Aston Villa was plunged right back into the deep end with a trip to in-form City, which had won five consecutive Premier League matches, after 19 days without a league match after a coronavirus outbreak.
With a narrow win over Aston Villa, Manchester City climbed to the top of the Premier League in a rain-soaked Etihad, as Bernardo Silva scored his first goal of the season.
In particular, Villa had defended superbly to repel City with Matty Cash and Matt Targett, and it looked gradually like the side of Pep Guardiola will lose points at home.
At point-blank range, Silva was denied by Emiliano Martinez with the best chance of the first hour.
Joao Cancelo’s excellent wingback success was almost capped with a strike, but as City’s frustrations persisted after the restart, he hit the crossbar.
Ilkay Gundogan spurned a few opportunities, and before Silva buried a lovely strike in the 79th minute, it seemed to be one of those nights for City. There was a suspicion that Rodri was in the build-up offside, and Villa manager Dean Smith was sent off to protest with the authorities.
As City rose beyond Manchester United to top spot, Gundogan scored a late penalty to secure the win.
Manchester City – Aston Villa 2-0
Goals: Bernardo Silva (79), Gundogan (90 P).
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker (Zinchenko 28), Stones, Ruben Dias, Cancelo, De Bruyne (Jesus 59), Rodri, Gundogan, Sterling (Mahrez 72), Bernardo Silva, Foden.
Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett (Taylor 75), Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Traore (El Ghazi 68), Barkley (Ramsey 68), Grealish, Watkins.