Grealish gets punched, then delivers sucker punch
Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was punched by a pitch-invading Birmingham City fan in a shocking incident during yesterday's Championship clash between the bitter rivals.
But he later responded in the best possible way with the winner on 67 minutes. The match ended 1-0 to Villa.
Grealish was in the Birmingham penalty area in the 10th minute when a man ran on to the field and threw a punch from behind at the Villa captain.
The blow caught Grealish on the side of the head and sent him sprawling to the turf.
The intruder was quickly restrained by a steward as Villa players including Tammy Abraham and Glenn Whelan rushed to Grealish's defence.
The invader was still defiantly blowing kisses to the crowd while being led away by police.
A visibly furious Grealish was helped to his feet and was able to continue playing once order was restored at Birmingham's St Andrew's stadium.
He said: "Obviously there's rivalry and stuff in football but I don't think there's any place for that really.
"I just tried to get on with my job. To score the winner was unbelievable, after what happened in the first half. I think it was set up for it.
"Best day of my life. To come here, captain Aston Villa and score the winner is what dreams are made of, especially for me as a Villa fan."
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville called for Birmingham to be docked points over the attack.
"The club are going have to take a huge punishment for this to act as a deterrent in the future. A points deduction or empty stadium for 10 games!" Neville tweeted. - AFP