However, City were then reduced to 10-men on the stroke of half-time when John Stones were shown a straight red card after a challenge on Jacob Ramsey.
On a night of high drama in the Midlands, Villa were then also reduced to 10 men early after the restart as Matty Cash was shown a red card for a foul on Foden with an impressive City holding firm to secure a deserved victory.
City had resumed league action seeking to make a positive start – instead we were rocked on our heels by a bolt from the Claret and Blue as Villa stormed into the lead inside 20 seconds.
A long curling ball from Tyrone Mings put Ollie Watkins clear on the left flank and his cutback found John McGinn who fired a crisp first-time left foot shot from 12 yards past Ederson.
It was the quickest goal we had conceded in Premier League history.
With Villa’s tails up, it needed a brave fifth minute block from Kyle Walker to block Douglas Luiz’s close range shot and prevent the hosts from potentially doubling their advantage.
However, Guardiola’s men dusted themselves down and soon assumed our trademark territorial dominance, zipping the ball about with pace and poise.
And on 22 minutes City were deservedly level thanks to Phil Foden’s wonderful strike.
With City motoring up through the gears, it seemed only a matter of time before we struck again and a second goal duly arrived on 40 minutes.
However, an action-packed first half then saw City reduced to 10 men when John Stones was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Jacob Ramsey after a lengthy VAR check by referee Peter Bankes.
Villa may have had the early second half numerical advantage but City continued to look to stretch and threaten Villa at every opportunity.
And on 57 minutes, the hosts were themselves were reduced to 10 men when Matty Cash, already on a yellow, was dismissed for a rash challenge on the irrepressible Foden.
There is something about Wednesday nights which brings the best out in City.
Tonight’s victory means we have now won 15 successive Premier League fixtures on Wednesdays, the best run on a specific day other than Saturday in the competition's history.
Our latest triumph on the road also made it a 10th successive Premier League away victory for Guardiola’s side.
It’s a remarkable effort and means we are the first team to achieve the feat more than once, having won 11 top flight games in a row between May-December 2017.
Man of the match
Phil Foden was again at the heart of so much of City’s best work.
A superb 14th goal of the season summed up another superb display by the England international who once again married inspiration with perspiration in aid of the team and was a threat all night long.
He just gets better and better.
"We played so good. After 10 against 11 and after Cash was sent off, it was a really good performance. The Premier League is the most important title to win.
"We controlled the game when it was 10 against 10. It was late [John Stones' challenge] but the intention was no. Now because we have won I am happy. If we had lost I'd be unhappy.
"We did a good game. This guy [Phil Foden] is growing. His influence in our games is massive. He's becoming a serious player. Phil right now is becoming such an important player. His influence in the final third is so important."
Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings (C), Targett, McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Nakamba (Barkley 63), Traore (El Gahzi 75), Watkins, Ramsey (Davis 45)
Subs: Heaton, Hause, Taylor, Engels, Chukwuemeka, Elmohamady
What it means
Our latest league win means we stretch our lead at the top of the table to 11 points with five games remaining.
The mathematics mean that regardless of what second-placed Manchester United do in their six remaining matches, eight more points and we will be Premier League champions.
City return to Wembley for the second time in eight days this Sunday, this time to tackle Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup final.
We will be seeking a fourth successive League Cup final success with kick-off getting underway at 16.30pm (GMT)
News about A Villa v Man City
Match Recap: Villa 1-2 City
City edged closer to the Premier League title with a superb win at Aston Villa on Wednesday. Watch more
Guardiola: Villa triumph a 'hugely important victory'
Pep Guardiola hailed our excellent 2-1 win at Aston Villa as a 'hugely important victory' and the perfect response to last Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final loss to Chelsea. Watch more
Fernandinho: Every game is like a cup final
Mental fortitude and team togetherness were both vital in helping City beat Aston Villa, according to Fernandinho. Watch more
Aston Villa 1-2 City: Extended highlights
Watch extended match action of Manchester City’s crucial Premier League victory away at Aston Villa. Watch more
Aston Villa 1-2 City: Brief Highlights
Enjoy the best of the action from our crucial Premier League triumph at Aston Villa. Watch more
City edge closer to the title | Man City Podcast episode 45
City are now eight points away from our third Premier League title in four seasons after a 2-1 win away at Aston Villa. Watch more
Aston Villa 1-2 City: Full-match replay
Watch the entire 90-minutes of Manchester City's 2-1 Premier League over Aston Villa on CITY+. Watch more
Dickov and Dunne salute ‘massive win’
Paul Dickov and Richard Dunne believe City’s 2-1 win at Aston Villa may be one of the most important of the season. Read more
‘De Bruyne much better’: Guardiola provides fitness update
Pep Guardiola says the injury which kept Kevin De Bruyne out of Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa is not as serious as first feared. Read more