In case you were wondering what had gone wrong at Villa Park, Aston Villa delivered a message in their well-deserved 0-3 smashing of Arsenal at The Emirates: We’re alright, thank you very much. With Ross Barkley and John McGinn back on song, Villa sent opposition fans into meltdown, and moved back up to sixth. Not bad for a Sunday night.
Turns out 5-0-0 wasn’t meant to be. Shame, that. And even more so since the inevitable first defeat was a bit resounding. Bielsa won the first PL round with Smith, and Leeds ran away clear and deserved winners. However, it wasn’t as inevitable on the night as it turned out looking.
It’s hard to overstate what an important victory this was. No, we didn’t win anything, and no it won’t continue like this. But to come off the high of dismantling Liverpool, go away for two weeks, and return to grind out a win on the road against an undermanned but still highly capable and well-drilled Leicester squad shows a different mentality in the team. It’s not a game we’d have won last season. Neither was Liverpool, for that matter, but who’s counting?
All the superlatives have been used for a historic night. The absolute last thing anyone expected, most certainly the defending champions. And me. But now Villans have two weeks to enjoy a surreal 7-2 pasting of Liverpool to go second with a game in hand.
It looked like it was shaping up to be a night of frustration for Villa in their season opener, but Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa managed to combine off a corner to break through Sheffield’s defense and seal all three points for the home side. Oh, and some guy named Martinez saved a penalty.