Alert to tip Kompany's powerful header over the bar and was rarely tested thereafter despite City's late pressure. Good distribution throughout and communicated well with his defenders.
Towering performance from the central defender as he bullied Tevez out of the game for long periods. As City piled forward, managed to get a head or a toe on the ball to keep it away from goal.
Looked uncomfortable at left-back and it showed as he was booked for a rash late challenge on Dzeko. Vastly improved in the second half, even after the introduction of the tricky Johnson.
Scraped with Dzeko and usually came out on top and he used his muscle and weight to good effect. Seemed to always know where the ball was going and proved a point both to his former club and his current manager, who left him out of the side before Christmas.
Solid overall performance from the Spaniard, who defended stoutly and bravely but was sometimes caught on by Kolarov's runs from deep.
Kept Villa ticking in midfield as he made himself available for the ball and produced clever passes. Highest praise is that he looked as though he had been playing in central midfield his whole career.
The Villa captain set the tempo in midfield with his aggressive pressing and quick passing. Left nothing on the pitch before he was substituted a couple of minutes from time.
A real attacking threat for Villa was his aggression, pace and sweet right foot as the youngster linked up well with Young and Downing. Tenacious but occasionally abdicated responsibility and allowed Kolarov to bomb forward.
The most threatening player for the hosts in the early stages as he picked the ball up in space and drove at the City defence. Lovely curling shot towards the corner resulted in Bent turning home the opener and fierce drive after the break had Hart at full stretch.
The £24m signing sure likes a debut and he turned home the opener with his first touch of note in the game. He's made a career out of scoring crucial goals and produced another one here. Worked hard on his own up front, particularly late on as Villa needed every player defending.
Direct running and sheer speed wide on the left stretched the City defence and Roberto Mancini was visibly worried. Lacked the final delivery but kept working and was unselfish.
Excellent diving save to keep out Young's shot but could do nothing as Bent turned in the rebound. Solid handling to hold on to fierce strikes from Young and Downing in the second half.
Won every 50-50 duel he was involved in, whether the ball was in the air or on the floor. Powerful, athletic and excellent at reading the game.
Caught on his heels as Bent nipped in to score but very impressive at the other end of the pitch. Produced some lovely crosses from set-pieces with his dangerous left foot and charged forward at every opportunity.
Busy evening up against the pace of Agbonlahor and dealt well despite being beaten on a couple of occasions. Dangerous crosses when he ventured forward, including one that Barry headed just wide and tested Friedel with a thunderous drive in the second half.
The Ivorian was assured for the most part as he stayed alert to cut off passes and track the dangerous Bent.
Deployed in a deeper role than usual but was able to start attacking moves with accurate passing and clever movement.
The Spanish playmaker prompted and probed but once again was not at his best. Some touches of class but lacked the sharpness to wriggle into space or pick out a killer pass in the final third.
N. de Jong
The dutch hardman was re-united was World Cup final referee Howard Webb but there were no signs of any controversial kung-fu kicks. Provided energy, bite and steal at the base of City's midfield and late drive hit the post via a deflection.
Booed by the home fans on his return to Villa Park and didn't have the best of days as he was substituted in the 57th minute. Little involvement other than a glancing header in the first half that went just wide of the target as the visitors looked for an equaliser.
No faulting his effort but the City captain looked frustrated as Villa allowed him no time on the ball. When he did find space to shoot, there was a claret and blue body flying in to block it.
Clever feet and intelligent movement from the Bosnian but he was not presented with the golden opportunity he craved until the final 10 minutes when he headed wide. Looked slightly ponderous when running with the ball, perhaps reflecting a lack of sharpness following the winter break in Germany.