Roberto Mancini insisted that City's return to the top of the Barclays Premier League should have been more comfortable after a nail-biting finish at Villa Park.
Joleon Lescott's 63rd-minute winner was enough in the end to go two points clear but in needed a brilliant Joe Hart save in time added on despite City's domination of the game.
The Blues boss said: "It was a difficult game, but we knew it would be before the game. We were unlucky but in the end we deserved to win. We deserved to score maybe three or four goals.
"They had only one chance, they didn't have any for 90 minutes. I think we had ten. But it would have been better to score two goals to take all the risk away before the end.
"It is important that we win away like we were doing at the start of the season. We had 70 per cent of the possession, but Aston Villa are a strong team and they defend very well.
The guys played some fantastic football. We had a lot of chances to score in the first half, all we were missing was a goal
England keeper Hart, watched by interim national boss Stuart Pearce, won huge acclaim by pulling off a superb one-handed late save from Villa striker Darren Bent.
Mancini said: "Joe is young, and there are other goalkeepers with more experience. He's one of the best. He can improve but he has many assets and could become one of the top keepers."
Man of the match Gareth Barry added: "They're talking about Joe making a world-class save but he's making saves like that every match, not just today."
Mancini, asked about the possibility of Carlos Tevez's return said: "My reaction is always the same. We are here, and Carlos knows the situation. Carlos is a Manchester City player.
"We are in Manchester, we are always there. Nothing has changed (in that respect) in three months."