Two years ago today, Aston Villa secured a 1-0 win against bitter rivals Birmingham City, but this was far from the full story of the game. Jack Grealish started his second game following his long-awaited return from injury and spirits, following a 4-0 thrashing of Derby County in the previous game. By comparison, City were in a mixed vein of form coming into what looked to be a very tight affair at St Andrew's.
A routine first half burst into life as a Birmingham City fan ran onto the pitch and attempted to attack Grealish. He connected with a punch that sent the Villa captain to the floor, which sparked scenes that nobody wants to see. All the Villa players came in to support Grealish, with Tammy Abraham and Conor Hourihane were held back as the pitch invader was taken away by stewards.
The goal followed will go down in Aston Villa folk law as one of the most celebrated moments in living memory. The game seemed to have a 0-0 stalemate written all over it, but John McGinn's introduction saw the side in claret and blue begin to dominate. McGinn picked out Neil Taylor, who laid the ball to Grealish, and the rest is history. He slotted the ball into the bottom corner past Lee Camp, and the word limbs come to mind to sum up, what happened next.
Grealish and most of the Villa team jumped into the away end to celebrate with the hoard of Villa fans rushing down the stairs. The controversy at St Andrew's didn't end there as a steward appeared to kick Grealish multiple times as he tried to go back to the pitch, yet again Hourihane came to Grealish's aid as he called out the steward who was shortly escorted out of the stadium.
A bonkers game wasn't done there, though. The home fans were celebrating not once but twice as their side missed two sitters late on in the game, much to the amusement of those in the away end.
Since this game, both the pitch invader and the steward faced lifetime bans from Birmingham City, with the Grealish's attacker facing time in prison for his efforts. Its a game that will live long in the memory of every Villa fan, none more than Jack Grealish, who said this on Twitter:
“The sweet sweet moment for Jack Grealish” 2 years ago today, a goal that I truly would not change for ANYTHING! What a day it was #AVFC