Chalobah strike gives 10 man Town a deserved point
Ten man Town turned in a terrific display to share the spoils with one of the promotion favourites.
Blues played for more than 50 minutes with a player down after Tayo Edun was shown red by referee Tim Robinson following two bookings.
Gwion Edwards hit the bar before Villa took the lead with a flashing header from Jonathan Kodjia but Trevoh Chalobah’s first goal for the Club 10 minutes before the break gave Blues a deserved point.
Jon Nolan and Toto Nsiala were handed their home debuts, while Edwards was included in the starting line-up after recovering from injury.
Cole Skuse had to clear from six yards after Mile Jedinak headed the ball back across goal from Jack Grealish’s free-kick as Villa started on the front foot, Janoi
Donacien then standing strong to hold off the threat from Albert Adomah.
Chalobah did well to head clear as Villa threatened from another cross then Edwards had the home crowd on their feet with a blistering run past three defenders, the signing from Peterborough then appearing at the far post to get on the end of Edun’s cross and smash a shot against the bar.
Chalobah and Ellis Harrison were crowded out in quick succession in the Villa box as Town pressed for the breakthrough but it was the visitors who edged in front on 21 minutes, John McGinn sending in a vicious cross and Kodjia finding the far corner with a flicked header.
Kodjia flashed another header just over after Town lost him at a free-kick, Edwards then winning possession deep in Villa territory, Edun inches away from getting on the end of his cross.
Town were level on 35 minutes, Orjan Nyland failed to clear from a cross and Chalobah capitalised, finding the bottom corner with a spin and strike.
Blues’ fortunes turned again three minutes later with Edun sent-off for a second yellow card after a foul on Axel Tuanzebe - the second successive game Town have lost a player before half-time against Villa, with Grant Ward seeing red last season.
Donacien’s cross was cleared as Town started the second-half on the front foot, the loan signing from Accrington then picking up a yellow card for a foul on Grealish.
Donacien then stayed up right to clear from Grealish as the midfielder looked to get his shot in from close range, while at the other end Harrison was just wide with a header from a corner.
Nsiali out-muscled McGinn as the Scotland international broke in on goal before Villa made two changes, former Blue Conor Hourihane and Andre Green entering the fray, with Tuanzebe and Birkir Bjarnason making way.
Hourihane had a shot deflected over, Town then making a first change on 72 minutes with Harrison replaced by Kayden Jackson, another making his home debut.
Adomah volleyed wide at the far post, McGinn blasting over from the edge of the box, then Jackson did the same as Town broke.
Edwards, a threat all game, sent in a terrific cross that looked destined for
Jackson until a deflection took it away from his path, Myles Kenlock then introduced for Nolan for the last stages.
Green went close to a winner for Villa and Bart Bialkowski beat out a fierce drive from Hourihane but Town held on for a well earned point.
Town: Bialkowski, Donacien, Nsiala, Chambers, Knudsen, Edwards, Nolan (Kenlock 84), Skuse, Chalobah, Edun, Harrison (Jackson 72). Subs not used: Gerken, Sears, Spence, Ward, Downes. Sent-off: Edun. Booked: Edun, Donacien.
Aston Villa: Nyland, Tuanzebe (Green 63), Chester, McGinn, Grealish, Jedinak, Bjarnason (Hourihane 63), Hutton, Kodjia, Elmohamady, Adomah (Hepburn-Murphy 75). Subs not used: Moreira, Taylor, Whelan, Elphick. Booked: Hutton, McGinn.