The Second City bragging rights belong to Aston Villa, as Dean Smith’s men defeated Birmingham City 4-2 at Villa Park. An Alan Hutton stunner capped off a memorable result. Jack Grealish also stepped up to score his first against Birmingham and his second in two games.
The only change since the international break saw Glenn Whelan replace John McGinn in the heart of the Villa midfield. The Scot’s absence was for all to see in the first half, with the away side asserting control of the game. After a succession of corners the,y scored their first goal at Villa Park for ten years.
Conor Mahoney’s corner was converted at the back post by Lucas Jutkiewicz. The striker tapped in at the far post, as Whelan lost the run of Birmingham’s top scorer. Orjan Nyland didn’t cover himself in glory either, falling to the floor on his goal line under little pressure from Che Adams.
The away side could have doubled their advantage moments later as Villa failed to react to conceding first. Craig Gardner’s cross from the left side was met by Adams, but his effort crashed the post after he stretched in-front of James Chester to meet the wide delivery.
Wake up call
It was, however, the wake-up call the hosts needed. Alan Hutton and Albert Adomah linked up well on the right flank. With the latter standing up across from the by-line, and with Michael Morrison failing to deal with the danger, his header fell to Jonathan Kodjia. The Ivorian steadied himself before clinically striking beyond Lee Camp, to draw the scores level on the 35th minute.
It took Villa three minutes to turn the game on its head. Boyhood fan Grealish heading home, minutes before the interval. After clever work from Adomah on the right flank, he swept an accurate cross towards the far post. Which was met but the courageous Grealish whose celebration evoked every emotion the home faithful felt.
Despite the performance not warranting a half-time lead, Villa found themselves on the right end of a two-goal advantage. Tammy Abraham won and converted a spot-kick five minutes after the break.
Once more, Adomah’s delivery caused problems for Birmingham, who failed to deal with the technique of Abraham. The striker controlled the flight of the ball superbly before Morrison fouled the Chelsea loanee. Abraham cooly placed towards the left side of Lee Camp, putting the hosts in comfortable control.
Late Birmingham comeback
Villa Park was rocking, but Villa switched off to allow the away side a chance of getting back into the game. With four men ball watching in the box, Che Admas’ cross was volleyed past Nyland by Kristian Pederson as he ghosted past a lacklustre defence. Against the run of play Birmingham had pulled back a goal.
It was soon cancelled out after Hutton scored one of the great derby goals, putting Villa 4-2 ahead. The Scot picked up the ball ten yards inside his own half, before beating four Blues players and composing himself to roll into the back of the net. A chorus of Scottish Cafu rung around B6 to cap a result that’ll be remembered as one of the best Second City derbies of recent memory.