Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert defended his captain Ciaran Clark after a moment of carelessness led to Manchester City's goal in the 1-0 defeat at Villa Park on Monday night.

Clark was caught in possession by Edin Dzeko when trying to be over-elaborate on the stroke of half-time.

The ball was threaded through to Carlos Tevez, who kept calm and cut back inside the box before firing home.

Central defender Clark claimed he had been fouled by Dzeko, but Lambert said he didn't agree.

"I know what Ciaran was trying to do," said the manager.

"You don't take a chance like that - you can't make that mistake.

"He's a young lad and he will come back stronger. He's been great over the season, at a really high standard, and he will learn."

Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan made several outstanding saves to keep his side in the game, but defeat kept Villa in the bottom three of the Premier League, level on points with Wigan, who are fourth from bottom.