After 19 days without a league game following an outbreak of coronavirus, Villa were thrown straight back into the deep end with a trip to in-form City, who had won five consecutive Premier League matches.
Villa had defended superbly to repel City, with Matty Cash and Matt Target excellent in particular, and it looked increasingly like Pep Guardiola’s side would drop points at home.
Silva was denied by Emiliano Martinez at point-blank range in the best chance of the first half.
Joao Cancelo’s impressive performance at wingback was almost capped with a goal but he struck the crossbar as City’s frustrations continued after the restart.
Gundogan spurned a couple of chances, and it appeared to be one of those nights for City until Silva found the net with a delicious curling effort with just 11 minutes remaining. There was a suspicion Rodri was in an offside in the build-up, and Villa boss Dean Smith was sent off for remonstrating with the officials.
City’s push for a second goal was rewarded when Cash handled inside the box and referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot, with Gundogan putting gloss on the victory that lifts City above Manchester United ahead of their trip to Fulham later on Wednesday.