By Richard Morgan
Football journalist - @Richiereds1976
Aston Villa 4-2 Birmingham City: Alan Hutton stunner seals Villa victory
Report and highlights: Villa win the 127th Second City derby
Last Updated: 25/11/18 9:37pm
Alan Hutton's sensational solo goal helped Aston Villa come from behind to beat Birmingham City 4-2 in Sunday's Second City derby.
Lukas Jutkiewicz had fired the visitors ahead just before the half-hour mark with his 10th goal of the season, only for Villa to reply with two goals in two minutes.
Jonathan Kodjia's well-taken effort brought the hosts level after 37 minutes, before Jack Grealish headed his side in front going into the break.
Villa: Nyland (6), Hutton (7), Tuanzebe (6), Chester (6), Taylor (6), Adomah (8), Hourihane (6) Whelan (6), Kodjia (8), Grealish (8), Abraham (9)
Subs: Lansbury (6), Bolasie (6), Elmohamady (6)
Birmingham: Camp (6), Colin (6), Morrison (6), Dean (6), Harding (6), Mahoney (6), Craig Gardner (6), Kieftenbeld (6), Pedersen (7), Jutkiewicz (8), Adams (8)
Subs: Bogle (6), Maghoma (6), Lakin (6)
Man of the match: Tammy Abraham
However, after both teams exchanged goals early in the second half, with Kristian Pedersen cancelling out Tammy Abraham's penalty, Hutton sealed the win with a memorable individual effort.
As a result, Villa move up to eighth in the table, while Birmingham stay in 12th place.
The hosts may have come into the match on the back of a morale-boosting 3-0 win at sixth-placed Derby - and a 12-game unbeaten league run against their city rivals - but all that went out of the window as the visitors settled the quicker.
Birmingham's set plays, and in particular their corners, were already causing Dean Smith's defence huge problems before they opened the scoring from a right-wing corner.
Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland got tangled up with Che Adams in the six-yard box, allowing the unmarked Jutkiewicz the simple task of side-footing past Abraham on the goal line.
Had it been 2-0 to the visitors eight minutes later when Adams smacked a volley against the post with Nyland motionless, no one inside Villa Park could really have complained, such was Birmingham's dominance at that point.
Yet within minutes Villa were ahead as first Kodjia's excellent finish brought the home side level and then Grealish took advantage of good approach play by Albert Adomah to stoop and head home his second goal in his last three appearances.
Villa further increased their lead after 51 minutes when Michael Morrison pulled back Abraham in the box, with the England international doing the rest from the spot to score his sixth goal of the campaign.
But after Pedersen had briefly given the visitors hope with his first Blues goal just before the hour-mark, Hutton left his own mark on proceedings to calm home nerves.
Villa made one change with Glenn Whelan replacing the injured John McGinn.
Meanwhile, the visitors made two changes with Craig Gardner coming in for brother Gary, who could not play against his parent club, while Connor Mahoney replaced the injured Jota on the right wing.
Picking up possession deep inside his own half, the 33-year-old right back powered forward, beating a posse of Birmingham players in the process, before suddenly faced with just Lee Camp to beat.
The Scot kept his cool, though, to roll the ball past the advancing Blues keeper for his first goal at Villa Park in almost four years as Villa's recent hold over their city rivals continued.
Man of the Match - Tammy Abraham
The striker's pace and clever runs were a handful for the Birmingham back line all afternoon long, showing just why John Terry wanted to persuade the player to move to Villa Park on loan this season.
The 21-year-old is the club's top scorer after coolly converting a 51st-minute penalty for his sixth of the season, so cool in fact that the ball shaved the inside of the right-hand post on its way into the goal.
And Villa will need the England international to carry on hitting the back of the net if they want to keep climbing the table and make the play-offs come May.
Dean Smith: "I always see these games as opportunities and I think the players are now too. We have played some good football at times, look a threat but we just need to tidy up a little. Our aim is to get into the top two, that was it at the start and where we are
"We've won three games on the spin and this group of players know how to win as they did it enough times last season. We just have to keep that belief going. Under Steve [Bruce] Villa were good here, not many teams won here, and
hopefully that can continue."
Garry Monk: "In the first 35 minutes we were excellent. We had a chance to make it 2-0 which came off the post but I don't look at it like that.
"It's been the last three games where we have got ourselves into good position, but have come away from our little bit of toughness.
"We've been a little bit too easy to score against and we've been heavily punished. This is a tough one for us to take. We know how important it is but this group have come a long way."
On Wednesday night, Villa host Nottingham Forest, while Birmingham travel to Millwall, with both those Championship games available to watch live on Sky Sports Football Red Button.