Monday 14 October 2019

Match-winner Grealish revels in 'best day of my life'

Grealish celebrates at full-time after scoring the winning goal. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Grealish celebrates at full-time after scoring the winning goal. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Jack Grealish insisted that his first appearance at St Andrew's had been the best day of his life after scoring the winning goal.

Despite being punched by a pitch invader after 10 minutes, Grealish displayed remarkable professionalism to continue and provide the crucial contribution 23 minutes from time.

His winner lifted Villa above Birmingham in the Championship and the club are now four points adrift of the play-off places.

"It's the best day of my life. To come here for the first time, captain Aston Villa and score the winner - it's what dreams are made of, especially for me being an Aston Villa fan," he said.

"I scored the winner and we've come away with three points. It was unbelievable and in front of our fans as well. After what happened in the first half, it was set up for it."

The blue touch paper was lit after four minutes by an appalling challenge from Maikel Kieftenbeld on Grealish. The Birmingham midfielder was arguably fortunate to escape with a caution. Then, at a Villa corner, the pitch invader assaulted Grealish.

Grealish was clearly shaken but recovered to play an influential role in a game low on quality and chances.

His goal came when he advanced into the area and drove a low shot into the corner. Celebrating with the Villa fans behind the goal, he was booked by referee Tim Robinson and, amazingly, a steward appeared to aim a kick at him.

Conor Hourihane struck the crossbar and Birmingham's Craig Gardner wasted a glorious chance two minutes from time, but Dean Smith's side held on.

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