Follow us on Twitter @claretandview // Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
Aston Villa and Birmingham City certainly didn’t set the footballing world on fire this afternoon, with a Second City Bore-Draw.
The game started with Villa on the front foot, and the pairings of Onomah, Kodjia and Adomah linked up well early on to show signs of promise.
The first twenty minutes were entertaining, as expected, but really there were no talking points other than a booking for Snodgrass and Adams after an altercation.
There were 19 long balls played by Aston Villa within the first twenty minutes, showing the kind of tactics that Bruce had employed before the game.
The Birmingham City fans, up until this point, were embarrassing. The clappers that had been supplied by their club had been thrown at Snodgrass and Hourihane during set pieces, and the warming up Villa subs.
Kodjia looked like he was struggling under the weight of expectation within the first half an hour. His end product just wasn’t there.
Sam Johnstone nearly had his Enkleman moment when trying to boot the ball up the pitch. Vassell used his pace to close the ball down and the ball bellowed off the Birmingham forward, but luckily went wide.
The first half was a physical, but uninspiring game of football. Right on the edge of the half, Isaac Vassel was substituted for Sam Gallagher for Birmingham after an impact injury after getting caught up with Alan Hutton.
The first half showed that both teams wanted to win, but certainly didn’t want to lose.
Conor Hourihane came close to gifting Birmingham City with a early second half lead, putting Jota through on goal with a poor pass towards Terry.
Cheikh Ndoye received the third yellow card of the game, for his second foul on Glenn Whelan with a flailing, gangling arm.
Villa seemed to be riding their luck up to this point, which is a polar opposite to the way they played last week.
Mile Jedinak replaced Robert Snograss just fourteen minutes into the half, showing that the Villa side were on the backfoot. Causing a reshuffle, and perhaps a change of formation.
Aston Villa showed their first signs of life in the half with a Kodjia attempt that went just wide, just seconds after Jedinak returned to the squad.
Kodjia came close to putting Villa in the lead in the 62nd minute, after a lovely floated cross from Adomah connected well with his head. Perhaps the best chance of the game.
Keinan Davis came on for Conor Hourihane ten minues later, after the Irish midfielder hadn’t lived up to expectations and produced a woeful display.
The youngster had probably the best chance of the game as a marauding Hutton couldn’t finish and he took the rebound, smashing it against the crossbar. Just minutes later, Kodjia attempted a shot and his smashed against the crossbar too.
Kodjia then stumbled from the pitch with what looked like an injury, and Villa made their third and final sub by bringing Scott Hogan on for him.
The referee called for five minutes of added time, prolonging the snoozefest.
With just 50 seconds to go, Keinan Davis was fouled on the edge of the box, giving Villa one last chance to win the game. This turned out to be the last kick of the game, with Adomah placing it over the bar.