tony moon aston villa

Villa Away Day at the Emirates

 

By Kerry Lenihan

 

The grin on my face couldn’t have been bigger as I ventured through London, practically skipping down Holloway Road, like a lovesick schoolgirl. My heart beat quickened, as I saw The Drayton pub in the distance, and heard the choruses of a hundred or so Villa fans. Suddenly my view was  littered with claret and blue splendour, and it was then it hit me. No-more empty weekends trying to fill a void that couldn’t be bridged, no-more gazing longingly at the fixture list, no-more waiting… the time had come. It was back.

Continuing the almighty support of recent seasons the place was rammed by 1pm with Villa supporters, the beer was flowing and the excitable Villa army were in full voice. Chants rang out, some old, some new, some unrepeatable.

One very brave or very foolish Arsenal fan did squirm his way inside; did we ignore him and let him go about his business? Did we heck. We made him stand on a table and sing to us obviously. Not that you could hear his verse over chants of ‘Villa, Villa, Villa’ and ‘Who are ya?’.

At 2.50pm we were last out the pub, as usual, a few minutes later we were over the bridge and into the ground.

The Emirates is one of my favourite grounds to visit in terms of magnificence, it’s rather pretty to look at, and the way they’ve added all those statue Arsenal fans in it, is just cracking. I jest, but on a serious note, do they even have one chant? From much observation it would appear not.

 

villa away supporters
Arsenal should pay Villa fans for coming, as they were the only ones creating an atmosphere.

However, silent it was not. The sell out away support more than made up for the quiet gooners. The full back catalogue of Aston Villa songs was put on repeat. It felt good to be back, singing along with the crowd rather than just in the shower. A slight dip in the volume was experienced upon Giroud’s goal at just five minutes in, but on the plus side, at least there was 85 minutes left to claw back, and boy did we. First Benteke cheekily scuppered his penalty, but only to lure Szczesny into a false sense of security, before heading it home. Boom 1-1. Cue: ‘Woahhhh Christian Beneteke, Woaaaaah Christian Beneteke’.

Then half-way into the second half, the unbelievable happened, another penalty, and with it another yellow. Taylor certainly enjoyed his cards on Saturday. The penalty expertly taken by The Beast himself sent the Villa fans into a frenzy of joy. 2-1, on cloud nine. A few minutes later and Koscielny received a second yellow and trundled of the pitch; I wasn’t too keen on Gabby’s reaction to this, but definitely the correct decision.

From this point onwards we were crawling all over them, and finally in the 85 minute, out of nowhere, Tony Moon himself, breaks and pelts it down the pitch, before cooling slotting the ball into the left corner. 3-1, that’ll do, Tony, that’ll do.

As the final whistle went, screams of joy echoed around the Emirates from the claret & blue army, in contrast boos rang out from the Arsenal fans. Booing your team off the pitch on the opening day of the season? You stay classy Arsenal. Maybe time to spend some dosh aye Wengs, or they’ll be gunnin’ for ya?

Paul Lambert’s army provided a table-topping performance of their own in my opinion. My favourite new chant of the season has to be in honour of Lowton, ‘Swing low, Matt Lowton, on his chest to volley it home’ corking. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable day in the capital, three points on the board, top of the table for a few hours and some very nice football. Let’s keep it up lads.

On a side note for those wondering, the 19th minute came and went without much applause (part way through a recital of Lambert’s Claret & Blue army, so not without noise), just as Petrov wished. UTV

 

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