Jorge Mendes and his merry men of Wolves supporters, wearing masks of the super agent, came to Villa Park half-expecting to teach Villa a lesson and all but wrap up their promotion to the Premier League.
Villa had different ideas though and after putting on their best performance of the season stormed away with a 4-1 win.
Grealish was on fire, it was business as usual for Snodgrass (the league’s top assist man) and Adomah, Jedinak was solid as a rock, Chester and Terry held firm, while Bjarnason proved an elaborate point to his manager.
It was all good in the Villa Park hood.
Here’s five reasons why…
When the Going Gets Tough
Shortly before Villa kicked off against Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham did a good job in terms of increasing the pressure on Villa. Cardiff had opened up the gap to second place to seven points, while Fulham had leapfrogged Villa, leaving us in fourth spot. This is even after Villa had won nine out of their last 11 games and had been second at one stage during this period.
Basically, in the words of Billy Ocean, it was time for the tough to get going.
With games fast running out, Villa needed to beat Wolves to keep a firm foot in the automatic promotion picture. A draw, while no disgrace, wasn’t going to help the cause.
With Villa back to full strength, with the return of Jack Grealish and Albert Adomah in the starting XI, they delivered a good Premier League level performance to dispatch Wolves.
When Villa fire, they can beat any team in this division.
If they make it four-wins on the bounce against QPR in mid-week, then Villa can look ahead with great optimism.
The month of April will become a dog fight, but Villa have proven they have both the quality and tenacity to deal with it.
After a seven-game winning run that took Villa to second place, a loss against the league’s form team away from home and a draw against another tough customer, shouldn’t have been such a big deal. The weird mathematics of the division though suddenly saw Villa slip to four points off automatic promotion.
The response? Goals! Four against Sheffield Wednesday, three against Sunderland and another four versus Wolves.
It seems that Villa have found their attacking mojo just when they need it the most.
Gabby is so 2009/10 (the last time he scored double figures in the league), so it was about time Villa got an update. Ladies and Gentleman, welcome ‘Grabby’.
Lewis Grabban has certainly hit the ground running since his January loan, with four in four, making him the third highest scorer in the division this season with 16 (12 with Sunderland), only one goal behind Bristol City’s Bobby Reid and Derby’s Matěj Vydra.
He’s probably the best suited of all of Villa’s strikers, when it comes to playing as the lone striker. He can link up, run the channels, has good technique and knows how to finish.
He may become the difference been automatic promotion and the play-offs.
— MY OLD MAN SAID (@oldmansaid) March 10, 2018
It’s never easy when you’re an away fan and you go and see your side get slapped 4-1, but credit to Wolves fans, they had the foresight to bring masks for their walk of shame back to Mordor after the game.
Bogey Team Destiny
Dan Rogers on the MOMS Podcast (which returns this week) was convinced earlier in the season that Cardiff City would fade away in 2018. Not so.
Apart from a blip over the Christmas holidays when they lost four-in-a-row, Warnock’s men have kept at it and recently have started to kick for home in the Championship’s home straight, with six wins on the trot (part of a 10-game unbeaten run).
When’s their run going to end? Well, step forward Brentford on Tuesday night. Fingers-crossed, anyway.
Brentford, Villa’s bogey team since we’ve been in the Championship, can finally do us a favour and carry on their decent home form on Tuesday night, when the Bluebirds’ visit.
They’ve only lost two games at Griffin Park this season, so as long as they don’t make it three in mid-week, it’ll do Villa a massive favour and put our destiny in our own hands.
In terms of away form, Cardiff have only won two of their last six away games, so there is hope.
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