What started out as a bit of a sloppy nail-biter against League One Tranmere Rovers turned into a comfortable 3-0 win for Aston Villa. A less than attractive 38th minute goal from Fabian Delph shifted the momentum to the home side, and after threatening for the majority of the second half Villa got a second from Chris Herd 65 minutes in. Darren Bent put things away for good in the 81st minute, his first goal of the year hopefully signifying things to come.
As you might expect, the quality of Villa's play kicked up a notch after taking the lead and by the end it seemed as though they might make it 4 or 5 before the final whistle put an end to the proceedings. Of note, all three of Villa's goals were the product of successful crosses; the significance of this was lost on absolutely no one. Clearly Tranmere aren't Newcastle, but Villa got pretty much everything they could have asked for from this game. It doesn't erase any concerns, but if they can build on this then it can certainly help to ease them.
Aston Villa's third-round opponent will be announced after the final fixture of the second round is completed on Thursday night. Here's hoping it's another lower-division side; a cup run would be a pretty nice distraction from what could be a difficult Premier League campaign.