Rudy Gestede's second-half header saw the hosts beat Birmingham City 1-0 in Tuesday night's Capital One Cup third round tie.
The Aston Villa players had every reason to celebrate on Tuesday night after beating bitter rivals Birmingham City 1-0 in the third round of the Capital One Cup.
After Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion, the hosts went into another derby clash amid their worst start to a league campaign since 1986-87, leaving them desperate for a confidence-boosting win over their neighbours to kick-start their season.
However, Tim Sherwood’s side struggled to get out of first gear through the opening 45 minutes, as the Championship side more than held their own and looked the likelier to open the scoring.
Things changed drastically after the break, though, when Sherwood replaced Gabby Agbonlahor and Joleon Lescott with Jordan Ayew and Jack Grealish, as the creative duo proceeded to carve open the Blues defence with their direct running and movement in the attacking third.
It was Grealish who eventually helped create the only goal of the game in the 62nd-minute, supplying a deft pass to Jordan Amavi, who in turn found Rudy Gestede with a pinpoint cross from the left flank for the towering striker to power a header into the net.
Villa had opportunities to increase their lead over the rest of the match but Birmingham also came close to equalising 16 minutes from the end, when Jacques Maghoma found himself one-on-one with Brad Guzan after exploiting some poor defending from Sherwood’s men.
The 27-year-old winger’s weak shot was easily saved by the American goalkeeper, however, as the home side edged through to the fourth round of the competition at the expense of their neighbours.
Unsurprisingly, plenty of Villa players took to Twitter shortly after the game to express their delight at the win, including Grealish, team captain Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and a handful of youngsters not involved on the night.
Say no more Ruddddddyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!! pic.twitter.com/t6TmJtWp9T— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish1) September 22, 2015
What an atmosphere! Buzzing to get the result and experience a win in my first derby! Fans were amazing and we push on now! #UTV— Micah Richards (@MicahRichards) September 22, 2015
Only thing that matters in a derby game is the result, glad we came out on top.— Joleon Lescott (@JoleonLescott) September 23, 2015
Unbelievable atmosphere tonight fans were amazing, great result and now we push on!— Scott Sinclair (@Scotty_Sinclair) September 22, 2015
Jacko was the difference , best player on the pitch— Bradley Lewis (@BradleyLewis27) September 22, 2015