Villa feeling Blue
By Philip Seery
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Clinton Morrison shot Steve Bruce's side into a well-deserved lead on 38 minutes taking advantage of a fortunate ricochet off team-mate Robbie Savage to lash home, although there was a slight suspicion of offside.
Villa rallied and almost drew level with Ulises de la Cruz thundering a shot off the cross-bar to the anguish of the away supporters.
Heading into the half-time interval Birmingham had a merited advantage for their superior possession in the first 45 minutes but a team-talk from Graham Taylor seemed to inspire Villa and the visitors came out a different side in the second period.
Substitutes Dion Dublin and Darius Vassell both went close to equalising for Villa, with the latter having the ball in the net, only for the effort to be adjudged offside.
Villa were pressing and looking dangerous but on 78 minutes a bizarre incident helped Birmingham to go 2-0 up and effectively seal the three points.
Swedish defender Olof Mellberg directed a routine throw-in towards goalkeeper Peter Enckelman but the Finnish custodian misjudged the bounce and allowed the ball to skim under his boot and into the net.
Blues' fans and management went ballistic at the second goal and ran on the pitch to celebrate - something that could land them in hot water with the FA - with one supporter cruelly mocking Enckelman for his blunder.
A lot will be made of whether Enckelman actually touched the ball from the throw-in although it would have been difficult for David Elleray to rule out the goal in front of the fanatical home fans.
Substitute Geoff Horsfield grabbed a third goal in the 85th minute to rub salt into Villa's wounds, leaving some of the away supporters crying at the result.
Birmingham moved upto ninth in The Premiership with the win, while neighbours Villa languish down in 15th spot.
Click below for match summary:
Birmingham City 3 - 0 Aston Villa
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