Aston Villa 0-0 Birmingham: A Chippy First Half In The Second City Derby

The Second City Derby remains scoreless at half time. Birmingham City have had the better of the chances, with one shot on target. Aston Villa have barely moved out of their half in the last twenty minutes before the break, with the Blues constantly putting the ball in the Villa area. Thus far the home side have managed to keep the ball out of their net through a combination of headers and desperate kicks, but unless Gerard Houllier gives them a new strategy during teatime, the match will likely swing Birmingham's way.

The match is a chippy affair, as always. Villa defender Stephen Warnock saw his fifth yellow of the season just before the end of the half, while Birmingham players Nikola Zigic and Craig Gardner have already seen a yellow card. The visitors appealed for a penalty when Nigel Reo-Coker appeared to brush the ball with his hand inside the area. Howard Webb may have realized that giving such a soft penalty would have caused riots in Birmingham, and so wisely chose to assume that Reo-Coker had unintentionally handled the ball.

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