Bernardo Silva scored his first goal of the season as Manchester City climbed to the top of the Premier League with a narrow victory over Aston Villa in a rain-soaked Etihad.
Villa plummeted straight back into the deep end after 19 days without a league match after a coronavirus outbreak, with a trip to in-form City, which had won five consecutive Premier League matches.
In particular, Villa had defended superbly to repel City, with Matty Cash and Matt Goal excellent, and it eventually looked like Pep Guardiola’s side would lose points at home.
Silva was denied by Emiliano Martinez at point-blank range for the best chance in the first hour.
The excellent wingback performance of Joao Cancelo was nearly capped with a shot, but as the frustrations of City continued after the restart, he hit the crossbar.
A few chances were spurned by Ilkay Gundogan, and before Silva buried a lovely 79th-minute shot, it seemed to be one of those nights for City. There was a suggestion that Rodri was offside in the build-up, and Villa director Dean Smith was sent away to protest with the authorities.
Gundogan scored a late penalty to seal the victory, as City climbed to the top spot above Manchester United.