Setting the Table: Villa Win Makes Manchester United Less Terrifying

Stu Forster

Aston Villa's 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light this weekend means that the upcoming match against Manchester United is at least a little bit less horrifying.

So that makes a lot of sense. I have to go to a conference and miss the match over the weekend. I assume it will be like most everything Villa have done lately and be miserable. Except... it wasn't. It was, apparently, quite fun! Figures, doesn't it?

But, that can't stop the enthusiasm I'm feeling. Since the last version of this column, Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor have scored two goals apiece, and Villa have won two matches. They're in the quarterfinals of a cup, and they are four points above the drop in the EPL. So this is what a good week feels like...

Just The Facts, Please


Position W D L GD Pts
Aston Villa 17th 2 3 5 -6 9

Form (Last 5): D L L D W (That's 5 points in 5 matches!)

Results Last Week: Swindon Town 2-3 Aston Villa (League Cup); Sunderland 0-1 Aston Villa (EPL)

Upcoming Fixtures:

  • First Team:
    Manchester United - Saturday, November 10, 1730 GMT, 1230 Eastern
  • Reserves:
    PSV Eindhoven (NextGen Series) - Wednesday, November 10, 1900 GMT, 1400 Eastern

Injuries

New Injuries Last Week:

  • Darren Bent - foot (?)
  • Chris Herd - knee (should return this week)

The Week That Was

  • If you're an Aston Villa fan in the United States, it's worth noting that the EPL broadcast rights will be held by NBC Sports beginning in the 2013-14 season. I haven't gotten to see too much on the network, but the LA Galaxy-Vancouver Whitecaps match I watched on Thursday evening was well done, and the network in general has earned praise for its MLS coverage. It won't take much for them to be better than Fox, though.
  • In Aston Villa news, the club will face Norwich in the quarterfinals of the League Cup, after their win at Swindon. The match will be played in Norwich in the second week of december. Should Villa win, expect them to somehow draw Barcelona in the semis. That'd be Villa's luck.
  • Darren Bent "injured" his "foot." Or at least that's what we've been told as a reason why the out-of-favor striker didn't travel to Sunderland. Oddly enough, I injured my esophagus trying to swallow that story.

Match Notes

Swindon Town 2-3 Aston Villa (League Cup)
Christian Benteke (30'), Gabriel Agbonlahor (39'), Miles Storey (78', 81'), Benteke (90')

  • Nice to see that Christian Benteke is on an absolute tear right now. He's got four goals for Aston Villa and six since he signed here if you count international duty. I really like this kid.
  • The match was probably closer than it needed to be, but hey, it was a win away.
  • The 7500 to Holte recap is here.

Sunderland 0-1 Aston Villa (EPL)
Gabriel Agbonlahor (57')

  • I didn't get to watch this match live, and I haven't gotten to watch it in its entirety yet, so my recapping here will be short.
  • That said, I have made sure to see the goal. And in case you, like me, missed it, I made you a treat:

    Gabby_sunderland_gif_medium
  • Quick note on that: it was Gabby's second goal of the week. This may just be one of his hot spells that he gets every now and again, but maybe this one will last? Wouldn't that be amazing?
  • Quick note #2: notice who had the assist on that? Christian Benteke. The man who the Belgians told us would amount to nothing. In the two matches last week, from everything I've seen and read, he and Gabby paired well together. I'm intrigued by the prospect of a blaze of lightning pairing up with a large brick wall with some finesse. Could mean great things for the team.
  • You can find Kirsten's recap here.
  • Aaron's player recaps are here.
  • The WhoScored recap is here.

Looking Ahead

  • Two wins ought to be enough to talk most of us off the ledge. And no, I'm not pointing fingers here. If you read last week's edition of this, I was as angry as anyone. But these wins don't mean too much as Aston Villa get ready to face an absurdly tough schedule for the rest of the month.
  • This is a variant on a Friday Feedback we did a while back, but what would make you happy in the next three matches? Both Manchester teams and Arsenal. Would 2 points be okay? Would 3 be alright? I imagine we'd all be ecstatic if they nabbed 4+. The good news is the win at Sunderland take some pressure off the club. Let me know what you think below. I am really honestly intrigued by this.
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