The Second City derby may have been all about a supporter punching Jack Grealish, but Birmingham’s Craig Gardner did his best to take the attention away from the earlier incident by missing two wonderful chances.
Gardner failed to score two simple opportunities late in the game which would have cancelled out Grealish’s goal earlier in the match. The 32-year-old first smashed an effort over the bar and then put a header just wide of the post.
It was two moments that brought great joy to Villa supporters, who took delight in seeing one of their ex-players miss the chance to rescue the game for his current side.
Villa fans were able to laugh off the fact he’s now at Birmingham to acknowledge the player’s roots after he came through the youth setup at Villa Park, sarcastically applauding his display.
Gardner spent the earliest parts of his career with the Villans, signing professional terms in 2005 before eventually leaving five years later to join Birmingham. He is now in his third spell with Blues.
But his performance, which was as a substitute on Sunday, will likely not do anything for his chances in the first team going forward. Villa fans, however, will be hoping he puts in similar displays as their rivals bid for a play-off place.
Here’s how Villa supporters reacted to his pair of big misses…
— Elliot ?????????????? (@_ElliotAV) March 10, 2019
— Tom Agar (@solopolo87) March 10, 2019
That look on Craig Gardner’s face at the end. His mission finally complete today but like a double agent who has spent too long under ground, he know longer has a clue who he is or where his allegiance lies. #AVFC
— Foxy (@FoxyN77) March 10, 2019
— Marky Mark (@mbavfc) March 10, 2019
Gardner an absolute bottle job too ???
— Luke Reading (@LR_avfc) March 10, 2019
Well played Agent Gardner #avfc
— Paul Waterfield (@pablooplywiss) March 10, 2019