Aston Villa 5 Birmingham City 1: Young at heart of second City gloom

Ashley Young still has some way to go to convince Fabio Capello of his worth for England but his position in Aston Villa lore has been secured. Two goals and a significant part in two others in a five-goal derby-day demolition and demoralisation of Birmingham will live long in the memory.

Capello was here and will have approved. He will also have approved of another accomplished performance by Gareth Barry, a player who has impressed him greatly so far, and went further yesterday in controlling the midfield in the way the Italian demands.

There was a goal for Gabriel Agbonlahor also, but how Capello would have wished John Carew was at his disposal. Privately, the England manager has rued the lack of a focal point striker, a Didier Drogba or Fernando Torres, and the Norwegian provides that. Two more goals for him and how he milked the applause as he was last to leave the pitch. "Really brilliant," was the verdict of the Villa manager, Martin O'Neill.

And how the supporters will milk this victory, a double over Birmingham, the biggest winning margin in a league fixture since 1960 (6-2) and a result that meant the Blues stay in the bottom three. On this evidence they might remain there. As he was substituted the on-loan striker Mauro Zarate – he of the £20m buy-out clause – kicked an advertising hoarding in frustration. "He was disappointed with his performance," said Alex McLeish. "And so he should have been." There would also have been plenty of cats kicked when the club's supporters returned home. The Birmingham manager then added of Villa: "These guys are a better side than us. Let's be honest. We were against a side who are miles away from us at the moment."

Villa are reaching for the stars. It's now an astonishing 15 goals in just three games as they have gobbled up the ground between them and fifth-placed Everton. They sit three points behind the Merseysiders and visit Goodison Park on Sunday. It will take some resilience to stop them. "We have put ourselves in with a chance," O'Neill said, "but we have to win." European football has been held as the goal to keep Barry – a target of clubs with Champions League participation on offer – Young and the young tyros, and convince Villa owner Randy Lerner to spend big this summer.

The managers have done battle before. They faced up to each other – last in combat almost three years ago – on either side of the Old Firm but that was as far more equal contestants. Yesterday Birmingham were simply dreadful. Out-played, out-fought, out-muscled, out-thought. Their points of resistance came from a frustrated James McFadden and the substitutes Mikael Forssell – who scored – and Olivier Kapo.

Defensively they were shocking. Quite why the slight right-back Stephen Kelly was deployed to mark Carew at set-pieces was a mystery. It was a man against a boy while the Birmingham central defenders stood off in fear of Villa's power and pace.

That came from Carew, Agbonlahor and – starting on the left but given a free role – Young who hammered in a half-volley from the edge of the area, after a scuffed shot from Olof Mellberg fell to him, to give Villa the lead. It was doubled before half-time when, amazingly, Carew was left unmarked to glance in Young's free-kick.

Blues had two opportunities – Mehdi Nafti and David Murphy blazing over – before, into the second half, Young picked out Barry, who rolled the woeful former Villa player Liam Ridgewell and squared for Carew to tap home. The fourth came soon after as Young collected a throw-in and feinted past Kelly. His shot was saved by Maik Taylor with an outstretched boot but Young gleefully fired in the rebound.

A slight glimmer for Blues came when Forssell's low shot, after fine approach play, beat Scott Carson, but another poor intervention by Ridgewell, heading a clearance straight to Agbonlahor, invited the fifth. The striker, with Kelly and Radhi Jaidi standing off, accepted and beat the unsighted Taylor to leave Villa out of sight.

Goals: Young (28) 1-0; Carew (42) 2-0; Carew (53) 3-0; Young (62) 4-0; Forssell (67) 4-1; Agbonlahor (78) 5-1.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Carson; Mellberg (Harewood, 85), Laursen, Knight, Bouma; Reo-Coker, Petrov, Barry, Young; Agbonlahor, Carew. Substitutes not used: Taylor (gk), Salifou, Routledge, Berger.

Birmingham City (4-4-2): Taylor; Kelly, Ridgewell, Jaidi, Murphy; Jerome (Kapo, 58), Nafti, Muamba, McSheffrey; McFadden, Zarate (Forssell, 58). Substitutes not used: Doyle (gk), O'Connor, Parnaby.

Referee: M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Booked: Birmingham City McFadden.

Man of the match: Carew.

Attendance: 42,584.

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album