A shocking keystone cops series of moments from the Villa defence gifted Mourinho his first win over Villa at the home of football. To those who think with the white flag mentality of ‘Well, I didn’t expect anything anyway’, Villa had thwarted Mourinho five times before when they were the underdogs and had a decent shout to take something from this game once they were back on level terms.
While their will be disappointment at the result, the performance showed a lot more conviction than previous weeks, which was most welcome and provides the foundation for the seriously needed results-building of the next few weeks.
When the ball hits the net, it’s Okore!
Sad times when scoring a goal in defeat is considered something to celebrate as a Villa fan. 11 hours without a goal is a shocker as is the fact Paul Lambert’s team has failed to score in 42 of the 100 games he’s been in charge. But on the plus side, the monkey is off the team’s back and it’s nice to see Okore get some reward after his injury blues last season.
Gil for Real
The best overall Villa player performance was no doubt Carles Gil who was instrumental in Okore’s equalizer and dictated most of Villa’s play. He’s only just started but hopefully the Villa forward-line can get on his wavelength and start producing the goods.
At 22 and not considered good enough for the Valencia first-team, not too much was expected from Gil in the short-term, but he’s shown he can be a big player for Villa in the present and could be the difference for the team avoiding any relegation issues. He will need help though.
The upcoming games against Hull City away and then Leicester City in the FA Cup will go a long way to setting the tone for the rest of the season. Lose both, and I wouldn’t like to be in Paul Lambert’s shoes. Win both and Villa’s season will get a much-needed bounce in it’s step. Confidence is needed fast as Villa’s relegation battle will be potentially won in February and March, when they play several teams around them. April sees a tough set of fixtures, making the need for points on the board by then, vital.
The Squad is Back
If there’s a relegation battle to fight it was good to see the likes of Ron Vlaar and Joe Cole sitting next to Christian Benteke on the bench against Chelsea. Lambert’s substitution may not have influenced any games when they’ve come on this season (Villa are the only team in the league not to have a goal-scoring sub), but stronger options to call upon can only help.
Aston Villa Fan Arrows
MOMS must get at least five messages a week from fans saying we should follow the example of the video of German club FC Magdeburg fans and their neon arrows pointing the way to goal.
We actually discovered that video a couple of years ago and joked it could be a solution to Villa’s goal drought back then. There’s been a few droughts over the years and we even included the video in A Venglos View back in August, so we were glad to finally see some Villa fans draw up some arrows at the Chelsea game. They certainly did the trick, as the team broke their duck. Well done lads! UTV