A very good win. Let's not forget that despite stuttering of late, Villa's record is very impressive - their away form even more so. Mark Hughes was particularly impressed, labelling it a 'complete performance':
“It was a well deserved victory and I thought we were excellent especially in the first half when some of our play was outstanding,” declared the Blues boss.We had plenty of doubts heading into this game with the forward line depleted, and this was exacerbated with Nigel de Jong's injury, but this was perhaps further evidence that we are maturing as a side in the respect that we are able to close games out - which previously in the season we were unable to do.
“We created lots of chances thanks to the fluidity of our movement and our passing. It was there for all to see and we could have been out of sight by half time.
“The team hunted in packs and followed the game plan and that’s what I want to see more of but I was really proud of them last night and proud of the fans too who lifted us when we got tired towards the end.
“We were dangerous going forward and tight at the back and that is a great combination. The second goal was a reward for the team and the fans. We had some superb interplay and a really good tempo to our play.”
It was of course our fifth successive home win, and despite setbacks that we have encountered, we are making undeniable progress. Other positives from a playing side were Shaun Wright-Phillips getting on the scoresheet, Gelson Fernandes getting a half under his belt after a long absence and Valeri Bojinov continuing his recovery from injury.
As good as the win was itself, with West Ham winning at Wigan the three points were also vital for our quest for seventh position and we remain four points off that but move up a couple of places in the standings.
The big question with ten games remaining is can we transfer some of the progress we are making into our away form.