Aston Villa grab late winner at Birmingham City

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LONDON, Nov 11 (Reuters) Gabriel Agbonlahor cleared off the line then scored a late winner to give Aston Villa a 2-1 victory in the West Midlands derby at Birmingham City today.

The England under-21 striker grabbed his fifth Premier League goal of the season with a flicked on header in the 87th minute for the side's first away win in the league since April.

Former Villa defender Liam Ridgewell put the visitors ahead in the 10th minute with an own goal, the ball bouncing off his knee and into the net after Bulgarian midfielder Stilian Petrov had fired in a low cross.

Birmingham appealed for a penalty with 31 minutes gone after Dutch midfielder Daniel De Ridder went down but referee Steve Bennett booked the player instead for taking a dive. Television replays suggested the player was tripped.

There was no question about the 62nd-minute equaliser however, with De Ridder lofting in a cross for Mikael Forssell to head home from close range.

Ridgewell then had a header cleared off the line in the 85th minute by Agbonlahor.

Champions Manchester United, level on 27 points with unbeaten leaders Arsenal, were playing Blackburn Rovers later at Old Trafford with fifth-placed Chelsea (24) also in action at home to Everton.

Arsenal visit Reading on Monday.

Villa moved up to eighth in the standings on 21 points from 12 matches while Birmingham remained 14th on 11 points, having played one game more.

Liverpool beat Fulham 2-0 in one of three matches played yesterday moving up to fourth, after scoring twice in the last nine minutes.

REUTERS SSC YA HT2118

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