It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but Aston Villa found a way through Albion’s bus-park to gain a critical 2-1 advantage in leg one of the playoff semifinal. Another fightback, and a return to winning ways in a game that counted. This team doesn’t have much quit in it. In days past, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to see Villa walk away on the wrong end of an 0-1 scoreline.
Imagining there may be one or two hangovers this morning after Villa stretched their winning streak to eight yesterday and gave supporters hope that something really has changed. Because even without Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings, Villa were still far too much for Bristol City, who left Villa Park on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline that could’ve looked a lot different.
Middlesbrough came calling Saturday at a rather important juncture in Villa’s season, and promised a stern test. However, Villa largely brushed Tony Pulis’ men and tactics aside to cruise to a vital 3-0 win that saw us climb back into the promotion places for the first time since something like the sixth week of the campaign. Not a bad day.
Back-to-back wins, and suddenly Villa have a viable if tenuous path to the playoffs. Whether or not we get there, there’s still nothing more satisfying in a regular-season context than doing the double on the clowns at home. Now a win at The City Ground seems rather important.
Aston Villa squandered a slender 1-0 lead to draw 1-1 with hosts Preston North End Saturday. Which was a shame, as there was ground to be gained on the day given other results. Bottom line, the side haven’t looked the same without Jack Grealish.