Manchester City left it late to secure a 2-0 win against Aston Villa as Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero sneaked home two goals in the closing stages at Villa Park.
The win- City’s 4th after seven rounds of matches- lifted the Premier League champions to second, with Southampton at home to Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow.
Andre Weimann paved way for Charles N’Zogbia in Paul Lambert’s starting lineup while Joe Hart returned for the visitors after missing last weekend’s win at Hull City. Alexander Kolarov also replaced Gael Clichy in the defence.
The Mancunians have struggled to build early momentum having recorded just a win in their previous four league matches.
Both sides struggled to break the deadlock before the hour mark, but Villa’s organised defence was the major talking point of the opening 45 minutes.
Kolarov came closest to grabbing an opening goal but sent his angled drive against the outside of the post.
Aguero should have placed Manuel Pellegrini’s men in the ascendancy 3 minutes after the break, when he ran on to James Milner’s through-ball, but, likewise his team-mate, placed his shot against the upright.
Villa, who on their own part had found it difficult to threaten on the counter, responded immediately, only for Hart’s outstretched legs to deny Kieran Richardson.
Brad Guzan denied David Silva after 50 minutes. Eliaquim Mangala was the other name on the near men’s list, as his towering header from the centre of the box was saved by Guzan.
City’s prodding eventually paid of as the game entered its last ten minute. Toure, who has been subject of several criticism- though with little yet to justify his rebirth- punished the Villains’s sloppy defending on 82 minutes.
The Ivorian sidefooted low into the bottom corner after being allowed too much time to run to the edge of the area.
Aguero sealed three points with a fine finish from the edge of the box six minutes later, to their manager and fans’ relief.
For the hosts, it was their third successive defeat and after keeping the ‘Citizens’ in check throughout a promising first-half were distraught with the outcome after 90 minutes.