Match ends, Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 2.
- Villa fight back from 2-0 down, but lose to last-minute goal
- Aguero scores 27th goal of the season after Guzan error
- FA Cup finalists Villa two points above relegation zone
- Discuss the match on social media using ##bbcmciavl
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.
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.
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."
- 42Y TouréSubstituted forFernandinhoat 45'minutes
- 18LampardSubstituted forMilnerat 57'minutes
- 21SilvaBooked at 46mins
- 16AgüeroSubstituted forBonyat 83'minutes
- 7BacunaSubstituted forLowtonat 87'minutes
- 15WestwoodBooked at 62minsSubstituted forN'Zogbiaat 68'minutes
- 24C SánchezBooked at 65mins
- Mike Dean
- Shots on Target
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! 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, Aston Villa. Matthew Lowton replaces Leandro Bacuna.
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, Manchester City. Wilfried Bony replaces Sergio Agüero.