6-1. And just like that, the relegation scrap was blown wide open. As Villa have found their form at an essential time, Sunderland, Newcastle and Norwich now all have to think about Wigan snapping at their heels and threatening to pull-off another great act of escapology. A win at Carrow Road and Villans can perhaps start planning their summers without the worry of what league their team will be playing next season. In the meantime, what we learnt from the wonder of a 6-1 win…
1 – When it comes to the crunch
We have proved that when it really matters, against the teams it matters against, we are more than capable of doing the job required of us. Since the turn of the year we’ve picked up points in the games that have really mattered. Reading, QPR, West Ham, Stoke and now Sunderland were all crucial games that we needed something from. Against Sunderland, we not only needed a win, but a big one at that. With Newcastle being royally spanked this weekend, some extensive work on the goal difference was needed, and boy did that job get done!
2 – Men Of The Match
It was a genuine toss up between Benteke and Lowton for me personally. Lowton gave arguably his finest performance in a Villa shirt (that pass was just as good as his goal against Stoke!) He chipped in with 31 passes, the most chances created with four, the most dribbles with four and the most tackles with two. But a hat trick is a hat trick and the big Belgians goals have been worth their weight in gold. However, the rest of the midfield buzzed around with the energy of a set of Duracell bunnies. Delph, Sylla and Westwood are beginning to form a handy little trio and on any other day they would have been contenders for the award too.
3 – It’s all coming together
We’re now seeing the fruits of Paul Lambert’s labour. The good form we’ve displayed since the turn of the year is now paying off and potentially leading us to safety. Taking out the defeats to Manchester United and Liverpool, which only serve to remind us of the depressing state of modern football, we’ve been almost faultless. Almost. Putting a team together takes time, and on the budget Randy’s given him to do it with it would have been foolish to expect immediate results, however, it’s clicked perhaps slightly sooner than planned and makes the prospect of next season positively mouth watering.
4 – We deserved that
We did deserve that, something to cheer amongst all of the humbling beatings, all of the lacklustre performances, the tension of the final ten minutes in seemingly every game we play, all of the near misses and all of the general frustration that comes with supporting Aston Villa Football Club.
5 – Gabby Agbonlahor: top scorer
He’s done it; he broke Yorkie’s record. Now all he needs to do is go on and crack the 100.
Steven Green is one of the hosts of AVFC Review podcast and writer for Shoot Magazine.
Follow MOMS on twitter at @oldmansaid