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St Andrew's (ATT 29,312) 16th October 2005 - Kick off 12:00 Ref: G Poll

Birm'ham Birmingham City vs Aston Villa A Villa

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Phillips goal ends hoodoo

By James Pearson.   Last Updated: 16/10/05 1:54pm

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Aston Villa's dreadful Premiership record against local rivals Birmingham City came to end after Kevin Phillips' goal gave them a 1-0 win at St Andrews.

Villa had not won any of their six previous Premiership meetings, but claimed all three points on Sunday thanks to Phillips' cool finish after 19 minutes.

The win is just Villa's second of the season and moves them clear of the drop zone while Steve Bruce's side remain just outside the bottom three.

The first chance of the game fell to Julian Gray at the back post but he squandered the chance lashing the ball wide of Thomas Sorensen's goal.

The former Crystal Palace man arrived on time to connect with Emile Heskey's near post flick from Jermaine Pennant's cross but his finish was poor.

Heskey thought he was away shortly after down the right, but Liam Ridgewell checked the striker's run and earned himself a booking from referee Graham Poll.

Villa then stunned the home crowd when summer signing Phillips opened the scoring with a neat finish from just inside the penalty area.

The former Southampton ace was perfectly placed to latch onto Gareth Barry's back-heel to stroke the ball home past Maik Taylor's outstretched hand.

Out of sorts Walter Pandiani should have done better after breaking into the box, but after getting past Olof Mellberg his effort was tame and comfortably saved by Sorensen.

Blues boss Bruce was forced to change his side before the break when Stephen Clemence hobbled off and he was replaced by on loan Chelsea man Jiri Jarosik.

Blues took their time to settle in the second half and had to wait until just before the hour mark for Matthew Upson to test Sorensen with a downward header from Pennant's corner.

The home side thought they had won a penalty shortly after when Heskey's effort struck Wilfred Bouma's arm in the box, but Poll waved away their appeals.

David Dunn made his long-awaited return to action and nearly had an immediate impact when his left-footed effort was superbly palmed away by Sorensen with 20 minutes to go.

The visitors rarely threatened after the break although Juan Pablo Angel should really have done better following good work through the middle from Steven Davis.

Dunn was looking lively following his prolonged period on the sidelines through injury, however his long-range drive rolled just wide of Sorensen's goal.

Former Blackburn midfielder Dunn thought he had won his side a penalty after going down under a challenge from Bouma in the area, but again Poll failed to point to the spot.

Despite heavy pressure from Bruce's side late on they were unable to equalise leaving Villa with West Midlands bragging rights.

Click here for Birmingham v Aston Villa player ratings.

Birmingham CityTeam StatisticsAston Villa
0Goals1
01st Half Goals1
4Shots on Target1
5Shots off Target5
2Blocked Shots1
11Corners5
13Fouls19
1Offsides4
2Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
65.8Passing Success54.9
24Tackles44
95.8Tackles Success90.9
57Possession43
50Territorial Advantage50

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 38 87
2 Manchester City 38 79
3 Arsenal 38 75
4 Manchester United 38 70
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 64
6 Liverpool 38 62
7 Southampton 38 60
8 Swansea City 38 56
9 Stoke City 38 54
10 Crystal Palace 38 48
11 Everton 38 47
12 West Ham United 38 47
13 West Bromwich Albion 38 44
14 Leicester City 38 41
15 Newcastle United 38 39
16 Sunderland 38 38
17 Aston Villa 38 38
18 Hull City 38 35
19 Burnley 38 33
20 Queens Park Rangers 38 30

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