Villa strikes winner for Barcelona
Saturday’s success means Barca equalled their best start to the season of six straight victories, a feat they have achieved four times previously and most recently in 2009-10.
They have 18 points, four ahead of Malaga, who thumped 10-man Real Betis 4-0, and will be at least eight ahead of Real when they host their arch-rivals next weekend.
Barcelona were perilously close to slipping up for the first time this season when Sevilla went 2-0 up at their Sanchez Pizjuan stadium through Piotr Trochowski and Alvaro Negredo.
With Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique injured, Vilanova deployed Alex Song at centre-back alongside fellow converted midfielder Javier Mascherano and they were each at fault for the Sevilla goals.
Fabregas then pulled a goal back for the visitors with a fierce left-foot drive in the 53rd minute and then levelled the scores in the 89th. The stage was set for Villa, and Spain’s record scorer ran through deep into added time and sent a left-foot shot past Andres Palop.
Tottenham Hotspur ended their Old Trafford hoodoo and beat Manchester United 3-2 there for the first time since 1989 to leave Chelsea, who beat Arsenal 3-1, three points clear in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Liverpool ended their worst start to a season for over a century with Luis Suarez scoring a hat-trick as they won 5-2 at Norwich City for their first league win at the sixth attempt.