Championship
Aston Villa2Birmingham0

Aston Villa 2-0 Birmingham City

Aston Villa celebrate Albert Adomah's goal
Villa's victory lifted them into the automatic promotion places for the first time this season

Aston Villa eased to their seventh straight league win as they climbed to second in the Championship with a deserved derby triumph over Birmingham City.

Albert Adomah put Villa ahead on the hour, steering home his 13th league goal of season from 15 yards.

Conor Hourihane's superb dipping left-foot volley then sealed victory.

Cheikh Ndoye's stoppage-time red card for a second bookable offence further marred Blues' day.

The Senegal midfielder could have been dismissed earlier but he escaped punishment for a challenge on Jack Grealish, before being booked in the second half when he again brought down the Villa winger.

He was finally sent off after being part of a kerfuffle in the dying seconds.

Blues' best chances came before the break, when they hit the post through Sam Gallagher, and they were again denied by the woodwork when Marc Roberts' late header came back off the bar.

But, in a week marred by the loss of his father, Steve Bruce's Villa were much the better side against his former club, hitting the woodwork three times, the best effort from Scott Hogan.

For Steve Cotterill's Blues, who have looked a much improved side of late, it was only their second league defeat in eight games, to leave them just two points clear of trouble.

Villa, by contrast, are now into the automatic promotion places - one point clear of Gary Rowett's Derby, but 12 behind leaders Wolves - after winning seven straight league games for the first time since finishing top flight runners-up under Graham Taylor in 1990.

Aston Villa celebrate Conor Hourihane's goal
Conor Hourihane's volley was his eighth goal of the season for Villa

The first half belonged to Villa, who carved out a succession of good chances.

From a lovely move out of defence orchestrated by a great first-time pass by John Terry, Hogan cut in to smack a right-foot volley against the bar.

There were three clearing headers by Blues defenders from almost underneath their own bar, and Hogan had a close-range effort blocked after Grealish and Adomah had opened Blues up.

Adomah also cut in to unleash a fierce right-foot shot which was parried by Birmingham keeper David Stockdale, before then firing a low effort just wide.

Yet it was Blues, despite being hampered by an injury to David Davis, who wasted the best chance of the half.

Terry slipped after being tricked by Jacques Maghoma's beautifully steered through ball, allowing Gallagher clear down the right on goal, but the on-loan Southampton striker's low right-foot shot came back off the post, before he ballooned the rebound over.

Villa's class finally told when, fed by Grealish's perfectly weighted pass inside, top scorer Adomah cut in from the left to slide a low right-foot shot in off the despairing Stockdale's right post.

But the best was still to come when Hourihane chested down a half-clearance before powering forward to score a stunning second.

The match ended in an ugly mass confrontation following Ndoye's altercation with a grounded Mile Jedinak, followed by heated words with Terry - but only the two cards - both for Ndoye, a yellow, and then an accompanying red.

Post-match reaction

Aston Villa assistant manager Colin Calderwood told BBC Sport:

"Steve Bruce came in on Saturday. It was the first time the players had seen him this week and, from then, it's all been normal. He picked his team and picked his subs.

"He's a very family-orientated man but he's managed to control everything that's gone on in his personal life.

"He gave an excellent half-time team talk in terms of keeping them focused and calm, telling them 'don't be disappointed', that we just had to produce what we'd already done. And the goals came. A shaft of light. A moment of happiness.

"Derbies are good games to win and we're on a good run of derby wins. We'll enjoy the elation but we're all aware of what lies ahead. We have the future to take care of."

Birmingham City manager Steve Cotterill told BBC Sport:

"Quality, experience, belief. We weren't quite good enough to take them on.

"It was a bit big for a few of our younger boys. They have not performed as they have done in recent weeks.

"The way we've been playing, it gave everyone more belief that we could come and do something, that's why the disappointment is bigger. But we weren't good enough to take on a really experienced team.

"If Sam Gallagher's shot had gone in, it might have been different. But you just hope that this was a one-off as we've not shown a lot of anxiety over the last two months."

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1Johnstone
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 5Chester
  • 26Terry
  • 21Hutton
  • 15Jedinak
  • 7Snodgrass
  • 14Hourihane
  • 10GrealishSubstituted forBjarnasonat 84'minutes
  • 37AdomahSubstituted forWhelanat 89'minutes
  • 9HoganSubstituted forGrabbanat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Taylor
  • 6Whelan
  • 18Onomah
  • 20Bjarnason
  • 28Tuanzebe
  • 31Bunn
  • 45Grabban

Birmingham

  • 13Stockdale
  • 22JenkinsonBooked at 45mins
  • 4Roberts
  • 12DeanBooked at 62mins
  • 5Colin
  • 17NdoyeBooked at 90mins
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 19MaghomaSubstituted forJotaat 76'minutes
  • 26DavisSubstituted forAdamsat 82'minutes
  • 20Boga
  • 18Gallagher

Substitutes

  • 8Gardner
  • 10Jutkiewicz
  • 14Adams
  • 15Bramall
  • 27Jota
  • 28Morrison
  • 29Kuszczak
Referee:
Peter Bankes
Attendance:
41,233

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home14
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away6
Fouls
Home5
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Aston Villa 2, Birmingham City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aston Villa 2, Birmingham City 0.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City).

Attempt missed. Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Marc Roberts.

Marc Roberts (Birmingham City) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Jota with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by John Terry.

Attempt blocked. Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Glenn Whelan replaces Albert Adomah.

Attempt missed. Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lewis Grabban.

Foul by Lewis Grabban (Aston Villa).

David Stockdale (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Carl Jenkinson.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Birkir Bjarnason replaces Jack Grealish.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Che Adams replaces David Davis.

Goal!

Goal! Aston Villa 2, Birmingham City 0. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner following a set piece situation.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Carl Jenkinson (Birmingham City).

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Lewis Grabban replaces Scott Hogan.

Attempt missed. James Chester (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross following a set piece situation.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Carl Jenkinson (Birmingham City).

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Jota replaces Jacques Maghoma.

Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Maxime Colin (Birmingham City).

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Albert Adomah.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Attempt blocked. David Davis (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mile Jedinak.

Attempt blocked. John Terry (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by David Stockdale.

Attempt missed. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

Booking

Harlee Dean (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Harlee Dean (Birmingham City).

Goal!

Goal! Aston Villa 1, Birmingham City 0. Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

Booking

Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves31225456233371
2Aston Villa31178648272159
3Derby311610548242458
4Cardiff30167745271855
5Fulham311410752361652
6Bristol City31141074536952
7Preston31121363830849
8Sheff Utd31154124437749
9Middlesbrough311461140291148
10Brentford31111194340344
11Leeds31135134239344
12Ipswich31135134341244
13Norwich31128113134-344
14Millwall31912103634239
15QPR3199133344-1136
16Nottm Forest31112183550-1535
17Sheff Wed31713113238-634
18Reading3188153441-732
19Bolton3079142847-1930
20Birmingham3186172243-2130
21Hull31611144247-529
22Barnsley31610153045-1528
23Sunderland31511153455-2126
24Burton3167182458-3425
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