If we're all being honest, wouldn't we have been okay with a draw at Liverpool? Sure we had that 4-1 win earlier this week, but it felt like the sort of match that leads to a let down. Certainly we'd never get anything that good, right?
And for nearly the first 30 minutes, it seemed as if Aston Villa were primed to let us down. The defense was shaky, and was only saved by Brad Guzan. The attack was alright, but could really get anything started. And Liverpool were shooting like crazy. Something had to go in.
In the 29th minute, something did go in. What was strange was that the something came off of the foot of Christian Benteke in the season's most-against-the-run-of-play goal yet:
It was Benteke's second goal of the week, after scoring in the last minutes of the 1-4 win at Norwich on Tuesday. Counting cup matches, it was also Benteke's 7th goal of the season. But the Belgian wasn't done for the day. He and Andreas Weimann would team up 11 minutes later to score a goal that just eviscerated the Liverpool defense with precise passing. Here's the angle from above so you can see how perfectly these two are working together right now:
That's Weimann to Benteke to Weimann to net. And while it looks awesome up there, check out this angle that shows just how perfect Benteke's pass was:
A casual, think-nothing-of-it backheel flick to a charging Weimann. These two are young, they're immensely skilled, and they should be the main reason why we're all excited to be Villa fans right now. Paul Lambert sure is:
When the second half opened, I imagine many fans were worried - as I was - that Villa might give it away. It only took them six minutes to seal the deal. Christian Benteke again used his muscle and tenacity to give Villa another goal, as he fended off Joe Allen trying to break in from behind:
And because I love you, here's the reverse angle of that:
Steven Gerrard would score for Liverpool in the 87th minute, but it was far too little, too late. The defense looked a bit shaky today, but the attack was spot-on and Brad Guzan did a marvelous job of protecting the Villa goal. This week alone, Weimann and Benteke have scored six goals, and the club has scored seven. Benteke is sitting on 8 goals in all competitions this season while Weimann has 5.
And one last neat little thing. As I'm sure you know by now, I love whoscored.com for their snappy breakdowns of match statistics. Their player ratings are obviously not to be taken as gospel, but I thought it was worth noting that Benteke today received a 10, which I have never seen. In celebration of that, here's another moment of Benteke being adorable:
It's a great time to be a Villa fan, and it's been the best week in recent memory. This team is the best, and you will never convince me otherwise.