How can you complain at that? After the Boro game it appeared we had no chance. Our away record is dire, Blues home record is dire. The game promised to be a stale old derby. It didn't turn out that way. We rode our luck early on when Julian Gray should have scored, but after that, there was only one team in it.
It was such a relief to see they could turn round the woeful performance v Boro and in effect become a totally different team.
Interesting comment on MOTD2 was that we had six players who hadn't played in the Villa/Blues derby before. So obviously they didn't feel the hoodoo the other players might have.
The goal was a brilliantly worked move between Millner, to Barry, to Phillips and passed the on form Maik Taylor.
Villa could have gone on to get more, the Bluenoses claimed for what seemed like 300 penalties, non of them being close to a shout, but Villa battled on and were worthy winners.
This form now has to be taken on to the next game v Wigan. Then we can stop looking behind us and start looking up the league.
I thought the team that lost today could well spend the whole season fighting relegation. Blues look devoid of shape, unable to score and short on confidence. Shame really! ;-))
Match Ratings Below By Villa Kie off the Holteenders message board.
Davis. See ratings below.
Dealt with averything comfortably but didnt have anything to do!!
Much much much better from him. dealt with Pennant superbly and crossed in a couple of excellent balls aswell.
Rock at the back. Had Pandiani in his pocket with room to spare for heskey. given him and extra point for going mad at the end. i didnt even hear the final wistle just saw Mellberg jumping up and down like wed won the european cup!! winding up blues fans by the tunnel aswell.
Had a tough time with heskey as blues were playing very direct. he got beaten in the air quite alot but made up for it with his positioning and made some good blocks and tackles.
Typical performance from him - solid. Did'nt get forward as much as before but put that down to injury.
Flying in with the tackles and showed some real class. His pass for the goal was sublime. Are you watching Sven?
Seriously. What can I say. He's a battler with class and composure. He didnt stop running and covered the whole pitch fantastically. He has a massive future ahead of him I'm sure. He was skinnning blues players right left and centre.
Did his job really well. broke down their play and helped out with pennant on the right. We should sign him up permanently.
Worked tirelessly and defended brilliantly. He was always a good outlet espiacially towards the end which was tense to say the least.
Really really good. He did everthing you would want from a player in a derby except score, but he went close a couple of times. I remember he was on the left hand side and a blues player had it on the right about 30 metres away from him. Angel was about 5 metres away from the ball, but didnt move. Luke Moore sprinted all the way past Angel and made a fantastic lungeing tackle. and this was right at the end. he must have been knackered after all the running hed already done and who knows where that pass would have ended up? Coming up to the villa fans at the end of the match and kissing the badge was pleasing to see.
Thought he gave Upson the run around. Kept a cool head and finished really well. Along with Moore dropped back to help out in midfiled/defence when it mattered. SUPER SUPER KEV, SUPER SUPER KEV,SUPER SUPER KEV, SUPER KEVIN PHILLIPS!!!
(64 mins for Phillips) Looked lazier than usual. Should have tested maik taylor with one shot but span wide after a miss kick.
(66 mins for Barry) Was useful in the air for corners and there were loads! Nothing else of note.
(84 mins for Bakke). Brough on late on to steady things up a bit. He did that well. Remember him making one really good clearence that would have fell perfectly for Upson i think it was. That was when I didn't have any fingers left never mind nails!!
DOL 8. Slag him off all you want lads. His tactics worked perfectly today. So what if he want to go and congradulate a dying man who struggled to make the game? Lay off him because its getting pathetic - only Villa fans would moan after a derby win! He clapped the Villa fans just as much as other players.
Steve Bruce. Ahhhh.
Out sang them at 0-0 and of course 1-0. The players appreciated it as did the manager. 45 quid was worth every penny. Ian Taylor was there and everyone turned and sang 'theres only one Ian Taylor' he stood on his chair and clapped us. It was an extra treat.
All in all a great day and a very good performance lets hope they keep it up for Wigan.
Thanks for the match ratings from Villa Kie.