Aston Villa and Birmingham City Battle To a Draw

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Mile Jedinak of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Aston Villa at St Andrews (stadium) on October 30, 2016 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Mile Jedinak of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Aston Villa at St Andrews (stadium) on October 30, 2016 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa squad traveled to St. Andrew’s and left with a hard-earned point against arch rivals Birmingham City.

What more appropriate for The Second City Derby than a 1-1 bloodbath? Six yellow cards, lots of banter between fans, a couple knocks, and one very unfortunate knee injury for City defender Rhoys Wiggins filled the overcast Birmingham air.

Gary Gardner collected his first Aston Villa goal in rather dramatic fashion. His bullet, swerving header gave the claret and blue a 1-0 lead going into the break.

Davis Davis’ deflected strike in the 70th minute leveled the scoreline up until the final whistle. Below, our Villa player grades.

PLAYER GRADES:

GK Pierluigi Gollini 5.5

Not at fault for City’s goal as it took a slight deflection of I believe the foot of Mile Jedinak. Had three separate goal kicks that put direct pressure onto the Villa back line–must clean that part of his game up.

RB Alan Hutton 5.5

Honestly not a horrible game from Hutton. Had a very high average field position that nearly acted as a right midfielder.

RCB James Chester 6

Strong, intelligent shift as always from Chester. Blossoming whether he plays alongside Nathan Baker or Tommy Elphick.

LCB Nathan Baker 7

Dominant match from Nathan Baker who surely has leapfrogged captain Tommy Elphick. A no-nonsense type of match that Baker really excels in.

LB Jordan Amavi 5

Picked up an early yellow card that hindered his aggressiveness. Impressive clearances, however, with a markedly improved defensive display.

CDM Mile Jedinak 7.5 & ClaretVillans Man of the Match.

Controlled the center of the pitch magnificently. With two other central midfielders in front of him, as opposed to a double pivot formation, Jedinak can sit and anchor all match long.

CM Gary Gardner 6

I’ll give him a six for his goal–which was brilliant. Great story seeing him back to full fitness after years of injuries and setbacks. Otherwise was disappointingly quiet on the evening. Was beat by David Davis’ second half goal.

CM Ashley Westwood 5.5

Quieter even more so. Short passing and no incisiveness.

LF Jordan Ayew 6.5

Most of the attack ran through Jordan Ayew all evening long. It’s a treat to watch Ayew run with the ball in space. Finishing was rather disappointing.

ST Jonathan Kodjia 6

Couldn’t continue his successive goals display to four matches. Battled with Ryan Shotton the entire match. Took a few hard knocks.

RF Albert Adomah N/A

Substituted in the 29th minute due to a “horrible dead leg,” from manager Steve Bruce. Hopefully fit for next week’s match against Blackburn.

SUBSTITUTES:

RF Ross McCormack 5

Forced into playing out of position in Adomah’s place. Didn’t influence the match.

ST Gabby Agbonlahor & Rudy Gestede N/A

Brought on too late to make any real impact. Agbonlahor’s first action this season saw him run everywhere in that short span. Could be argued Bruce brought on his subs too late after the Birmingham City equalizer.

Next up, Blackburn on November 5th.