Live Commentary: Aston Villa 3-2 Manchester City - as it happened

Karim El Ahmadi of Aston Villa celebrates his goal with team mate Fabian Delph during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Villa Park on September 28, 2013
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Read how Aston Villa twice came from behind to steal three points from their Premier League clash with Manchester City at Villa Park.

Manchester City went into their trip to Aston Villa this afternoon on the back of two wins and nine goals in the space of six days, and knowing that they could return to the top of the Premier League with victory in the Midlands.

Manuel Pellegrini's side dominated the first half from start to finish and were finally rewarded for their play when Yaya Toure gave them the lead on 45 minutes - his goal sixth of the season.

Karim El Ahmadi, from an offside position, equalised for Villa shortly after the break, but any frustration City had with the officials was temporarily forgotten when Edin Dzeko restored their advantage by heading in Samir Nasri's corner.

After conceding two goals from set pieces, Villa exacted some revenge when Leandro Bacuna found the top corner with a bending free-kick, and Andreas Weimann snatched them an unlikely victory when he sprinted through the middle and poked the ball under Joe Hart on 75 minutes.

Below, you can read how the action unfolded at Villa Park.


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2.03pmAfternoon all! Aston Villa's home games in the Premier League don't get any easier, do they? They have already had to welcome Liverpool and Newcastle to the Midlands, and now Manchester City are the visitors...

2.06pmLet's get straight to the team news, and City's lineup is in...

2.08pmCITY XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov; Nasri, Fernandinho, Toure, Milner; Negredo, Dzeko

2.10pmWith Sergio Aguero missing through injury, there is a recall in attack for Edin Dzeko, who is preferred to Stevan Jovetic despite the Montenegro forward bagging a brace against Wigan on Tuesday.

2.14pmIn Manuel Pellegrini's only other change, James Milner replaces Jesus Navas on the wing to play against his former club. City paid Villa £24m to secure the Englishman's services in 2010.

2.16pmAnd how will Villa line up, you ask?

2.18pmVILLA XI: Guzan; Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Clark; El Ahmadi, Weimann, Luna, Delph, Sylla; Kozak

2.20pmLike Manchester City, Paul Lambert's side are also missing their star striker, with Christian Benteke sidelined for around six weeks with a hip injury.

2.22pmTheir £7m transfer deadline day signing, Libor Kozak, who scored his maiden goal for the club in the victory over Norwich last Saturday, deputises for the Belgian.

2.24pmOtherwise, though, it is a fairly defensive team selection from Lambert. Of his midfielders, only Andreas Weimann would be classed as an attacking-minded player. Gabriel Agbonlahor is a startling omission, unless of course the Birmingham-born winger is unfit.

2.27pmKarim El Ahmadi and Yacouba Sylla in particular are known as holding midfielders. Fabian Delph was a goalscorer in his Leeds United days, but has been employed in a more defensive role since establishing himself in the Villa side.

2.29pmFlexible Dutchman Leandro Bacuna is again asked to fill in at right-back, with one of Villa's star players from last season, Matt Lowton, having to be content with a place on the bench.

2.31pmHere is the Villa substitutes in full, no official confirmation of the City bench as yet though...

2.33pmVILLA SUBS: Steer, Bennett, Helenius, Albrighton, Bowery, Tonev, Lowton

2.36pmAgbonlahor's absence from the bench does indeed suggest that he is unavailable due to injury. Mark Albrighton, Nicklas Helenius and Aleksandar Tonev are the attacking options at Lambert's disposal.

2.39pmThere certainly weren't many positives for Lambert to take from their 4-0 thrashing by Spurs in midweek, but the return of Mark Albrighton from a long injury layoff was on of them. He was lively on Tuesday night and could be a good impact sub for Lambert to use.

2.41pmRESULT! Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea Full time in the early Premier League kickoff, and Spurs have gone top of the table after drawing with London rivals Chelsea. Gylfi Sigurdsson gave the Lillywhites the lead, before John Terry equalised. Fernando Torres saw red late on for the Blues.

2.43pmAnd those Manchester City substitutes have finally been confirmed...

2.45pmCITY SUBS: Pantilimon, Richards, Lescott, Clichy, Garcia, Navas, Jovetic

2.47pmGael Clichy has not featured in the Premier League in over a month, but he is fit enough to take his place on the visiting bench. Kolarov continues at left-back after an impressive attacking display in the derby against United, in which he created Aguero's opening goal.

2.50pmAs Clichy did, Micah Richards made his comeback from injury in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, and he will continue his rehabilitation from a hamstring problem that ruled him out of the start of the season.

2.52pmUnder 10 minutes until kickoff now at Villa Park...

2.54pmSTAT: Beware Villa! Not only have City found the net nine times in their last two games, but they have scored more Premier League goals [57] and won more Premier League matches [18] against the Midlands outfit than any other opponent.

2.56pmHISTORY: The two most recent of City's 18 victories over the Villans came last season. They were 5-0 winners at the Etihad Stadium, and also triumphed 1-0 at today's venue.

2.58pmPREDICTION: Villa can pose any side problems on their day, but without both Benteke and Agbonlahor I think they are lacking an attacking threat. City should prevail as comfortable 2-0 winners.

1 minThe action is underway at Villa Park...

3 minCHANCE! City create the first opening of the game, with Kolarov surging down the left before drilling in a low cross. It is behind Dzeko and Negredo, but falls to Milner at the back post, who strikes left-footed across goal and wide.

5 minIt seems that I got my pre-match assessment of Villa's tactics slightly wrong. Lambert looks to have reverted to three at the back, a formation that he used at times last season, with Luna and Bacuna operating at wing backs.

8 minSAVE! As you would have expected, City are doing the early running and they call Brad Guzan into action for the first time here. Nasri cuts in from the left before slipping in Dzeko, who stretches to guide the ball goalwards, but only into the gloves of Guzan.

10 minCLOSE! City counter from a Villa corner, with Toure spreading the play beautifully to Nasri on the left. The Frenchman runs at Vlaar, before cutting inside both the Dutchman, and Clark, who gets a foot to Nasri's shot and deflects it just past Guzan's right post.

13 minLovely move from the visitors, who keep the ball comfortably before injecting some pace into the attack and releasing Kolarov on the left. He crosses towards the back post, but there is no City body in sight as Luna turns it behind for a corner.

13 minLovely move from the visitors, who keep the ball comfortably before injecting some pace into the attack and releasing Kolarov on the left. He crosses towards the back post, but there is no City body in sight as Luna turns it behind for a corner.

14 minCHANCE! Kolarov flicks on a Nasri corner at the near post, but Dzeko can only head the second ball upwards and onto the roof of the net. He was in a good position, but didn't have much time to react and direct the header towards goal.

18 minMilner is just as comfortable on either foot, and he cuts in from the right to drift in a left-footed cross. Nastasic is still forward from an earlier set piece, but the delivery just evades him at the far stick.

21 minKolarov is being invited to join City attacks from left-back at every opportunity, and here he overlaps Nasri and receives the Frenchman's pass before earning a corner off Bacuna.

23 minNo sign of an attacking threat from the hosts as yet, or where that threat may come from. While Kolarov is providing the Citizens with plenty of width, the Villa wing backs, Luna and Bacuna, have been forced back and made to focus entirely on defending thus far.

24 minSHOT! Villa register their first shot of the afternoon, but it was not even close to finding the target. El Ahmadi is on free-kick duty 25 yards out, but his tame curling effort has neither the pace or the dip to test Joe Hart.

25 minFernandinho's sloppy play present Kozak with the ball in Villa's final third. He tries to thread a pass through to Weimann, but Toure intercepts and launches a City counter, which finishes with Dzeko lashing a shot way over the crossbar.

29 minCHANCE! City are now providing a threat down both flanks, with Toure finding the surging Zabaleta on the right byline. His cutback falls to Dzeko at the far post, but instead of shooting the striker tries to lay the ball off to Negredo and Baker intercepts before hooking clear.

31 minFor a player usually trigger happy in-front of goal, I am shocked that Dzeko did not take that opportunity to get a shot away. He was only eight yards out and any clean contact would have seen Guzan troubled. Unselfish, but unwise decision from the Bosnian.

34 minVilla can not get any service to the front two of Weimann and Kozak, who certainly have big shoes to fill in the absence of Benteke. Since Paul Lambert signed the Belgian last summer, Villa have failed to win a Premier League game in which he has not featured.

38 minMilner pops up on the other flank and is unmarked when Kolarov finds his overlapping run. The Serbian goes inside for the return, but Milner instead crosses and fails to pick out a man.

40 minOFF THE LINE! Clark clears behind for a corner, from which the ball eventually falls to Toure, whose shot is partially saved by Guzan, with the ball looping towards the goal before a combination of two Villa defenders clear it off the line.

43 minCLOSE! Toure has scored some wonderful goals already this season, and he tries his luck again from range here. He is not closed down 30 yards out, and he continues to travel with the ball before shooting low, via the body of Nathan Baker, inches wide. Corner.

45 minGOAL! Villa 0-1 Man City (Toure)

45 minFinally City get the breakthrough and it is fully deserved. Nasri's corner is intercepted at the near post, but the header does not clear the danger zone, only going across the box. Just as he was in the Manchester derby last week, Toure is in the right place at the right time to pick up the scraps and quickly angle the ball into the bottom corner before he is closed down. That's already his sixth of the season.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: Villa 0-1 Man City

3.53pmPaul Lambert may have been thinking that his Villa side were going to survive the first-half onslaught and make it to the interval unscathed, but Yaya Toure changed all that. The Ivorian continued his magnificent start to the campaign by scrambling the ball into the bottom corner in a congested penalty box, just one minute prior to the break.

3.56pmThe ever-busy Brad Guzan was earlier called into action by Edin Dzeko, who also passed up a good chance, eight yards out, when he opted to pass to Negredo instead of get a shot away.

3.58pmThere was nothing of note at the other end, though, and without Agbonlahor and Benteke, Villa looked completely lost going forward, and were not only devoid of an attacking threat but also any forward-minded intent. Toure's goal will now force Lambert into a different approach...

4.01pmSTATS: City have enjoyed 67% of possession, and have found the target with three of their 12 shots, as well as having nine corners. Villa are yet to test Joe Hart, which demonstrates just how dominating the visitors have been.

46 minPlay has resumed in the Midlands...

46 minThere is nearly an immediate chance for City as Sylla leaves a back pass short, forcing Guzan to react quickly and boot the ball clear under pressure from Negredo, who may have been in had he been a bit braver.

47 minSHOT! Kolarov is again in an advanced position, and Milner finds him with a chip back to the edge of the box, and the Serbian tries to volley Sone Aluko-style, but his side-footed effort goes across goal and wide.

50 minGOAL! Villa 1-1 Man City (El Ahmadi)

50 minOut of nowhere, the hosts are level! Delph spreads the play to Bacuna, who shows great feet to wriggle free of a couple of City challenges and slip in El Ahmadi, who remains composed and finishes confidently across Joe Hart into the bottom corner. Suspicions of offside, though...

53 minBOOKING: Nasri becomes the first player to be cautioned this afternoon, and it appears as though it's for dissent, as he complains to referee Martin Atkinson about a free-kick awarded to Villa.

55 minAfter a second look, I can confirm that El Ahmadi was in an offside position, by half a yard or so, when he received the pass from Bacuna. But City won't be too frustrated by that decision anymore...

57 minGOAL! Villa 1-2 Man City (Dzeko)

57 minVilla were level for just six minutes, and again it is a corner that is their undoing. Nasri whips the ball in and Dzeko meets it at the near post, flicking it above and beyond Guzan inside the far post. Villa had 10 men in the box to defend the set piece, but Dzeko was somehow under little pressure!

58 minSHOT! Great hit from Negredo, whose thumping volley is spilled and then gathered at the second attempt by Guzan, after Milner's cross was only half cleared by Nathan Baker.

60 minBOOKING: Sylla is the first in claret and blue to enter referee Atkinson's notebook, as he is yellow carded for tugging down Milner, who was cutting in off the right.

63 minLuna makes a rare venture forward down the Villa left, and he crosses towards Kozak, only for Nastasic to head down to Bacuna, who cannot get the ball under control, allowing City to clear.

65 minSUBSTITUTION: Manuel Pellegrini is the first to make a change, swapping Samir Nasri for Jesus Navas, which will likely mean a switch of wings for James Milner.

68 minCHANCE! The hosts have an opportunity to snatch another equaliser, as Kompany's header falls to Vlaar 15 yards out. The Villa captain volleys into the ground, but straight into the gloves of Hart.

69 minNavas gets to the right byline and fizzes a delightful ball across the Villa penalty area which just evades his former Sevilla teammate Negredo.

72 minGOAL! Villa 2-2 Man City (Bacuna)

72 minLeandro Bacuna nets his first goal for Aston Villa, and it is one he will never forget. The Dutchman joins the likes of Yaya Toure, Wayne Rooney and Leighton Baines in scoring special free-kicks this season by bending a superb 25-yard set piece right into the top right corner. Hart is motionless, and City are shocked!

75 minGOAL! Villa 3-2 Man City (Weimann)

75 minAnd they are even more shocked now! Villa are ahead courtesy of Andreas Weimann's first Premier League goal since April, but it is appalling defending from the Citizens. Guzan punts the ball upfield, and Kompany and Nastasic forget the first rule of defending, allowing the ball to bounce, and it does, right through the middle of them. Weimann sprints onto it and pokes past the onrushing Hart. The ball dribbles towards the goalline, and just crosses the white paint before Nastasic can reach it. Incredible turnaround!

77 minSUBSTITUTION: Pellegrini's response to falling behind is to throw on the man that netted a brace in midweek, Stevan Jovetic, who is introduced at the expense of Edin Dzeko.

79 minSUBSTITUTION: His goal proved to be Weimann's last notable contribution to this game, as Villa's potential match winner hobbles off to be replaced by Jordan Bowery.

79 minSUBSTITUTION: His goal proved to be Weimann's last notable contribution to this game, as Villa's potential match winner hobbles off to be replaced by Jordan Bowery.

82 minCHANCE! Absolutely wonderful play by Toure, who shows superb feet for a man of his size by dribbling through three Villa defenders in the area, and setting up Jovetic 12 yards out. The substitute's first effort is well blocked by Vlaar, and he then miscues his second into the ground and into the hands of Guzan.

85 minCity are camped in the Villa half, and I expect that's where the final five minutes plus stoppage time will almost exclusively be played. They haven't created a clear opening for an equaliser as yet, though.

88 minCity have not had a clear sight of goal since Jovetic’s double chance, but Villa cannot keep the ball and are inviting pressure on. They briefly counter through Bowery, but the substitute does not have the pace to get away from Kompany.

90 minWe are now entering second-half stoppage time, of which there will be FIVE minutes...

90+2 minPENALTY APPEAL! Half shouts for a penalty from the Villa players after it appeared that Nastasic may have handled in the box following Luna's break down the left. City attack again...

90+4 minCHANCE! Last chance saloon for City as Navas delivers a corner, but Kolarov can only head it behind the goal at the near post. That could be that.

90+5 minFULL TIME: Villa 3-2 Man City

4.56pmWhat an unlikely victory for the Villans, especially considering that they were 1-0 down and had not registered a single shot on target when the players left the field for half time. Yaya Toure gave City what was a more-than deserved lead with his sixth goal of the season, but Villa levelled five minutes after the interval through Karim El Ahmadi, who did look to be in an offside position when he fired beyond Hart.

4.58pmIt looked as if though Villa's equaliser would be just a minor blip for City on their way to a routine win when Edin Dzeko restored their advantage six minutes later, but Leandro Bacuna gave the hosts parity again with a wonderful free kick. And just moments later, Andreas Weimann capitalised on poor communication between City's central defenders to poke past Joe Hart and earn Paul Lambert's side victory, very much against the run of play!

5.02pmThat's it from me on a quite remarkable afternoon at Villa Park! Be sure to stay with Sports Mole for coverage of this evening's Premier League match between Swansea and Arsenal. Thanks for joining us today. Over and out...

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert watches his team during their Premier League match against Norwich on September 21, 2013
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