Villa Beat Chelsea 2-0
Attendance: 37 714
Heroic performance, don't care about the possession that the London play boys had, they were shut out where it mattered and only managed two shots on target the whole game.
I thought there were some very special performances today, not least by the Villa crowd who were awesome throughout and mostly forgot about that local team just up the road instead supporting the mighty claret and blue vocally all game. Even the commentator said how fantastic this old stadium of ours is when it is full (not sold out though which is mystifying) and rocking with noise.
I must be allergic to Chelsea, this is the third game in as many years I've missed due to ill health and I virtually never miss a game. Totally gutted not to have been amongst the noise today but I still kicked every ball and sung every song from my sofa!
What more do you have to say? Some truly outstanding performances, an attacking formation from the start and with Nigel Hokey Cokey and Gareth Barry in the centre of midfield, with Stiliyan Petrov confined to the bench, we looked far more solid. Ashley Young on the left and Gabby on the right worked out well and Luke Moore quite rightly got the start he deserved. All this and we still have seen very little from big John Carew, once he starts to get rocking as well, this team could be very dangerous indeed. As Big Dion Dublin, a guest of Sky today said, JC plays too deep and doesn't terrorise defenders the way the old fashioned centre forwards like him, Shearer, Ferguson and Sutton used to. Maybe one for Carew to note? That said, John Terry really should be buying Carew some flowers or chocolates as he obviously took quite a shine to the striker the amount of times he tried to take his top off.
Chelsea, before today, had only lost 1 game in 32. ONE in 32.
The confidence this win will give our young players will be a major shot in the arm, now we can look forward to playing the likes of Manchester City, Everton, Spurs and West Ham without a shadow of doubt that we can beat them.
Ok, this was just one game, so was the Fulham match before it, but these games are what last season we were drawing, we weren't that far off Europe if not for the draws last year, so this year - as long as injuries are kind to us (as we still do have far too small a squad - as we all know!) - we could push on and then attract even higher quality to Villa Park next summer (noooooo, don't start talking about another transfer window I hear you cry!)
Today is simply for enjoying and savouring. Villa showed battle, bottle and some class today, something we haven't seen at Villa Park for many a long season. Could we just be starting to believe?
Match stats: Click Here
And yes, I know I might be getting a bit carried away with the ratings!
Scott Carson 7
Wilfred Bouma 8
Olof Mellberg 8
Martin Laursen 10
Zat Knight 8
Gabby Agbonlahor 8
Ashley Young 9
Gareth Barry 10
Nigel Hokey Cokey 8
Luke Moore 7
John Carew 5.5
Petrov (on for John Carew)