Gabriel Agbonlahor was delighted to give Villa fans the bragging rights in the west Midlands with his 84th minute matchwinner at St. Andrew's.

The England international's late header sunk neighbours Birmingham and ensured Villa's fans will enjoy the upper hand until the return Barclays Premier League fixture. Birmingham had dominated the second half but they paid for their failure to create any clear-cut chances when Agbonlahor swooped to finish off John Carew's headed pass.

"It shows how much it meant to everyone, the way they were celebrating," said Agbonlahor. "It makes all of their years until we play them (Birmingham) again. It is good that we've got the bragging rights."

He added: "On another day maybe it rolls wide, but John headed it back and I put my head on it and luckily it went in."

Agbonlahor was disappointed not to score a second when he found himself through on goal moments later but he ran out of steam and lofted the ball over the crossbar.

"My legs were a bit tired at the end - I tried to put it lower but it went over the bar," he added. "I was disappointed not to score that one but luckily they didn't get an equaliser so it didn't really matter."

Meanwhile Villa boss Martin O'Neill believes the striker can force his way into England's World Cup squad for next year's finals in South Africa.

Agbonlahor has not featured for England since their defeat to Spain back in February but the 22-year-old striker looked back to his best against City.

"I am delighted for Gabby," said O'Neill. "It is a big lift for him. He was excellent against Liverpool and Fulham, and again today (Sunday).

"Until the World Cup gathers momentum I have not got a major worry. If he continues to play and perform right through the season there is no reason for him to be disregarded."

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