Birmingham City 0 Aston Villa 1: Grealish decides derby after fan attack

Punched by a pitch invader early in the Second City derby, Jack Grealish later scored the winner for Aston Villa against Birmingham City.

Jack Grealish Birmingham City

Jack Grealish celebrates scoring for Aston Villa   -  Getty Images

Jack Grealish dramatically gave Aston Villa a 1-0 win at Birmingham City after being attacked by a pitch invader in the early stages of Sunday's derby.

READ | Grealish attacked by fan in Birmingham-Villa clash

Villa captain Grealish was felled by a punch to the neck and jaw region when a man ran onto the pitch in the opening 10 minutes of the Championship clash at St Andrew's.

A steward led the individual away off the field and West Midlands Police later confirmed a man had been arrested "following the incident on the pitch involving an attack on an Aston Villa player".

Players from both teams checked on the welfare of Grealish and the 23-year-old proved the match-winner in the 67th minute, beating Lee Camp with a left-footed effort from just inside the box and running to celebrate with the away fans behind the goal.

Anwar El Ghazi, Tammy Abraham and Andre Green had earlier squandered chances to break the deadlock, while Conor Hourihane rattled the crossbar with a thumping strike 15 minutes from full-time.

Craig Gardner wasted two late opportunities to equalise for the host as Dean Smith's men held on for a second straight victory, lifting the side into ninth and back to within four points of the play-off places.

Birmingham, which has now lost two on the trot, slid back to 11th, one point behind its rival.

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