Goals, Villa Park clean sheets and dodgy penalties
Not a vintage performance by any means, with Villa even losing out in possession to an unimpressive Cardiff team, but when the chips were down late on, Villa dug deep to take the three points and give us a few reasons to be cheerful as a Villa fan…
1. It took seven-and-a-half hours, but then like buses, two came along at once. Goals finally returned to Villa Park, as did a much-needed three points.
2. Leandro Bacuna’s strikes of inspiration. Against Manchester City a few weeks back, his sweet freekick seemed to inject his fellow Villa players with the desire to do the unlikely and beat City. Today, a freekick even further out, finally sparked belief in Villa, as well as ending that increasingly worrying period without a goal. It’s good to know we have a little extra-dimension when it comes to getting vital goals.
3. A clean sheet bug is catching. After waiting an eternity for any clean sheet in any league games, Villa have recorded them in their last three away games and now they gained their first clean sheet at Villa Park in 16 league games, since a 0-0 draw with Stoke on December 8th 2012.
Villa’s flimsy backline was derided for most of last season, but now with pretty much the same personal, it’s hanging tough. Four clean sheets in the last eight games. Not bad. Maybe we can call Vlaar, ‘Concrete Ron’ now?
4. There were boos at half-time by some frustrated Villa supporters, but around the hour mark the Holte End could be clearly heard rousing their team onto better things. Fittingly, the players responded. Now for a nice long unbeaten home run to give fans something to really cheer about.
5. The dodgy Chelsea injury-time penalty that pegged the Baggies back to a draw. Well, now level with 14 points each, Villa and West Brom’s clash after the international break is a proper Pride of the Midlands battle. The international break will also give Lambert more time to bring Gabby and Fabian Delph up to full fitness for the crunch match too. UTV
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