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Ireland's Conor Hourihane scores a screamer as Villa edge closer to promotion

Steve Bruce’s side scored a 2-0 win over Birmingham to move up to second place in the Championship table.

Image: Nick Potts

STEVE BRUCE’S SIDE climbed into second place in the Championship thanks to a dominant display in the ‘second city’ derby at Villa Park.

Albert Adomah scored his 13th goal of the season on the hour mark and Ireland international Conor Hourihane netted a brilliant strike after 81 minutes as Villa moved one point above Derby in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Villa’s seventh successive league win was celebrated by a near-capacity 41,233 crowd, who delighted in Birmingham’s downfall.

Villa are now unbeaten in their last 12 encounters with the Blues, while Bruce was able to savour a success against the club he once led into the top-flight.

Birmingham were reduced to 10 men in the closing seconds following Cheikh Ndoye’s second yellow card.

Adomah may have turned the game in Villa’s favour but his team-mate Jack Grealish was the driving force for the hosts.

Grealish’s quality was reflected by some desperate tackles by Birmingham in an attempt to keep him in check.

Birmingham have not scored in their last five visits to Villa Park and sit two points and two places above the relegation zone.

© – AFP 2018

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