Jack Grealish’s 67th-minute winner settled an gruesome Second City derby, but Aston Villa’s second victory over Birmingham City this season will be remembered no longer for the just but for an assault on the visiting skipper by a spectator from the house fragment.
City boom they’ll ban for existence the person, who turned into valid away arrested following the tenth-minute incident in which he ran on to the pitch at the house Tilton Waste and punched Grealish from within the abet of.
Though Grealish recovered to ranking Villa’s winner, the leisure of a heated contest turned into performed out below a cloud.
Villa may maybe maybe perchance enjoy received by more if, quickly after their just, Conor Hourihane had no longer hit the bar from Grealish’s circulation.
However Blues then wasted two pleasing gradual chances when Villa broken-down boy Craig Gardner, on instead, blazed over the bar from finish differ earlier than bulleting a header valid previous the post.
Because it turned into, Villa climb above Blues to ninth within the Championship table, abet within four parts of the play-off locations.
- Jack Grealish attacked by spectator in Birmingham v Aston Villa sport
- Relive Villa’s victory at opponents Birmingham
Grealish at centre of early action
The incident which sparked the unwell feeling within the gang sooner than the assault on Grealish turned into house midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld’s gradual situation on the Villa captain, in most attention-grabbing the fourth minute.
He turned into booked, valid as he had been for his earlier substandard on Grealish in Blues’ 4-2 dangle at Villa Park in November.
Then again it turned into clearly no longer received smartly by the Blues followers, who noisily urged that Grealish had been over-theatrical within the map in which he fell to the bottom.
And 6 minutes later, when Grealish turned into up in relief of a Villa payment at the Tilton Waste, he turned into attacked from within the abet of by a spectator, who had by hook or by crook avoided the road of orange and yellow-jacketed stewards to arrangement his map on to the pitch.
After Grealish had been picked up off the bottom and given the move-forward to proceed, the sport took a while to reignite.
However both facets had chances earlier than the break.
Home keeper Lee Camp saved in conjunction with his legs from Anwar El Ghazi earlier than Villa top scorer Tammy Abraham ballooned an effort over at the finish to post, while claiming he had been hampered.
On the other end, Blues’ top scorer Che Adams noticed a shot from 25-yards cruise valid wide.
Substitutions boom key for Villa
The second half of proved valid as competitive and as no longer going to yield a winner, till Villa’s double substitution when they launched Andre Inexperienced and John McGinn.
First Inexperienced turned into denied a just from his initial contact when he received his head to Grealish’s cutback from the byeline, most attention-grabbing to be blocked by Wes Harding.
Then Grealish himself took centre stage, latching onto McGinn’s crossfield ball earlier than weaving his map into the field to string his low shot inner Camp’s left upright.
Shouts for a penalty had been waved away by overworked ref Tim Robinson at the house end when Adams went down, and Gardner must enjoy accomplished better with both his chances.
However Villa had the cutting edge when it mattered most.
Grealish supplied ‘most attention-grabbing answer’ – post-match response
Aston Villa supervisor Dean Smith educated BBC Sport:
“Jack Grealish is a feeble lad, and he answered smartly. There turned into most attention-grabbing one formulation to answer to that and that turned into to pop up with a winner bask in he did.
“I’m with out a doubt pleased with the map in which he handled it. He most attention-grabbing came off as he turned into knackered, cramping up.
“It turned into a scrappy derby in subtle stipulations but we had been the upper team within the second half of and deserved to carry.
“Plenty has been fabricated from the Birmingham City team spirit, but we showed a amount of spirit ourselves. Prerequisites had been tricky but we achieve in a gritty efficiency.”
Birmingham City supervisor Garry Monk educated BBC Sport:
“We with out a doubt feel gutted. Or no longer it’s far a painful one for us. We prefer to retract ourselves up for the sport here on Wednesday (at house to Millwall).
“It turned into performed in subtle stipulations, but we did sufficient to warrant as a minimum a level. We valid gave them too necessary house for his or her just.
“We had our chances but the ball valid didn’t prefer to head in.
“And, as for the situation on Che Adams within the field, if that had took location anyplace else on the pitch, it may maybe maybe perchance enjoy been a substandard.”