Full-time - 90'
1 - 0
17:30 +00:00, January 22, 2011
Villa Park, England
Referee: Howard Webb
FULL TIME A great win for Villa, and Bent is the hero. City lose ground on their title rivals, but they truth is they couldn't break down a spirited Villa side who defended for their lives.
Final fling for City as a free kick is given. Hart goes up!
Now Agbonlahor is clipped by Boateng before fouling Johnson. Thirty seconds left.
Yaya Toure clips Downing as Villa try and keep the ball to run the clock down.
Three minutes added..
Dunne misses a cross for once, but Collins is behind him to nod clear.
Reo-Coker comes on in place of the quite clearly knackered Petrov.
A rare chance for Villa as Albrighton gets round Kolarov and crosses and Ashley Young tucks it wide at the near post.
Another opening for Kolarov as the corner (City's 13th) falls to him at the back post, but he went for power over placement and blazes wide.
Now Kolarov's effort from the edge of the box flicks off Collins, then Cuellar and drops wide of the post.
Now Dzeko gets up to meet a cross but nods wide. Clark did well there, he almost sat on the ball. It was ungainly but he prevented a goal, that's for sure.
Off the post! De Jong's shot flicks off Clark and dribbles onto the post!
For a second it looks like Johnson has earned a sight of goal but Dunne is across again.
A rare forray upfield for Villa as Albrighton crosses but only Bent is in the box and Kolo Toure clears.
Last ditch blocks from Downing and Cuellar as Villa repel another City attack.
Villa are very deep now, sitting on the edge of their box but City can't find a way through.
A goal-saving block from Collins as Johnson's cross fell for Tevez to volley nine yards out. Excellent defending.
Downing ends a Villa break with a shot but he hits it right at Hart. City starting to get desperate now.
The corner comes out to Johnson and he has a go but it was always high and wide.
A brief sight of goal from Dzeko but Dunne is across to block his effort.
Another poor finish to a once promising move. Johnson gets into the area but is then crowded out, and eventually Kolarov smashes a shot well wide.
A really poor ball from Silva as City run out of ideas.
Good cross from Dzeko but Yaya Toure can't climb high enough to nod it goalwards.
What a shame. Collins fires a superb ball behind Dzeko but Albrighton's first time cross troubles the crowd more than Hart.
Great trickery from Albrighton and Kolarov clears him out.
Dunne does well to get across and clear as Silva look to feed Johnson into space down the right. The game is becoming a little more stretched.
Cracking turn from Young and a good hit but Hart is across and parries behind for a corner.
Now Young gets to the byline and pulls the ball back but Kompany clears, then Dzeko wins a corner at the other end as Dunne diverts his cross behind.
Panic from City as Hart's clearance falls to Albrighton but Kolarov saves his 'keeper with a challenge.
Petrov is down with a knock and Reo-Coker is preparing to come on.
Friedel does well to get behind Boateng's speeding drive, just after Tevez's shot had been blocked well by Collins on the box edge.
It's just not happening for City in the final third. Some of their approach play is neat but they lack that killer touch.
Tevez smiles wryly as he is penalised for a shove on Richard Dunne as they went for a long ball.
Perhaps the former Boro man will inject a bit of life into City. They've looked flat today.
That is Barry's last involvement as he makes way for Johnson, much to the delight of Villa's fans.
Yaya Toure shows good pace and slides a ball into Barry, but he had strayed offside when he really shouldn't have done.
Tevez escapes Dunne's attentions but then can't find Silva who was bursting through the middle.
A poor clearance from Albrighton hands Toure possession but he can't find Tevez, then Bent gets a cheer as he gets back to disrupt Silva's attempt to cross.
A dawdling Dzeko slows a City break. He looks a little rusty still.
Tevez twists and wins a corner but as Dezko meets Kolarov's ball he nods over under pressure from Dunne.
Silva finds Dzeko in space but he looks a bit lumbering before eventually getting a shot off. Collins blocks.
Silva shimmies past Dunne and then goes to ground but Howard Webb doesn't give a foul. There was definitely a nudge.
An early opening inside the box for Tevez, but he tries a very ambitious left foot volley from a tight angle.
KICK OFF No changes for either side.
Richard Jolly was at Molineux earlier to see Kenny Dalglish record his first win as Liverpool boss. Read his take on it here.
And while you are at it here is a link to our live Premier League table.
To catch up on all today's Premier League action have a read of our wrap here.
Villa's new man celebrates his goal.
HALF TIME Villa end the half with a fizzing shot from Downing but Hart, again, is right behind it. Changes needed if City are to get back in it.
Fierce effort from Young as Albrighton's cross is cleared to him, but Hart is right behind it.
Villa are developing a nasty habit of handing the ball back to City whenever they get it. Pressure building.
Young is caught as Barry goes in to challenge him. Before that Agbonlahor wasted decent possession on the left flank.
City's sixth corner kick yields nothing, as Barry takes.
A novelty, as Nigel De Jong gets battered by Albrighton. A cheer goes up from a number of people I imagine. Especially Hatem Ben Arfa.
Kolarov looks like a fine attacking player. He wins another corner, which he will take.
Great early cross from Boateng and Barry, leaning back, flicks it on and has only missed the target by a matter of inches.
As the corner is cleared Albrighton turns it back in but though Dunne gets his head to it, Hart claims easily. City charge down field and Dzeko does well to get in the area and win a corner.
Agbonlahor wins a corner off Kompany after Bent flicked a header into his path.
Dzeko loses possession and Tevez tugs back Young as Villa looked to counter. Lucky not to see yellow is young Carlos.
Now Agbonlahor tries to release Bent early but again the pass is too strong.
Lovely play from Yaya Toure, who turns Petrov, feeds Kolarov but his cross is too fast for Dzeko to get on the end of.
Kolarov again is tracked well by Albrighton, who concedes the throw in.
Young skips round Barry and tries to fizz a ball into Bent but it is just a tad too strong.
A rueful Shay Given looks on from the bench. I'm not sure he'd have spilled that shot. I think Hart thought Young's shot was going faster than it was, hence his early dive.
Villa are playing with confidence now and City are struggling to find their targets.
Cuellar charges down the right but only has Bent in the box to aim at. Hart claims the cross.
Dunne wins a header at the back post after Downing's delivery but Barry is there to tidy up.
Now Boateng bumps into Young and Villa have a free kick wide left.
Clark will be carded now for a lunge on Dzeko. It's late and nasty, and will be a yellow card.
This one is a carbon copy of the first as Kolo Toure collects and strikes on goal but Dunne blocks.
Another Kolarov corner causes problems as Kompany gets a free header and Friedel tips it over smartly.
Those of you who slotted Bent straight into your fantasy team (if he wasn't there already) are rewarded.
What a story. the £18 million man scores in the 18th minute! Hart perhaps at fault, as Young's shot didn't seem to carry much power at all.
Incredible! His first kick is a goal! Agbonlahor feeds Young, his early shot is saved by Hart but Bent is there to slot the rebound home.
GOAL Bent scores!
Kolarov's second corner is a belter but somehow Tevez fails to connect from three yards out with the goal at his mercy. Should be 1-0.
The corner falls to Kolo Toure at the back post but he is off balance as he has a pop on goal and the ball sails over the bar.
Kolarov furrows down the left and wins a corner from Albrighton.
Excellent intervention from Petrov as Barry charged towards the box with numbers in support.
Kolarov takes the kick but hits it too long and Friedel watches it sail past his post.
Silva looks for Tevez as Dunne gives away possession but Clark does well. Then a few seconds later he charges in late on Tevez and concedes a free kick on the right wing.
Now Agbonlahor's snapshot nearly falls into the path of Bent, who I can't remember having a kick so far.
Villa coming into the game now as Cuellar finds Petrov in the inside right channel and an outstretched leg from Kompany prevents his cross hurtling into the six yard box.
Barry's arm catches Petrov and Villa have another free kick.
Young's free kick curls to the back stick when Dunne gets up and loops a header over the bar. Should have been a corner perhaps, as it glanced off Kompany.
Kompany charges into Young and gives away a free kick. No need to make a challenge at all.
Tevez tries to release Dzeko but Dunne slides in and wins the throw in.
Bent already looking a little isolated as Young and Agbonlahor sit in on the wings.
City in possession for the opening minute.
City have a big goal threat of their own of course, with Dzeko, Tevez, Silva and Yaya Toure pushing on. We should see goals. The teams are out....
Jean Makoun has been paraded to Villa's fans after his move from Lyon, but all the focus is on Darren Bent. With Albrighton, Downing, Young and Agbonlahor supporting Bent, Villa look lively.
City recall Gareth Barry, Edin Dzeko, Nigel de Jong and Kolo Toure who missed the midweek FA Cup replay with Leicester at Eastlands.
As predicted, Darren Bent is handed a Villa debut after his big-money move from Sunderland. Ashley Young is back after his ban while Carlos Cuellar slots in at right-back.
Good evening everyone and welcome to live coverage of Manchester City's trip to Aston Villa. City can go level at the top with Manchester United with a win, while Villa start the game just one place away from the drop zone.
Carlos Jimenez Cuellar
Nigel De Jong