Match: Aston Villa v Birmingham City
Date: Sunday 25th November 2018
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: Villa Park
Kodjia (37), Grealish (39), Abraham (pen 51), Hutton (76)
Jutkiewicz (28), Pedersen (57)
Nyland; Hutton, Tuanzebe, Chester, Taylor; Hourihane, Whelan (Lansbury 69, Elmohamady 77); Adomah (Bolasie 65), Grealish, Kodjia; Abraham.
UNUSED SUBS: Bunn, Hogan, Bolasie, El Ghazi, O’Hare.
Story in brief
Three straight wins, nine goals – and derby day delight. Life is sweet for Villa right now.
In one of the most entertaining Second City derbies for many a year, Dean Smith’s side emerged victorious against the old enemy from across the city with goals from Jonathan Kodjia, Jack Grealish, Tammy Abraham and Alan Hutton.
And all this after Lukas Jutkiewicz put the visitors ahead and Che Adams almost doubled the lead when he hit the post from close range.
If that was a major let-off, though, Villa couldn’t have responded in more positive fashion.
In the 37th minute, Albert Adomah moved on to Hutton’s pass and clipped the ball back from the byeline. When it reached Kodjia, the striker quickly brought it under control before firing home a powerful 12-yard drive.
Two minutes later, Villa Park erupted as Adomah cut inside from the right to deliver a left-foot cross which Grealish converted with a diving header at the far post.
Six minutes after the break, Abraham added number three, sending keeper Lee Camp the wrong way from the penalty spot after being brought down by Michael Morrison, only for Kristian Pedersen to reduce the deficit with a close-range volley.
But Hutton had the final word when he made a forceful run through the heart of the Blues defence before stroking a left-foot shot into the bottom corner.
Prince Albert the provider…
He was last season’s leading scorer but this was a day when Albert Adomah excelled as a provider.
Three of Villa’s goals followed the winger’s excellent crosses from the right, and there might well have been another, had he not been clattered by the crude Wes Harding’s challenge which put him out of action.
No wonder he was given a standing ovation as, clearly in a lot of pain, he was given a piggy-back by physio Alan Smith back to the dressing room.
Like watching Brazil!
All four Villa goals were greeted with delight, and none more than the one which put the issue beyond doubt.
Alan Hutton had previously scored only once at Villa Park – against Leicester City in December 2014 – but this one was pretty special.
Starting his run inside Villa’s half, the man known as the Scottish Cafu surged into the visitors’ penalty area and then calmly slotted a low shot past keeper Lee Camp.
It was just like watching Brazil…
The Second City derby was Villa’s first home game for more than three weeks, but now we can look forward to another one in just three days.
In-form Nottingham Forest are at Villa Park on Wednesday (7.45pm), looking to maintain their promotion challenge after a 2-0 win at Hull City on Saturday.
It promises to be an entertaining contest.