Carlos Tevez kept Manchester City’s slim hopes of retaining the Premier League title alive as he earned Manchester City a 1-0 victory which left Aston Villa still rooted in the relegation zone on Monday.
Tevez punished Ciaran Clark’s calamitous mistake in first-half added time at Villa Park to enable second-placed City to move within 12 points of runaway leaders Manchester United.
It was far from a vintage performance from Roberto Mancini’s team, but the victory at least preserved their faint hopes of catching bitter rivals United.
It took City a while to get going and it was Villa who had the first real chance, when Christian Benteke’s header from Ashley Westwood’s corner was blocked on the line by Tevez.
But slowly as the first half progressed City started to dominate the game with David Silva pulling the strings. It was Solva whose pass split open the Villa defence, but Pablo Zabaleta shot hit the post.
American international Brad Guzan made two or three terrific saves to keep the game scoreless and just when it looked the half would finish 0-0, Džeko pick-pocketed Ciaran Clark and teed up Tévez, who skipped round Guzan to score.
Both teams created chances in an open second half. First Gabriel Agbonlahor headed over from an Andreas Weimann’s cross, before Matthew Lowton flashed a thunderous strike wide. City, who rattled the woodwork again through Yaya Touré, held their nerve to leave Villa third from bottom and restore their lead over third place Spurs to five points.