I’ve had a good night’s sleep and I still don’t think the victory from yesterday has settled in. It’s not just the win over our local rivals that was so pleasing but the manner in which we won that really made the win feel special.

Being from Essex, not being able to drive and having a little one certainly means that I don’t get as many opportunities to visit Villa park as much as I would like. When you have a mid-day game on a Sunday, you are having to leave home at 6:45 a.m and to make it even more challenging, train services into London are limited, boy are games like this worth it!

Though I am not a season ticket holder I am fortunate to be able to get the same seat (Block B5, Row 38) every time I make the visit. I love the view from here, the fans are passionate and of a slightly older generation and to be fair the last half a dozen games that I have been to it has become a lucky seat as we are yet to lose.

I arrived only 15 minutes prior to kick off and Villa park was filling up nicely. It was probably the fullest I have seen the ground in the last few years. Once the game begun Villa were immediately on the front foot. We had a number of 1st half opportunities with Grealish and Adomah both shooting wide and Hogan hitting the bar. Despite Birmingham hitting the wood work themselves, I could not help but feel a little disappointed at half time with the score still at 0-0. I really did not want it to be one of those games where we threw everything at the opposition in the 1st half only to run out of gas the 2nd half.

Within a few moments of the 2nd half beginning we had hit the bar again. It was clear that the boys were keen to continue the momentum from the first half. Jack Grealish, not for the first time, was a class above – pulling the strings in midfield and on 60 minutes he released Albert Adomah to precisely finish and put Villa 1-0 much to the delight of the Villa faithful.

Despite Birmingham bringing on their record signing Jota, they did not look like scoring and it was Villa in fact that went on to score another. Conor Hourihane bringing down a ball and sending a looping half-volley over Blues keeper Stockdale. We could and should of probably had a 3rd When Snodgrass shot agonising wide late on.

To add a cherry to the icing on the top of the cake, Birmingham were reduced to 10 men when Ndoye was sent off in injury time for a 2nd yellow for man handling John Terry.

This was Villa’s 7th consecutive league victory and no doubt in my mind one of the most deserving. We were stronger in every department and compared to Birmingham City we were just so much more up for it. I think it could have been a different game had Birmingham started with what I saw as their 2 best playing in Jota and Adams but who cares.

Villa’s Tactics:

You can’t argue, despite the tough week Bruce has had with the passing of his father and his mother also being taken ill, he got the set up bang on. There was a lot of chatter on social media about Jedinak coming in for Bjarnason given the Icelandic’s fine form for of late but in what was always going to be a physical game, Jedinak’s experience and physical presence was the right call.

Man of the match:

No question for what appears to be a recurring theme since he has come back from Injury that Jack Grealish was the man again. The injury earlier in the season looks to have been a blessing in disguise and the lad is simply unplayable.

The game was a great overall team performance. I thought Jedinak was a rock. Hutton was up and down the flank all game too. The only thing missing for me was that I would have loved to see Hogan get a goal. He chased down everything and I lost count of how many times he forced Birmingham City to play the back pass.

Up next:

Prior to yesterday’s game, the one team I was keeping a close eye on in terms of form was Fulham. Unlikely now but defeat to Birmingham and Fulham could have seen Fulham leap frog us. Instead, with the way results have gone and may continue to go, we could open up a 10 point lead against them. I Just hope the result is a better one than that from last season where Fulham ran out 3-1 winners. A game I felt Villa were cheated out of when Kodjia was wrongly sent off. Though Grealish did score a wonder goal that day and with the form he is in you wouldn’t want to bet against him. Looking forward to attending this one!

Enjoy the rest of the week and let’s hope for league win number 8 in a row come Saturday!

UTV!