Bicycle Kicks, Bacuna and Jose’s Villa Park records
There was an increasing air of disillusionment around Villa Park before the game and Villa fans for the first time this season voted with their feet. Empty seats were seen around the ground as the attendance just scraped over the 30,000 mark (30,303). Then, there was an air of inevitability about January Villa target Wes Hoolahan opening the scoring in the third minute for Norwich. Could things get any worse? Well, luckily, no. Inspired by Christian Benteke, out of nowhere, Villa suddenly netted four goals in 15 minutes. Game, set and match. Plus, plenty of reasons for Villa fans to be cheerful about.
1. Villa’s match winner is back. Villa hadn’t scored for 326 minutes and were two minutes away from topping the length of their previous goal drought earlier in the season, when Benteke did a bit of bicycle kick magic. He tried it in the Newcastle game, if I remember correctly, but this time got his eye in. Obviously, Deadly Doug must have given him a few pointers earlier in the week to improve his technique. The Belgian, bagging a second goal a couple of minutes later, flipped the game on its head and showed us the difference he makes to Villa when he’s on song.
A bit of trivia – Benteke has scored five headed goals this season, which is the most in the Premier League.
2. When Leandro Bacuna scores at Villa Park, Villa win. It’s seems to be the only time they win too. Four Bacuna home goals this season, a total of four Villa homes wins this season. I’d be tempted to play the Dutchman up front alongside Benteke!
3. Let me state the blooming obvious, that was an important win. For supporters, the club and Paul Lambert. Now Villa are on 31 points with 10 games left to get three wins to reach the safety mark of 40 points. Some points in the next two games, also at Villa Park, should see us comfortable.
4. Speaking of which…Jose Mourinho has never won at Villa Park. If that stat stays the same after Chelsea visit in two weeks time, then they’ll be no reason why Villa can’t see out the season with an unbeaten run at Villa Park. It will go some way to paying back season ticket holders, who have had to endure some shocking displays this season at the church of football.
5. We might be able to actually believe what Paul Lambert says in his post-match interview after this game! UTV
In case you missed the Lambert spoof this week: