Derby County started the clash energised and ready to impress, with forward, Cameron Jerome, a standout.
Villa, while up for the occasion, quickly folded as Derby found purchase on Villa’s left flank, with Neil Taylor unable to cope with Andreas Weimann, who was able to give Villans an early scare by playing Jerome through on goal before the play was called back for offside.
However, it would only be relief of a short-lived nature for AVFC, who were unable to stop Weimann meandering into the edge of the box and passing once more to Jerome, who slotted the ball past Sam Johnstone to send the Derby following into raptures.
The balance of the match tipped into disaster as Derby increasingly made the wings their own. As chaos stood to envelope Villa, Steve Bruce made the decision to substitute Neil Taylor off, for a returning Alan Hutton. The Scotsman made an instant impression to constant praise from the Villa crowd, and as the half drew to a close, the Claret & Blues were able to set in motion a comeback.
Chances remained wasted in the second half, as Villa snapped from long range and failed to bite from close range. Villa Park would become a theatre of agony as shot, after shot, failed to find it’s mark, with each player slumping into frustration.
The introductions of Jonathan Kodjia and Joshua Onomah to the proceedings kept the momentum on Villa’s side, and the home team would score a just equaliser from the likeliest source.
As the ball pinged in the Derby box, Villa boots reached out for a taste of glory, sending the ball to-and-fro. A legion of boots swept at the ball, before Lewis Grabban desperately poked the ball home.
The match ended with an elated Villa securing 4th place in the Championship, and postponing Derby’s celebrations.
The season, however, will continue as Villa still have Millwall to play in a game that might define their play-off fate. Stay tuned, and up the Villa