West Brom 1-2 Villa memory match: Carew/Agbonlahor on target
Villa's superiority was rarely in question in this instalment of what many people regard as a bigger event than the Second City derby.
For 20 minutes or so, Albion enjoyed greater possession and produced attractive football which was pleasing on the eye without ever really threatening to cause the claret and blue defence any real problems.
Even during that early period, though, Villa created the best opening, John Carew sending a header just wide from Ashley Young's curling free-kick - and then Martin O'Neill's side took over with a vengeance, scoring twice in little over a minute.
The first was another Carew header from another Young free-kick and this time the Norwegian striker directed his effort in off the right hand post.
Then, after Young had provided a searching passing from inside his own half, a poor clearance by Leon Barnett fell to Gabby Agbonlahor, who accelerated away from Jonas Olsson before sending a low angled drive past former Villa loan goalkeeper Scott Carson and into the far corner.
To Albion's credit, they refused to wilt, reducing the deficit five minutes later when James Morrison stabbed home at close range after Brad Friedel had parried Robert Koren's shot from the edge of the penalty area.
If Villa's keeper was arguably at fault with that one, he more than redeemed himself on the stroke of half-time, brilliantly tipping aside a header from Do-Heon Kim which had equaliser written all over it.
The dependable Martin Laursen completed the clearance by booting the ball away from the danger zone and it was the last time Friedel was seriously inconvenienced as Villa had things very much their own way in the second half.
Although they were unable to add to their lead, Carew might easily have had a hat-trick, seeing a 51st minute shot shave the far upright before sending a downward header against the same post from a Stiliyan Petrov cross two minutes later.
Nigel Reo-Coker was close to scoring, too, his skidding drive being tipped away by Carson at full stretch.
By stark contrast, all the Baggies could muster was a Gianni Zuiverloon drive which dipped not far over and a close-range shot from ex-Villa striker Luke Moore which was deflected for a corner.
A packed Hawthorns had been buzzing before the break.
By the end, it was merely a pleasant stroll in the Sunday afternoon sunshine for Villa as they recorded their third away win in seven days.
Watch the extended highlights of the game on AVTV.
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