How on earth did we manage to nick a point from that game?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m well chuffed, because if you’d offered me a point before the game I’d have snatched your hand off.
I think very few of us thought we’d get anything out of this and it looked like the majority view was going to prove correct straight from the off.
Then we conceded the inevitable early goal.
Let’s get this clear.
In my forty odd years of watching the Villa, I don’t ever remember such a poor defensive performance as I witnessed today in that first half. We lacked shape, discipline, confidence, you name it.
It was only by the grace of god that we weren’t four-nil down after about twenty five minutes, but somehow we hung in there and I was thinking to myself we really needed a goal to give us a bit of a confidence boost.
Fortunately we got it, after some good work by Benteke and good finishing by Weimann. Why some people don’t seem to rate the latter surprises me, but whatever, the two front runners were a real plus point for me today.
They worked their socks off and Benteke was so aggressive, it’s frightening. If I was a Premier league defender, I think I’d be terrified at the prospect of playing against him.
Back to the goal.
As soon as we scored, it seemed to me like it was a massive weight off the player’s shoulders.
And then we came out as a different team in the second half. You could see the confidence rising as the game wore on and half way through, I was actually beginning to think we could nick the game.
And we so nearly did, after what for me, was a blatant penalty, which Benteke put away very nicely. It was good to see that his confidence doesn’t seem to have dropped, the way he took the ball and made it obvious he was going to take the shot.
Anyway, it wasn’t to last. How galling was it to concede in the last minute? I can honestly say I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach.
How valuable, confidence-wise, would an away win have been if we could have got it?
Never mind though, because although I’ve no doubt the lads will be as gutted as us fans, they have to take heart in the way they came back against the odds. It demonstrates to me that they do have the balls and they’re definitely up for the fight.
Which to me, is what makes this an absolutely cracking result.
I’m still struggling to dismiss how poor that first half was though.