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Five Talking Points As Aston Villa Sucker Punch Birmingham City

Aston Villa got the better of Birmingham City at St Andrew’s thanks to Jack Grealish’s winner. Here’s five talking points from the game.
Words by Harry Trend (@HazaTrand)

Aston Villa got the better of Birmingham City at St Andrew’s thanks to Jack Grealish’s winner. Here’s five talking points from the game.

Karma in full flow

What a day Jack Grealish had. In the first-half the captain was assaulted by a Birmingham City fan who cowardly swung at him from behind. However, it didn’t faze him one bit, with 67 minutes gone Grealish grabbed the games only goal with a left-footed strike that crept under Lee Camp. In the post-match interview Grealish said of his winner, “It was unbelievable, in front of our fans as well. After what happened in the first-half I think I was set up for a goal.”

Tyrone Mings colossal

Grealish got the plaudits, but the Bournemouth loanee was the unsung hero. Mings won nearly every header while keeping Lukasz Jutkiewicz and the in-form Che Adams at Bay. It’s no coincidence that we’ve kept back-to-back clean sheets while he’s been at the heart of defence. Moreover, Mings creates a selection headache for Dean Smith at centre-back, with Axel Tuanzebe and James Chester by no means guaranteed a place in the starting XI once they recover from injury.

 

Impact substitutes

Dean Smith got his substitutions spot on today. John McGinn was key to the victory, starting an attack almost as soon as he came on. Let’s not forget his role in Grealish’s opener either, the Scot deftly lofting a ball over to Neil Taylor who in turn set up captain Jack. Andre Green played his part too, coming on for Albert Adomah, and the 20-year-old would’ve scored had it not been for Wes Harding making the block.

Blues fans not all bad

Aston Villa and Birmingham City fans put rivalries aside in The Drakes Drum this afternoon, watching the derby together at the bar while showing for support for the “Justice for the 21” campaign, a campaign which seeks justice for the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings.

Are the play-offs back on?

This victory puts us within four points of those coveted spots. However, yesterday’s results did do us a massive favour. With the Pride taking on Nottingham Forest on Wednesday then Middlesbrough the following Saturday, the coming week could be the making of Aston Villa’s season.

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