Stumbling Starts To Season For City And Villa


Birmingham City and Aston Villa both find themselves flirting with the relegation zone following faltering beginnings to the new season – although it’s too early to start worrying.

Both sides have picked up just one victory, though, in their opening five games and end August in the bottom half, Villa in 18th, and Birmingham 20th.

Things looked bright for Aston Villa on opening day when Gabby Agbonlahor opened the scoring against Hull City in just 7 minutes. John Terry made his debut and played the full game but he could merely stand and watch as Jarrod Bowen volleyed home an equalizer with an hour gone. 1-1 it ended.

Steve Bruce’s boys were thoroughly outplayed in their next game visiting Cardiff City. Villa managed only one shot on target in the 90 minutes and fell 3-0 courtesy of a brace from Mendez-Laing and a goal from Junior Hoilett.

The claret and blue side visited Reading on the 15th, and Villa’s search for a victory went on losing 2-1. Glenn Whelan scored an own goal early into second half before Mo Barrow added a second for the hosts. Conor Hourihane pulled one back for the visitors but too little too late as Bruce’s men fell to a second consecutive away defeat.

Villa finally picked up their first win with a home game against Norwich City. Hourihane was in the goals again, this time the midfielder was rampant, netting a hattrick for the home side in a 4-2 victory.

Villa’s next game and last for August was away to Bristol City. A determined Villa fought for a 1-1 draw after going down to Jamie Paterson’s 60-minute goal. Tottenham loanee Josh Onomah scored his first goal for the club drawing them level to see Villa finish the opening month on 5 points.

Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham City made a miserable start to their campaign after falling 1-0 away at Ipswich, newly returned Joe Garner scoring the winner.

Things looked set to get worse next up when the Blues hosted Bristol City and conceded a messy goal to Bobby Reid inside 2 minutes. Craig Gardner scored an equalizer on the half-hour mark before a superb strike from Jacques Maghoma won the game for the home side. Maikel Kieftenbeld was sent off late but City held on for a 2-1 win.

A cagey affair next up when Birmingham hosted Bolton. 0-0 it finished and after Redknapp said, “I couldn’t say that I enjoyed the game.”

A shock defeat at Burton Albion followed with Birmingham falling 2-1 after taking the lead following Maghoma’s goal. Lloyd Dyer and Marvic Sordell netting second-half efforts for the home side.

Birmingham finished the month off with a third defeat, falling at St. Andrew’s with a 2-0 loss to Reading leaving them with just 4 points heading into the early season break.


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