The visitors fought back on the stroke of half-time when Marlon Harewood slotted past Brad Friedel to level against his former club after a neat backheel from Matt Phillips.
Villa again took the lead on the hour-mark when teenager Nathan Delfouneso finished a brilliant pass from Young but Ian Holloway’s men managed another equalizer when substitute DJ Campbell struck from the edge of the area, his shot deflecting off James Collins before looping over Friedel to make it 2-2 in the 87th minute.
But thankfully for Villa fans, Collins made amends by pinching victory with a last-minute header from Downing’s corner to give Gerard Houllir’s men maximum points, moving them up to tenth as Blackpool slid to 14th.
Brad Friedel (gk), Richard Dunne, James Collins, Stephen Warnock, Luke Young, Ciaran Clark, Barry Bannan (Lichaj 90’), Ashley Young, Stewart Downing, Marc Albrighton (Ireland 81’), Nathan Delfouneso (Agbonlahor 64’)
Richard Kingson (gk), Rob Edwards, Dekel Keinan (Evatt 75’), David Carney, Chris Basham, Ludovic Sylvestre, Keith Southern, Marlon Harewood (Campbell 77’), Jason Euell (Adam 72’), Brett Ormerod, Matthew Phillips
Subs - Matthew Gilks (gk), Charlie Adam (72’), Ian Evatt (75’), DJ Campbell (77’)