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  • Date:2010-04-25
  • Kick-off:12:00
  • Venue:Villa Park
  • Attendance:42788
  • Referee:Atkinson, M

Live Commentary

94mins

Full Time: Aston Villa 1-0 Birmingham. The final whistle goes and the bragging rights go the way of the fans in Claret. Milner's late spot kick gives Villa the three points despite a superb performance from Birmingham.

93mins

Time ticks away at Villa Park as Young holds the ball in the corner before winning his side a free-kick.

91mins

Four minutes of stoppage time. Birmingham still have time!

90mins

Villa seem to be on course for another derby win as we move into stoppage time but Birmingham will feel hard done by if they come away with this for nothing.

87mins

Stephen Carr gets to the byline and stands the ball up to the back post, its over the head of Phillips but Fahey meets it at the far post but he can only nod over the top.

85mins

Alex McLeish brings on his 'go-to guy' Kevin Phillips as he comes on for Craig Gardner.

83mins

ASTON VILLA 1-0 BIRMINHAM. Milner steps up with confidence and strikes the ball cleanly into the corner to put Villa ahead.

82mins

Carr is also booked for trying to put off James Milner.

82mins

Johnson is cautioned.

81mins

Agbonlahor skips into the box and goes past Johnson who dives in, perhaps gets a chunk of the ball but the referee still gives the penalty despite furious Birmingham protests.

78mins

Young whips the corner in and again Dunne meets it with a powerful header but it flies just over the top. Villa are all of a sudden alive.

78mins

Agbonlahor and Heskey link up and Heskey is free in the box and he lifts the ball over Hart but the keeper gets something on it and it somehow squirts wide of the post. What a chance and plenty on show to impress Capello in the stands.

76mins

Parnaby comes on to replace the verteran Vignal.

76mins

Fahey is on for Larsson who is clearly frustrated at being withdrawn.

76mins

A free-kick is awarded to Birmingham for a handball by Cuellar and Larsson whips it in but McFadden is just beaten to the ball by an outstretched Villa leg.

73mins

Aston Villa probe the Birmingham defence with a decent spell of possession in midfield but the visitor's defence holds firm and they twice clear downfield.

70mins

Carew comes off for Heskey in a like for like swap in the Villa attack.

68mins

Young delivers a free-kick from the right hand side and picks out Dunne arriving in the box but his header only finds the roof of the net.

67mins

Gardner's cross is headed down by Johnson at the back post and the ball breaks for Bowyer who seems to have the whole goal to aim at but Friedel scampers back across goal to make a stunning save.

64mins

Young skips away from two players in the midfield and looks to find Carew in the box but the cross is just too far infront of the Nowegian and the chance goes begging.

63mins

This one still hangs in the balance. Birmingham have certianly threatened more since the break but the pace of the dynamic Villa attack will always provide a threat on the break.

62mins

Petrov shows his class with some tidy footwork in the middle of the park and wins a free-kick that Villa take quickly but thye concede possession cheaply once again.

58mins

Excellent determination and hard work from Agbonlahor as he hassles Joe Hart after a back pass and forces the young keeper to concede a throw-in.

56mins

Vignal is cautioned after a fairly reckless challenge on Milner. Petrov tries the spectacular from the free-kick with a long range effort but the strike whistles over the bar.

54mins

The subsequent free-kick is tossed into the danger area by Larsson but Friedel comes off his line to punch it clear and the attack comes to nothing.

53mins

Cuellar is forced to bring down Jerome as the striker has him beaten down the flank. Birmingham are the dominant force since the break and Villa will have to do something to get back into the game.

50mins

The corner comes in and Ridgewell leaps to meet it and heads it down towards the corner, Friedel is well beaten but Downing does his job and clears off the post.

49mins

Gardner fizzes the ball across the box and finds Jerome but his low shot is stopped by Friedel. The rebound drops to McFadden who works the ball onto his left and squeezes it towards the corner but it is cleared off the line for a corner.

47mins

I'm pleased to say that the tempo of the game has not dropped since the break and both sides have come out on the attack.

46mins

The second half is underway. Surely its only a matter of time until the first goal comes.

45mins

Halftime: Aston Villa 0-0 Birmingham. An entertaining first half comes to a close and remains goalless largely thanks to outstanding performances from the two keepers. This derby is balanced on a knife edge!

42mins

Warnock is chopped down by Larsson but the Swede avoids a booking and its fair to say Chris Foy has had an excellent game so far. The set-piece is tossed into the box but the Blues defence easily clear.

39mins

Another long range strike tests Friedel but once again the keeper is up to the challenge as he gets a strong hand to Bowyer's long range strike.

38mins

The goalkeepers are keeping the scores level so far and Mancini will no doubt do everything in his power to get Joe Hart back with Shey Given needing shoulder surgery.

34mins

Young's corner is cleared as far as Warnock who turns it back into the box. The ball drops for Collins who smashes the ball towards goal but Joe Hart makes another superb reflex stop.

33mins

Gardner finds half a yard of space just outside the area and strikes for goal but Friedel makes a fine save and Villa break away to win a corner.

32mins

Friedel throws the ball out to Dunne but the Irishman makes a mess of it and gifts possession to Jerome who looks to find the corner with his snap shot but Friedel saves.

28mins

Its been an encapsulating encounter so far at Villa Park and Downing again looks to test Hart with a long range effort from the left hand side but Hart is able to beat away the swerving the shot.

27mins

Cuellar picks up on a weak clearance and slips the ball into Petrov who crafts himself a yard of space and unleashes a fierce shot towards the bottom corner but Hart gets down to make a superb save and hold the ball.

24mins

Young beats Vignal all ends up and takes on Bowyer but the experienced midfielder blocks the tackle but concedes a corner. Downing's corner wins another on the other side but again the set-piece is wasted to the dismay of Martin O'Neill.

21mins

The resulting corner is cleared to Agbonlahor and he roars forward with pace and breaks into the box but Carr keeps his composure and makes a fine interception.

20mins

Larsson powers the resulting free-kick goalbound but it strikes Petrov in the face, while the midfileder is down the visitors continue and Vignal forces Friedel to turn the ball over.

18mins

Strong play from Carew as he holds the ball up on the right and finds Milner in the middle who looks to strike from range but is closed down by three Blues defenders. Jerome leads the counter and wins a free-kick from Cuellar to relieve the pressure.

15mins

Downing and Young link up on the left and side and the latter whips the ball in with venom but Hart cathces without any challenge.

12mins

Milner picks the ball up and slips the ball into Agbonlahor early but as he races into the channel he is shut down by a perfectly timed challenge by Ridgewell.

9mins

First real chance of the game goes the way of the visitors as Bowyer and Jerome play a neat one two before Bowyer slips in Larsson who rounds Friedel but then skews the ball wide from a tight angle on his weaker side. That's a wasted opportunity.

9mins

Every Villa fan's heart was in their mouth then as Collins' slip appeared to set Jerome through on goal but the striker is denied by the offside flag. That was a close call for the assistant but one he got right.

7mins

Both Gardner and Ridgewell have crossed from Claret to Blue sides of the city and the latter is involved as he shows his strength to usher the ball out of play under pressure from Carew.

5mins

Bowyer sets the tone with another crunching tackle but the ball ricochets in behind the Birmingham defence and Agbonlahor races to meet it but Hart gets there first.

4mins

First effort on goal comes from James Collins as the ball drops to him from a dinked Petrov set-piece. The effort is directed back across goal by the centre-half but Hart gathers comfortably.

1mins

The first Birmingham touch of the ball is met by a rapture of jeers from the home fans.

0mins

Chris Foy is the man in charge of this potentially firey encounter and he gets us underway.

0mins

Birmingham are without a win in seven, a run which has seen them slip down the table to ninth but they are still on for a top half finish with a few decent results. Jerome is partnered by McFadden but Scott Dann is missing replaced by VIgnal.

0mins

Villa are in good form and with neither Spurs or City winning yesterday three points today could send them into a tie for fourth. Carew continues up front along side Agbonlahor in an unchanhged Villa side from the win over Pompey last time out.

0mins

Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Johnson, Ridgewell, Vignal, Larsson, Gardner, Bowyer, Ferguson, McFadden, Jerome

0mins

Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Warnock, Downing, Petrov, Milner, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor, Carew

0mins

It's derby day! The Second City Derby is less than half an hour away and both sets of fans will be desperate for a victory over their rivals and the anticipation in the crowd is almost tangible.

Match Preview

With just three games remaining in the season, Martin O'Neill knows that only three wins are likely to be enough for his Aston Villa side to pip Tottenham and Manchester City to the fourth Champions League spot.

The problem for the Northern Irishman is that whilst Villa have been strong on the road of late - four wins in five games - at home they have struggled to claim maximum points, drawing six of their last seven Premier League games at Villa Park.

The manager himself told press: "We're in the mix. We're going for everything and guaranteed nothing. We're not even guaranteed to finish eighth in the league at this minute.

"We've gone above Liverpool with three games to go and that's pretty exceptional. But where I've been pleased with the team is they've responded fantastically to the defeat at Stamford Bridge."

Though City have little left to play for this season, their players will be fired up to end a run of five consecutive defeats in this Birmingham derby and simultaneously end their rivals' Champions League ambitions.

However, a run of six defeats in their last seven away matches means the travelling fans will by no means be certain of a full haul this time around.

One worry for the Blues is the late danger posed by Gabby Agbonlahor. The England hopeful not only scored at Hull in midweek, but has scored in all three starts against Birmingham, each time in the final 15 minutes of the game.


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Match Report

James Milner kept alive Aston Villa's hopes of Champions League football next season with a controversial 82nd minute penalty which clinched a 1-0 derby win over Birmingham City.

It was Villa's sixth successive win over the Blues in the local derby clashes, but they had to work hard for this win.

They had previously been denied by a superb display from Birmingham's goalkeeper, Joe Hart, who certainly enhanced his prospects of going to South Africa in England's World Cup squad with an outstanding performance.

The win has placed them level on points with fourth placed Tottenham, but they have now played one game more than the London club.

For long spells it appeared as if the game would end goalless until the 82nd minute when Gabby Agbonlahor was brought down by Roger Johnson in the area.

As expected, the early exchanges involved some strong tackling particularly from a City side determined not to find themselves on the end of a heavy defeat like the 5-1 reverse they suffered when the teams last met at Villa Park.

There were no real clear-cut chances from either side in the early stages, although Villa enjoyed most of the attacking play.

Craig Gardner returned to Villa for the first time since his move in January and occupied his favoured midfield attacking role.

Gregory Vignal was a late inclusion for the injured Scott Dann and the Frenchman coped well with the threat of Ashley Young.

But it was goalkeeper Hart who really rose to the occasion and enhanced his growing reputation with two smart saves in quick succession from Stiliyan Petrov and Stewart Downing.

Some slack play between Brad Friedel and Richard Dunne very nearly handed Birmingham a goal on a plate.

Fortunately Friedel recovered to make a good save from Seb Larsson and seconds later he kept out a good effort from Gardner.

Hart, who will not be recalled by Manchester City despite Shay Given's injury, again distinguished himself with a fantastic save to keep out a rasping shot from James Collins.

Battling Birmingham kept at their task and the industrious Barry Ferguson put Jerome Cameron clear only for Friedel to save with his head.

Following the rebound James McFadden's shot was deflected wide and from the corner Downing cleared Liam Ridgewell's header off the line.

Not to be outdone Friedel again came to Villa's rescue to push away a Lee Bowyer effort as Birmingham surprisingly stepped up the pace in the second half.

Villa manager Martin O'Neill sent on Emile Heskey for John Carew in an effort to liven up a goal-shy attack, but he too was thwarted by a save from Hart.

The stalemate was finally broken by Milner's penalty when Hart, watched by England manager, Fabio Capello, and his goalkeeping coach, Ray Clemence, had no chance of saving the shot.

Aston Villa

Birmingham City

Corners

75

Fouls

1417

Goal attempts

109

Shots off target

42

Offsides

01

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