Tim Sherwood laughs off relegation

City scored the winning goal a minute later to move above Arsenal and rivals Manchester United, although the Gunners will regain second spot if they beat leaders Chelsea on Sunday.

Sherwood's side are now 15th, only two points above the relegation zone, but have played a game more than the three teams directly below them - Hull, Leicester and Sunderland.

Villa's worst Premier League season?
Aston Villa's lowest points total in a Premier League campaign is 38. They only have 32 points this season with four league games left.

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea team, with a nine-point lead and having played two games fewer than City, are on course to win the title, but this was still a vital victory for Manuel Pellegrini's team.

If they finish in the top three they will automatically qualify for next season's Champions League, avoiding the two-legged play-off that awaits the side that finishes fourth.

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Man City 3-2 Aston Villa: Pellegrini says side coming back to form

The 2013-14 Premier League champions only needed three minutes to take the lead, which came after Guzan's horrible error.

There appeared to be little danger from Ron Vlaar's backpass but the American skewed his clearance and left Aguero with a simple task to score his 27th goal of the season.

The game looked over as a contest when Kolarov scored from a low free-kick in the 66th minute, but Villa netted two minutes later with Cleverley's first goal since joining on loan from Manchester United.

Sanchez also scored his first goal in a Villa shirt with a well-controlled volley after Hart had palmed the ball into his path.

But there was to be another twist as Fernandinho collected a pass on his chest and finished to give City the vital win.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "Today we didn't play as well, but we had the spirit and fight to win in the last five minutes despite their late equaliser.

"The results are always more important than the performances, but I think that we normally play well, today we showed the spirit and the belief that perhaps we have not had in other games when we have had more possession."

Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 26Demichelis
  • 20Mangala
  • 11Kolarov
  • 42Y TouréSubstituted forFernandinhoat 45'minutes
  • 6Fernando
  • 15Jesús Navas
  • 18LampardSubstituted forMilnerat 57'minutes
  • 21SilvaBooked at 46mins
  • 16AgüeroSubstituted forBonyat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Sagna
  • 7Milner
  • 10Dzeko
  • 13Caballero
  • 14Bony
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 38Boyata

Aston Villa

  • 1Guzan
  • 7BacunaSubstituted forLowtonat 87'minutes
  • 4Vlaar
  • 5Okore
  • 18Richardson
  • 8Cleverley
  • 15WestwoodBooked at 62minsSubstituted forN'Zogbiaat 68'minutes
  • 40Grealish
  • 24SánchezBooked at 65mins
  • 16Delph
  • 20Benteke

Substitutes

  • 10Weimann
  • 12Cole
  • 14Senderos
  • 23Cissokho
  • 28N'Zogbia
  • 31Given
  • 34Lowton
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
45,036

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home11
Away13
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 2.

Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

Foul by Charles N'Zogbia (Aston Villa).

Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 2. Fernandinho (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Carlos Sánchez.

Offside, Aston Villa. Charles N'Zogbia tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Jesús Navas (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Matthew Lowton replaces Leandro Bacuna.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, Aston Villa 2. Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal following a corner.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Aleksandar Kolarov.

Jores Okore (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Wilfried Bony (Manchester City).

Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).

James Milner (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Wilfried Bony replaces Sergio Agüero.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jores Okore.

Attempt saved. Kieran Richardson (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Carlos Sánchez.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

Offside, Aston Villa. Charles N'Zogbia tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jesús Navas (Manchester City).

Attempt missed. Charles N'Zogbia (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Christian Benteke with a headed pass.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, Aston Villa 1. Tom Cleverley (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner following a set piece situation.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Charles N'Zogbia replaces Ashley Westwood.

Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Martín Demichelis (Manchester City).

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, Aston Villa 0. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Booking

Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa).

Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. James Milner (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Fernandinho.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Kieran Richardson.

Booking

Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Martín Demichelis.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea32237265263976
2Man City34207770363467
3Arsenal32206663323166
4Man Utd33198659312865
5Liverpool33177947361158
6Tottenham34177105549658
7Southampton341761147262157
8Swansea34148124144-350
9Stoke34138133942-347
10West Ham341111124242044
11Crystal Palace34119144247-542
12Everton331011124143-241
13West Brom34910153246-1437
14Newcastle3498173657-2135
15Aston Villa3488182648-2232
16Hull33710163145-1431
17Leicester3387183551-1631
18Sunderland33515132649-2330
19QPR3476213859-2127
20Burnley34511182652-2626
View full Premier League table

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