I’ve seen Villa mocked a bit for their celebrations following the dramatic shootout victory at The Hawthorns. But when you think of all that’s happened, all that the players and supporters have been through, you can’t begrudge them one bit. It was a feat worth celebrating. A moment worth cherishing. No, we didn’t win any silverware, didn’t claim promotion. But what we did celebrate on the night was long overdue.
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.
Here we are again, three games between another season in the Championship or a return to the big stage. And if Villa want it enough and go play like it, I’d not bet against them.
“What will it mean?” “Not an awful lot if we don’t get promoted.” That’s the eight-game win streak for you. It’s been a great run, but with nothing assured, it really doesn’t mean anything. In fact, Villa more than likely have to extend their fantastic run to get a good feeling from it.
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.