By Charlene Cole
Tuesday 22 Apr 2008 12:37:41
Browse all Aston Villa FansOnline articles

The long awaited Birmingham derby ended in another high scoring performance from the Villa as they crushed City in a 5-1-goal fest. The trashing spells further trouble for the visitors as another defeat leaves their chance of Premiership survival in dire straits as they hang in the drop zone, while Villa push towards Europe with three back to back wins. 

Villa were on fire and proved too hot for the Blues to handle as they continued their assault up the Premier League. Sizzling performances from Ashley Young and John Carew left Blues boss Alex McLeish with a distasteful experience in his first Midlands derby.

Young was proactive throughout the encounter netting twice and having a hand in Norwegian forward John Carew's goals. This leaves O’Neill’s men within three points of Everton in fifth who they face next Saturday.

From the kick-off Villa set about dominating their city rivals, the pace of Young and the power of Barry and Petrov proved too much for a woeful Birmingham side.Petrov was at the forefront on two when his angled drive shot wide of the post after he linked Barry’s pass from the left.

Blues retaliated three minutes after when Murphy shot from the edge of the box just to see his effort go flying over the bar. Blue’s Zarate was in charge of taking a free kick on eight firing his right-footed effort directly at a Villa wall.

A corner from Young a minute later was met by Carew who headed fractionally wide of the post as the pace heated up. As the game quickened and got more action packed Taylor was alert to intercept Young from connecting Agbonlahor’s left wing centre on 11.

A quickly taken free kick from Petrov on 16 was met by Laursen who struck a low drive across the front line.

A stunningly curled free kick from Barry on 19 was tipped over by Blues keeper Taylor for a corner.

Taylor the busier of the two keepers was sharp to punch Young’s free kick from the left clear on 24 as Villa poked and prodded looking for the opener.

Petrov on top form again was denied after sending a low left footed drive wide from the edge of the box on 25.

Then two minutes later the Bulgarian star went close but had his rising strike blocked by Taylor.

Villa finally opening the scoring on 29 after Young shot home a right footed effort from the edge of the box sending the Villa fans wild.

The opposition fought back a minute after with McSheffrey firing over the bar from the edge of the box.

In another attempt for the visitors Nafti fired over the post as he worked his way from the edge of the box towards goal on 35.

Taylor raced from his post two minutes after to deny Agbonlahor as the striker raced after Carew’s flick.

Barry was there on 38 and nearly doubled Villa’s lead after his curled ball from the left was pushed wide by Taylor. In turn Barry then sent a curling free kick onto the top of the net from the right flank.

Before half time on 41 Carew’s right footed shot was blocked by Ridgewell after the striker fought his way into the box but the Norwegian international was the one to double the home sides lead only a minute later as he headed home at close range after rising to meet a left flank free kick from Young.

After the break Young started where he had left off. He raced in form the right on 48 only to be dispossessed by Taylor.

There wasn’t long to wait before Villa added a third it came on 54 as Barry from the right crossed to Carew who again netted from close range.

Nine minutes later Young a live wire in front of England coach Fabio Capello’s watchful eyes added a second for himself and a fourth for the team after cutting in from the left and slotting home.

Forssell salvaged some pride for the Blues on 67 when he slotted past Carson from the edge of the box.

McFadden curled a free kick into the Holte End stand on 72, six minutes before Agbonlahor bagged the final goal of the game and his third in three matches.

After finding some space on the edge of the box he shot low past Taylor into the back of the net.

As Blues lay four goals in arrears Villa went in search of a six with Kelly blocking Young’s low shot on 83.

As Villa ploughed on as the end of the game drew near Jaidi slid into deny Agbonlahor on 88 but nevertheless sending Blues plummeting with four consecutives losses.

Speaking to BBC Sport post match a victorious Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill said "Winning was the most important thing, but to win so convincingly is a great boost for us. I thought we played brilliantly. We are a really decent side going forward.

He added: “Ashley Young and John Carew were both absolutely outstanding. Ashley couldn't have done any more in front of Fabio Capello.  He concluded:

"We're still there fighting for the Uefa Cup. We're in full flow and the Everton game (on 27 April) is a massive one for us."

Whilst Birmingham boss Alex McLeish commented: "We were on the end of a bruising from a really good Villa side. Villa's front men were on fire and we were unable to string any passes together until the second half.

Furthermore he said: “You have to say that Villa's agenda is totally different to ours - the bottom line is that they are a better team. It's all about our next three games - we have to take as many points from those games as we can.

He concluded by saying: This match doesn't mean we're going down. I can take some things from the game and we have been a different team at home."


Aston Villa: Carson, Mellberg (Harewood 85), Laursen, Knight, Bouma, Young, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Barry, Carew, Agbonlahor. 
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Salifou, Routledge, Berger.

Goals: Young 28, Carew 42, 53, Young 63, Agbonlahor 78.

Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Kelly, Jaidi, Ridgewell, Murphy, Jerome (Kapo 58), Nafti, Muamba, McSheffrey, Zarate (Forssell 58), McFadden. 
Subs Not Used: Doyle, O'Connor, Parnaby.

Booked: McFadden.

Goals: Forssell 67.

Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

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