Match ends, Aston Villa 1, Birmingham City 0.
Rudy Gestede headed the only goal of the game as Aston Villa edged through to the last 16 of the League Cup with a derby victory over Birmingham City.
The Benin striker evaded his marker to powerfully nod in left-back Jordan Amavi's left-wing cross from 10 yards just after the hour mark.
Blues had the better of a highly charged first half at Villa Park.
But Villa got on top after the break to earn their victory, Blues keeper Tomasz Kuszczak having to make two fine saves.
In the first Second City derby since January 2011, Gary Rowett's Championship side went closest in the first half through an angled shot from Jacques Maghoma, who also volleyed over when well placed.
|Rudy Gestede's goal was the fourth time he has netted with a header against Birmingham City. He scored a hat-trick of headers in a 4-2 win for Blackburn Rovers at St Andrews on Easter Monday 2014.|
And lively teenager Demarai Gray should have done better with a weak chipped free-kick straight at home keeper Brad Guzan.
After making two half-time substitutions, Villa broke through 17 minutes into the second half when Amavi swung in a cross and Gestede escaped the attentions of Jonathan Grounds to place his header low inside Kuszczak's right post.
Maghoma had a great chance to level, after being sent through by Gray, but Guzan saved his scuffed effort.
Villa could have won by more, Kuszczak saving spectacularly from Scott Sinclair and Jordan Ayew, whose fellow half-time substitute Jack Grealish was inches away from stealing in at the far post.
Villa's first win in four matches, since beating Notts County in round two, condemned Blues to only their second defeat of the season.
Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood:
"We came here on a hiding to nothing. I was proud of how we went about it - we tried to get between the lines and they couldn't cope with Jack Grealish. We always want to play fast, flowing football but we can't always do that.
"We've shown we're a flexible team. I want players who I can look in the eye and get what I expect. Tonight is a huge boost. I thought we could have won a lot more comfortably."
Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett:
"You're playing against a huge side from the Premier League in a local derby, it's a very difficult game to play in. First half we were the better side, we played very well, had a few chances and moved the ball around very well.
"Jack Grealish changed the game when he came on and we were undone by a moment of quality from Rudy Gestede. That is very difficult to defend against.
"I hope the fans will have seen something positive and will have seen us run Aston Villa very close. I think tactically we more than matched Villa."
- 16LescottSubstituted forGrealishat 45'minutes
- 15WestwoodBooked at 80mins
- 6ClarkBooked at 41mins
- 11AgbonlahorBooked at 22minsSubstituted forJ Ayewat 45'minutes
- 19J Ayew
- 24C Sánchez
- 28MorrisonBooked at 78mins
- 26DavisSubstituted forToralat 66'minutes
- 19MaghomaSubstituted forSolomon-Otaborat 81'minutes
- 9DonaldsonSubstituted forBrock-Madsenat 81'minutes
- Robert Madley
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Aston Villa 1, Birmingham City 0.
Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jon-Miquel Toral (Birmingham City).
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jon-Miquel Toral (Birmingham City).
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Jonathan Spector.
Scott Sinclair (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Paul Caddis (Birmingham City).
Foul by Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa).
Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Tomasz Kuszczak.
Attempt saved. Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Jack Grealish.
Attempt missed. Viv Solomon-Otabor (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jon-Miquel Toral.
Attempt missed. Scott Sinclair (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Veretout.
Attempt missed. Jordan Veretout (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Ayew.
Substitution, Birmingham City. Nicolai Brock-Madsen replaces Clayton Donaldson.
Substitution, Birmingham City. Viv Solomon-Otabor replaces Jacques Maghoma.
Attempt missed. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Ayew with a cross.
Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.