Match: Aston Villa v Derby County
Date: February 25, 2017
Venue: Villa Park
Weather: 9C, cloudy
James Chester (25)
Villa recorded their first win of 2017 thanks to James Chester’s first goal for the club.
But the match ended on a sour note when Leandro Bacuna was sent off in the last minute of stoppage time for confronting a linesman after a throw-in decision had gone against him.
Villa were twice close to scoring during an enterprising first 10 minutes.
Henri Lansbury sent a right-foot drive flashing just wide from the edge of the penalty area and then Chester saw a fine header tipped over by Scott Carson following a well-worked free-kick.
Thankfully, Steve Bruce’s men held on for three crucial points which were clinched by Chester’s 25th-minute breakthrough.
Jonathan Kodjia put the visitors defence under pressure when Henri Lansbury swung in the flag kick from the right, and Chester flicked the ball up off his knee before heading past Carson from close range.
Andre Green was desperately unlucky not to open his Villa account just after the interval, the youngster sending a diving header against the far post following Leandro Bacuna’s deep cross.
But it took an acrobatic 75th-minute save by Sam Johnstone to deny Bent an equaliser as Derby dominated in the closing stages.
Villa red card
Bacuna (violent conduct)
VILLA: Johnstone; Hutton, Chester (c), Baker, Taylor; Lansbury, Jedinak; Adomah (Amavi 71), Bacuna, Green (Bjarnason 74); Kodjia (Gardner 88). Unused subs: Bunn, Elphick, Bree, Grealish.
DERBY: Carson; Christie, Keogh (49), Pearce, Lowe; de Sart, Butterfield (Nugent 65), Hughes; Ince, Russell (Bennett 74), Bent. Unused subs: Mitchell, Bryson, Anya, Olsson.
Referee: Andrew Madley
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Dwyer
Assistant referee 2: Mark Russell
Fourth Official: Peter Wright