Villa were expected to be on a hiding to nothing going to Old Trafford, with Manchester United needing a win to be crowned champions. After 60 seconds, we pretty much knew we were in for a long night, but there were still some crumbs of comfort for Aston Villa fans.
1. The score actually flattered United. We now know that all three goals had suspicions of off-side, but United were simply clinical and took their chances. It also helps when a team has one of the best finishers in the game in their side too. After the 60-second sucker punch that made it 1-0, if Benteke puts his laces through his chance instead of trying to side foot it into the top-hand corner, then the belief that would have instilled within the Villa team would have made it a more interesting contest. Yes, at 3-0, United may have lost a little urgency, but at the same time Villa didn’t drop their heads.
If you look at the stats Villa pretty much matched United in terms of possession and attempts on goal. Compare that to the return 3-2 loss at Villa Park this season, which would widely be regarded as a closer match, and you see stats-wise United were far superior in both possession and goal attempts.
2.While there is still a tendency for frustrating over-passing, which means strikers end up static and the opposition’s defence are given plenty of time to set up, Villa are still creating chances in every game they play to win games (compare to last season).
3. El Ahmadi did a decent job when he came on as sub, giving the team a bit more drive in the middle. He may still have a part to play for Villa.
4. The Villa fans at games are whole-heartedly behind their team at a crucial stage. At Old Trafford, you’d think we were top 4 and not bottom 4 by the way the supporters backed their team.
5. The United kid with the RVP framed picture certainly cheered up Villa away fans on a night we had to suffer the coronation of the champions. After we got him to show us his picture of RVP ‘Ooooooo show us your picture’, we then told him what we thought of it and where he should stick it. A little harsh, but hey, if you’re going to put a kids/family section next to the away fans, you’re asking for trouble! The kid should be proud though to have the whole Villa traveling army serenading him.
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