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Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Sunday, 16 January 2011

Birmingham   1 - 1   Aston Villa

James Collins (centre) and Villa team-mates celebrate
Collins (centre) wheels away to celebrate his equaliser

By Phil Dawkes

Aston Villa moved out of the relegation zone after coming from behind to earn a point from an engrossing derby with fellow strugglers Birmingham.

The home side took the lead early in the second half through Roger Johnson's close-range volley.

But Villa hit back through James Collins, who hammered home a flick-on from Gabriel Agbonlahor inside the box.

Villa hit the woodwork four times but Birmingham also had clear chances in a game either could have won.

In truth, a point does little to help either side in their quest to pull clear of the relegation zone but the psychological edge of pegging their rivals back and also exiting the bottom three - where they had languished for the first time since 2003 - will be a major boost for Villa.

They now have 22 points from the same number of games, are above 18th-placed Wigan on goals scored and a point behind Birmingham.

Villa manager Gerard Houllier labelled this a "must-win game" and his team selection reflected this, with John Carew recalled to partner Agbonlahor in attack. The move almost paid immediate dividends as Villa began the game firmly on the front foot.

McLeish rues sluggish Birmingham start

The initiative, though, was initially gifted to them by home keeper Ben Foster, who appeared to still have a hangover from his mistake against West Ham in the Carling Cup last Tuesday when he nervously dribbled himself into trouble in the first minute.

When he eventually cleared, it was miscued straight to Agbonlahor who cut into a superb shooting position before blazing over, when he should have added to his record of five goals in the last six second-city derbies.

In contrast to the visitors, Birmingham stuck to a five-man midfield system, which included David Bentley - who impressed on his debut following his loan move from Tottenham.

Bentley's first touch drew a scything foul from Richard Dunne - which earned the defender a yellow card. From Bentley's poorly-delivered free-kick, Craig Gardner was able to salvage a shooting chance from range but this flew over the bar.

In keeping with what had gone before, Villa responded when Kyle Walker overlapped and dug out a cross for Agbonlahor, whose header was flicked on by Carew on to the bar and over.

606: DEBATE
Bitterville

Eventually, the game settled down - but even at half the pace of such a frantic opening it remained an open and engrossing affair, with Villa looking particular dangerous, especially through the overlapping Walker down the right.

Full-back Walker, on loan from Tottenham, again reached the byeline and dug out a cross for Carew, who struck the bar with a header but was also adjudged to have fouled Johnson.

The Birmingham goal was again rattled soon after when Ciaran Clark's cross looped on to the top of the bar and over - this after Matt Derbyshire had failed to turn in a Gardner cross from close-range for Birmingham, as play continued to swing from end to end.

With five first-half minutes remaining, Birmingham appealed for a penalty when David Murphy tumbled under pressure from Marc Albrighton but referee Mark Clattenburg remained unmoved.

The home side would have opened the scoring a minute later but Collins was well-placed to divert Alexander Hleb's goal-bound shot wide.

If the Blues ended the first half well, they began the second 45 minutes superbly, opening the scoring four minutes in.

Bentley laid off a free-kick for Gardner, whose 25-yard shot was bobbling wide until Murphy's touch directed the ball to the centrally-placed Johnson to volley emphatically into the net.

Villa character pleases Houllier

Villa were almost level immediately when Clark's fired cross from the left deflected off Johnson, but the ball bounced inches wide of the far post to spare defender the ignominy of cancelling out his own goal.

But the openness of the game suggested one goal would be insufficient to secure the points and so it proved as Villa hit back with just over 15 minutes to go.

Albrighton's cross from the right was flicked on by Agbonlahor and Collins was on hand to lash the ball home, via a deflection off Birmingham's Liam Ridgewell, with a swinging half-volley.

The game was now Villa's for the taking. Downing saw a shot saved by Foster, and after Richard Dunne's header was cleared off the line Collins could not repeat his goal-scoring efforts of earlier with the follow-up.

The visitors came even closer soon after when Nathan Delfouneso's rasping 30-yard shot was tipped on to the bar and over by Foster.

However, the last chance fell to the home side and substitute striker Nikola Zigic's header was inches away from giving Birmingham victory.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Birmingham 1-1 Aston Villa FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Johnson 49
  • Collins 73

Birmingham

Substitutes

Aston Villa

Substitutes

Ref: ClattenburgAtt: 22,287
BIRMINGHAM
ASTON VILLA

Possession

  • Birmingham 45%
  • Aston Villa 55%

Attempts on target

  • Birmingham 4
  • Aston Villa 3

Attempts off target

  • Birmingham 10
  • Aston Villa 10

Corners

  • Birmingham 5
  • Aston Villa 7

Fouls

  • Birmingham 14
  • Aston Villa 14
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:42 The referee blows for the end of the match.
  • 90:00+2:37 David Bentley gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ciaran Clark. Richard Dunne takes the direct free kick.
  • 90:00+1:57 Nikola Zigic has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the goal.
  • 90:00+0:56 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson by Barry Bannan. Ben Foster takes the direct free kick.
  • 89:45 The assistant referee flags for offside against Nikola Zigic. Brad Friedel takes the indirect free kick.
  • 89:40 Keith Fahey produces a cross.
  • 88:21 Shot by David Bentley from a long way out goes over the target.
  • 87:41 Richard Dunne concedes a free kick for a foul on Craig Gardner. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
  • Correction - 86:53 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marc Albrighton by Barry Ferguson. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Barry Bannan, Roger Johnson manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Stewart Downing from the right by-line, Craig Gardner makes a clearance.
  • 86:53 Unfair challenge on Marc Albrighton by Barry Ferguson results in a free kick. Barry Bannan takes the direct free kick.
  • Correction - 85:59 Corner taken by Barry Bannan, clearance made by Barry Ferguson. Unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson by James Collins results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ben Foster.
  • 85:59 Corner taken by Barry Bannan, clearance by Barry Ferguson. Unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson by James Collins results in a free kick. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
  • 85:59 Booking James Collins booked.
  • 84:53 Nathan Delfouneso takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
  • 83:32 Substitution Lee Bowyer on for Matt Derbyshire.
  • 83:07 Marc Albrighton produces a cross, Effort from close in by Richard Dunne goes wide left of the target.
  • 82:26 The ball is sent over by Marc Albrighton, blocked by David Murphy. Inswinging corner taken by Barry Bannan, clearance by Roger Johnson.
  • 79:44 Craig Gardner fouled by Marc Albrighton, the ref awards a free kick. David Bentley has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
  • 79:02 Keith Fahey delivers the ball, clearance made by Ciaran Clark. David Bentley takes a shot. Save made by Brad Friedel.
  • 78:45 Liam Ridgewell crosses the ball, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
  • 77:40 David Bentley takes a inswinging corner.
  • 75:39 Substitution Alexander Hleb leaves the field to be replaced by Nikola Zigic.
  • 75:23 Stewart Downing takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
  • 73:42 Nathan Delfouneso crosses the ball, clearance made by David Murphy.
  • 72:22 GOAL - James CollinsBirmingham 1 - 1 Aston Villa Goal scored by James Collins from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Birmingham 1-1 Aston Villa.
  • 70:26 Substitution Nathan Delfouneso replaces John Carew.
  • 70:26 Substitution Nigel Reo-Coker leaves the field to be replaced by Barry Bannan.
  • 68:38 Matt Derbyshire gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Collins. Direct free kick taken by James Collins.
  • 68:03 The ball is swung over by Marc Albrighton. Ciaran Clark crosses the ball.
  • Correction - 67:18 Roger Johnson produces a cross.
  • 67:18 The ball is sent over by Roger Johnson.
  • 66:20 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Bentley by James Collins. David Bentley takes the free kick.
  • 65:19 Ciaran Clark sends in a cross.
  • 64:08 Stewart Downing takes a shot. Ben Foster makes a save.
  • 63:45 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stewart Downing.
  • 63:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Carr on Ciaran Clark. Free kick crossed by Marc Albrighton, save made by Ben Foster.
  • 63:19 Booking Stephen Carr receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
  • 62:26 The ball is crossed by Gabriel Agbonlahor.
  • 61:27 The ball is swung over by Ciaran Clark, save made by Ben Foster.
  • 60:03 Foul by Craig Gardner on John Carew, free kick awarded. Stewart Downing has an effort direct from the free kick.
  • Correction - 59:17 The ball is sent over by Stephen Carr, Effort on goal by Craig Gardner from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
  • 59:17 Stephen Carr produces a cross, Shot by Craig Gardner from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
  • 59:03 The ball is delivered by John Carew, clearance by Stephen Carr.
  • 58:49 Matt Derbyshire takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
  • 56:18 Stiliyan Petrov fouled by Keith Fahey, the ref awards a free kick. Nigel Reo-Coker restarts play with the free kick.
  • 54:28 Free kick awarded for a foul by Alexander Hleb on Nigel Reo-Coker. Strike comes in from Stiliyan Petrov from the free kick.
  • 53:57 Ciaran Clark produces a cross, Roger Johnson gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Marc Albrighton from the right by-line, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
  • 53:47 Centre by Marc Albrighton.
  • 52:08 James Collins takes a shot from long distance which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 51:19 Craig Gardner concedes a free kick for a foul on Kyle Walker. Free kick taken by Kyle Walker.
  • 50:05 Foul by Craig Gardner on Marc Albrighton, free kick awarded. James Collins restarts play with the free kick.
  • 48:36 David Murphy provided the assist for the goal.
  • 48:36 GOAL - Roger JohnsonBirmingham 1 - 0 Aston Villa Roger Johnson finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Birmingham 1-0 Aston Villa.
  • Correction - 47:57 James Collins gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alexander Hleb. David Bentley takes the free kick. Craig Gardner takes a shot. Blocked by David Murphy.
  • 47:57 Unfair challenge on Alexander Hleb by James Collins results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Bentley. Craig Gardner takes a shot. Blocked by James Collins.
  • 47:05 Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a cross.
  • 45:01 The second half begins.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+3:08 The players leave the pitch at half time.
  • 45:00+2:48 Centre by Marc Albrighton, Foul by John Carew on Roger Johnson, free kick awarded.
  • 45:00+1:57 The ball is sent over by Marc Albrighton. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marc Albrighton by Stephen Carr. Free kick taken by Marc Albrighton.
  • 45:00+1:01 The assistant referee flags for offside against John Carew. Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.
  • 43:07 Shot from just outside the box by Marc Albrighton misses to the left of the target.
  • 42:08 Centre by Stephen Carr, Alexander Hleb takes a shot. Clearance made by James Collins. David Bentley takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Ciaran Clark.
  • 39:26 The ball is swung over by Gabriel Agbonlahor, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
  • 38:13 Corner taken right-footed by David Bentley, clearance by James Collins.
  • 37:55 Keith Fahey takes a shot. Nigel Reo-Coker gets a block in.
  • 37:25 David Bentley decides to take a short corner.
  • 35:10 The ball is delivered by Keith Fahey, clearance made by Kyle Walker.
  • 32:28 Foul by Matt Derbyshire on Richard Dunne, free kick awarded. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
  • 32:13 Nigel Reo-Coker concedes a free kick for a foul on David Bentley. Barry Ferguson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 31:15 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marc Albrighton on Craig Gardner. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Barry Ferguson, Ciaran Clark manages to make a clearance.
  • 31:05 John Carew concedes a free kick for a foul on Barry Ferguson. Free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
  • 29:46 David Murphy produces a cross, clearance made by Ciaran Clark.
  • 27:54 Corner taken right-footed by Marc Albrighton, Craig Gardner manages to make a clearance.
  • 27:01 The ball is delivered by Alexander Hleb, Keith Fahey takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
  • 25:57 Ciaran Clark challenges David Bentley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
  • 23:26 Unfair challenge on Marc Albrighton by David Murphy results in a free kick. Stewart Downing crosses the ball in from the free kick.
  • 22:34 The ball is swung over by Marc Albrighton, Liam Ridgewell makes a clearance.
  • 22:07 The ball is swung over by Ciaran Clark. The ball is swung over by Marc Albrighton.
  • 21:26 The ball is sent over by David Bentley, comfortable save by Brad Friedel.
  • 21:10 The ball is swung over by Craig Gardner.
  • 19:53 The ball is sent over by Kyle Walker, John Carew concedes a free kick for a foul on Roger Johnson. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
  • 16:04 Stephen Carr gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov. Brad Friedel takes the free kick.
  • 13:44 Shot from just outside the box by Keith Fahey misses to the right of the goal.
  • 9:53 Craig Gardner concedes a free kick for a foul on Stiliyan Petrov. Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
  • 7:56 Kyle Walker crosses the ball, John Carew takes a shot.
  • 7:10 The referee gives a free kick against Stewart Downing for handball. Barry Ferguson takes the direct free kick.
  • 6:07 Inswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing from the right by-line, Richard Dunne has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the goal.
  • 5:58 A cross is delivered by Marc Albrighton, David Murphy gets a block in.
  • 5:08 David Bentley sends in a cross, Header from close range by Roger Johnson misses to the right of the goal.
  • 4:52 Short corner taken by David Bentley from the left by-line.
  • 4:12 John Carew challenges Stephen Carr unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
  • Correction - 3:02 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Bentley by Richard Dunne. David Bentley crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing. Shot from just outside the box by Craig Gardner goes over the crossbar.
  • 3:02 David Bentley fouled by Richard Dunne, the ref awards a .
  • 3:02 Booking Richard Dunne is shown a yellow card.
  • 1:46 Stewart Downing has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area missing to the wide left of the goal.
  • 0:33 Close range shot by Gabriel Agbonlahor goes over the bar.
  • 0:00 The game begins.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Barclays Premier League results

16 Jan 2011 23:59 UK


Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 16 Jan 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 21 24 45
2 Man City 23 18 45
3 Arsenal 22 23 43
4 Chelsea 22 19 38
5 Tottenham 22 6 37
6 Sunderland 23 3 34
7 Bolton 23 3 30
8 Stoke 22 2 30
9 Newcastle 22 3 29
10 Blackpool 21 -5 28
11 Blackburn 23 -8 28
12 Everton 22 -2 26
13 Liverpool 22 -4 26
14 West Brom 22 -12 25
15 Fulham 22 -2 23
16 Birmingham 21 -5 23
17 Aston Villa 22 -15 22
18 Wigan 22 -15 22
19 Wolves 22 -14 21
20 West Ham 23 -19 20

see also
Dann ruled out for rest of season
20 Jan 11 |  Birmingham
Villa restoring belief - Houllier
16 Jan 11 |  Premier League
Sunday football as it happened
17 Jan 11 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
16 Jan 11 |  Football



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