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Match Report


Posted Tue 22 Sep 15 at 22:11 PM

Report: Aston Villa 1 Blues 0

Birmingham City fell short in the second-city derby after a second-half Rudy Gestede goal sealed the win for the hosts.

Blues were the better side in the first half which saw Villa booed off at half-time before the hosts came out better in the second half to claim the win.

The two sides exchanged punches early on, in what was a pulsating start to the first second-city derby in nearly five years.

It took only three minutes for the hosts to create their first chance as Rudy Gestede dragged an effort wide from the edge of the area.

Blues responded swiftly and only two minutes later saw Jacques Maghoma's low effort fired inches wide of Brad Guzan's right-hand post.

Gary Rowett's side then saw Demarai Gray's free-kick drift safely into Guzan's arms in front of a bellowing Holte End.

Straight down the other end and a frantic goal-mouth scramble saw Gestede denied a certain goal by a superb last-gasp challenge from the returning David Davis.

After the opening exchanges, the game calmed down, with both sides enjoying spells of possession.

Twenty minutes in and Villa captain Micah Richards rose highest at an Ashley Westwood corner but his effort was never troubling Tomasz Kuszczak.

Then just before the half-hour mark, Villa hit a long-ball up to Gestede, whose header found Gabriel Agbonlahor on the right-hand side but his effort flashed across the face of goal and out for a goal-kick.

Moments later, Villa were caught in possession on the half-way line, allowing Maghoma to play in Clayton Donaldson but the striker couldn't get his shot away after being crowded out by Joleon Lescott and Richards.

Again, the persistence of Donaldson caused Ciaran Clark to panic on the ball only two minutes later, gifting Gray the chance to run at the Villa back-line, but the youngster over-hit his throughball which carried on through to Guzan.

Moments later the game showed glimpses of the opening ten minutes, firstly Maghoma, again threatening from the right saw his shot flash wide before Villa nearly hit Blues on the counter-attack through Scott Sinclair, thankfully for Blues Kuszczak was on hand to save at the near post.

With Gestede having the best chance to break the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes, Blues frustrated their ooponents and in turn the Villa fans in a half which Blues were arguably the better side.

After a disappointing first half from the home side, manager Tim Sherwood made a double switch with Jack Grealish and Jordan Ayew replacing Agbonlahor and Lescott.

Ten minutes into the second-half and with the hosts on the front foot. Leandro Bacuna got to the byline and whipped in a dangerous cross into the near post where Sinclair couldn't get enough purchase on the ball and headed well wide.

Maghoma carried on where he left off in the first half, after a sublime turn in the middle of the park. The winger surged into the box but his pull-back couldn't find Donaldson in the six-yard box who was waiting to slot home.

Then just after the hour Gestede - who had had the best chance of the match thus far - headed his side into the lead. The striker losing his marker in the box to nod home Jordan Amavi's cross.

Rowett responded swiftly replacing Davis with Jon Toral with the hope the Arsenal loanee would help get Blues back on level terms.

Demarai Gray then tried his luck. After some good passing play, Caddis picked out Gray in a central position, who fired his shot narrowly over Guzan's crossbar from 25-yards out.

Four minutes after and Gray set up Maghoma for Blues' best chance of the night. Gray sliding the ball through to Maghoma who found himself one-on-one with Guzan, but could only find the keepers' arms. Maghoma taking the shot first time, unaware of the time he had.

Scott Sinclair then went close. After Michael Morrison brought down Grealish, the winger curled his free-kick over the wall but not past Kuszczak who tipped wide.

Nicolai Brock-Madsen and Viv Solomon-Otabor were introduced after 80 minutes.

Sherwood's side almost doubled their lead a minute later. Jordan Veretout's shot was deflected inches wide by Sinclair.

Viv Solomon-Otabor had two chances after coming on, firstly at the far post, but the young winger didn't anticpate the ball making its way that far and fluffed his lines, before dragging an effort wide from the edge of the box.

Late on Blues had Kuszczak to thank for keeping them in the game. After Jordan Ayew weaved his way through the Blues defence, Kuszczak stuck out a hand at his near post to brilliantly deny the substitute.

Blues tried but couldn't find a route back into the match; Maghoma's effort the closest they came. A disappointing result, however, with plenty of positives to take away.

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