A convincing (eventually) 3-1 win over Cardiff and their loudmouth, bitter manager was just what the doctor (Xia) ordered. What can Villa fans take from another reassuring display that everything is on the up?
(finally we get to use) RETURN OF THE JEDI
When was the last time an Aston Villa midfielder bossed a game? Mile Jedinak was clearly not at his best during the RDM era, earning him a resounding thumbs-down from the majority of fans. But his dominance on Saturday, gripping the midfield and leading by example with all those headers, was a good look at the player Villa thought they were signing from Palace.
Purists will admire the handful of visionary passes he finds per game, but even Robbie Savage would have to applaud his filling the void that Villa have had in the middle of the pitch since F**ian D**ph left.
JACK BE QUICK
When was the last time an Aston Villa player scared the opposition whenever he got the ball? Jack Grealish is fulfilling his potential and Cardiff couldn’t handle him in the central position he played on Saturday.
Benteke aside, he’s the first player that opposing managers will be warning his players about for some time. He’s one of us… except good looking, young and skillful with the world at his feet.
JO(H)NNY BE GOOD
When was the last time an Aston Villa player took the mickey? Jonathan Kodjia’s audacious display against Cardiff, plus the salmon-jump header to get things going reinforces his fan-favourite status.
Credit should certainly go to his supporting cast – Amavi was massive this weekend, Ayew provides skill and pace, and Adomah crosses continue to do damage – but without Kodjia on the spot, it would be more dropped points and toothless displays.
The promotion push is on. There are definitely winnable games between now and the end of the calendar year and to be knocking on the play-off places after Christmas would have been unthinkable back when Villa were looking like the dreaded double-relegation was on.
Villa fans are often accused as fickle but their hatred for Steve Bruce before he signed and the adoration (of most) afterwards are hardly that. It’s more than Bruce’s ability to win games and grind wins from draws too. It’s about being united.
Kodjia’s gesture to give Rudi the penalty as a reminder that it’s a team game says it all. The more everyone feels involved (no bomb squad) the better that team spirit is. And that’s worth points on the board.
Follow Adam Keeble on Twitter @keebo00