Premier League
West BromWest Bromwich Albion1Aston VillaAston Villa0

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Aston Villa

By Timothy AbrahamBBC Sport
Craig Gardner
Craig Gardner made 59 Premier League appearances for Aston Vila between 2005 and 2010
  • Craig Gardner scores against former club
  • West Brom's first win since 1 November
  • Kieran Richardson sent off
  • Fabian Delph returns for Villa

West Brom midfielder Craig Gardner scored against former club Aston Villa to end the Baggies' run of five Premier League matches without a win.

Gardner, 28, capitalised on a scramble inside the area and fired through a crowd of bodies after Stephane Sessegnon's shot had been blocked.

Villa had earlier been reduced to 10 men after Kieran Richardson was sent off for a late tackle on Sessegnon.

Christian Benteke's close-range shot late on was the best Villa could offer.

This week Villa chief executive Tom Fox outlined a desire for the club to challenge for European football within the next three years.

Irvine 'relieved' by West Brom win

Although Gardner, who played for Villa from 2005 to 2010, said in the build-up to the West Midlands derby that Villa were no longer the biggest clubexternal-link in the region.

The last time the two sides met in January the match finished in a thrilling 4-3 scoreline in Villa's favour, but following the dismissal of Richardson the visitors rarely threatened the West Brom goal.

Richardson, who scored one of the goals which kept West Brom in the Premier League on a dramatic final day in the 2004-05 season, overstretched after a heavy touch and caught Sessegnon with a late tackle.

With the extra man advantage West Brom dominated the remainder of the first half, and the home side felt they should have had a penalty on the half-hour mark when Sessegnon's cross struck the hand of Carlos Sanchez but referee Mike Dean waved away the appeals.

Tight West Midlands derbies
There has never been more than a one-goal margin between the sides in their 17 Premier League meetings.

The overlapping runs of Albion left-back Sebastien Pocognoli caused problems for Villa throughout, and moments before the interval he cut a cross back for Sessegnon who saw his close-range effort saved by visiting goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Villa midfielder Fabian Delph came on at the break for Charles N'Zogbia as he made his first appearance since a shoulder injury picked up in early October.

Lambert pleased with Villa display

Despite Delph's added tenacity Albion remained the dominant force as they searched for the decisive goal.

And Albion's pressure eventually told in the 72nd minute as Gardner grabbed the winner when Sessegnon's shot bounced off Brown Ideye for him to guide the ball home. It was Gardner's first goal since he joined from Sunderland in the summer.

Benteke went close late on when he got on the end of Ciaran Clark's knockdown, but could only guide his effort wide of the post.

West Brom head coach Alan Irvine: "Everyone assumes it's easy with 10 men but it isn't. It was never a foregone conclusion.

"However, I felt as long as we played with composure and didn't try to hurry things we would do it.

"From my point of view it's a great goal. Craig Gardner did well to finish it off. The players have been great for me."

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "I'm disappointed but I felt we did well with 10 men.

"The sending off changed the course of the game.

"I don't think there was any malice in it from Kieran but I can understand why the ref's sent him off."

Kieran Richardson
Kieran Richardson was sent off for the first time since he joined Aston Villa on a free transfer in the summer
Kieran Richardson, Mike Dean
Aston Villa's Kieran Richardson voiced his displeasure at referee Mike Dean's decision to send him off
Brown Ideye
West Brom club record signing Brown Ideye, right, has scored just once since he joined the club
Craig Gardner
Craig Gardner's goal against Aston Villla was his first for West Brom since he arrived from Sunderland
Sebastien Pocognol, Charles N'Zogbia
Left-back Sebastien Pocognoli, an attacking threat for West Brom against Villa, has yet to score for the Baggies


West Brom

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Foster
  • 2Wisdom
  • 23McAuleyBooked at 18mins
  • 6Lescott
  • 15PocognoliBooked at 63mins
  • 29Sessegnon
  • 7Morrison
  • 17DorransSubstituted forBerahinoat 70'minutes
  • 27VarelaBooked at 78mins
  • 8GardnerBooked at 90mins
  • 9Ideye


  • 4Baird
  • 13Myhill
  • 16Gamboa
  • 18Berahino
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 25Dawson
  • 28Blanco

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Guzan
  • 21HuttonBooked at 65mins
  • 5Okore
  • 6Clark
  • 23CissokhoSubstituted forWeimannat 78'minutes
  • 8CleverleyBooked at 42mins
  • 24C SánchezSubstituted forVlaarat 78'minutes
  • 18RichardsonBooked at 22mins
  • 28N'ZogbiaSubstituted forDelphat 45'minutes
  • 20Benteke
  • 11Agbonlahor


  • 4Vlaar
  • 10Weimann
  • 16Delph
  • 17Herd
  • 31Given
  • 34Lowton
  • 40Grealish
Mike Dean

Match Stats

Home TeamWest BromAway TeamAston Villa
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Aston Villa 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Aston Villa 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  4. Booking

    Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

  5. Post update

    Hand ball by Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion).

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Gabriel Agbonlahor.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

  8. Post update

    Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Jores Okore (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Brown Ideye (West Bromwich Albion).

  11. Post update

    Foul by Jores Okore (Aston Villa).

  12. Post update

    Stéphane Sessegnon (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Andreas Weimann.

  14. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Fabian Delph tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ciaran Clark with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Andreas Weimann replaces Aly Cissokho.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Ron Vlaar replaces Carlos Sánchez.

  19. Booking

    Silvestre Varela (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

As It Stood

2Man City16113233141936
3Man Utd158432617928
4West Ham168442719828
12Aston Villa165471020-1019
14West Brom164571520-517
16Crystal Palace163671924-515
View full Premier League table

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