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Hart On The Victory Over Aston Villa: "We Needed That"

City earned three points and returned to second place in the table following a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa at the Etihad.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

City edged Aston Villa in a nerve-wracking fixture.

Brad Guzan's howler gifted Sergio Aguero and City with a goal just three minutes into the match. It took City over an hour of game time to score a second, but Aleksandar Kolarov split the wall on a deft free kick to double the lead.

Too easy, right?

Just two minutes later, Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley found the back of the net when Joe Hart was caught some ten yards out from his cage. 2-1.

On a Villa corner in the 85th minute, Carlos Sanchez (a defensive midfielder who had not scored all season) cooly tucked the ball away to bring the visitors level.

Fernandinho to the rescue? Fernandinho to the rescue.

Fernandinho's acrobatic volley off Kolarov's corner not only proved to be the game-winner, but it also catapulted City back into second place after Manchester United were clobbered by Everton and Arsenal played to a scoreless draw with league leaders Chelsea.

It was a scintillating 3-2 victory for City, but it feels a bit sweeter if you dismiss the fact that Villa have only won eight games all season and are experiencing one of their worst ever Premier League campaigns. City's struggles against incredibly average opponents continue to be a cause for concern, and while Villa looked a dangerous side in spurts, this team does have a goal difference of minus-22.

But the focus is basically solely on results right now. Playing beautiful football is desirable, but we have seen Manuel Pellegrini's side dominate possession and still lose. Villa actually managed the majority of the possession (55 percent), but City locked up three points and are now sitting on 67 points (along with Arsenal, who have a game in hand).

Joe Hart was certainly pleased with the three points:

"We needed that. It means the world to us to win games.

"We want to finish as high as we can. Second place is in our grasp."

Pellegrini added:

"Today we didn't play as well, but we had the spirit and fight to win in the last five minutes despite their late equaliser."

Yaya Toure made way for Fernandinho, as the Ivorian was unable to play the second half due to a hamstring injury. As it stands now, Toure's status is unclear as City prepare for their trip to White Hart Lane to face Spurs.

Regarding Toure's injury, Pellegrini said:

"It is difficult to know today what will happen, but it was not a precaution."