This being Aston Villa, it's damn near impossible to pre-write a match report. To count how many times we've conceded in the dying minutes of the match would only drive everyone to finish whatever dregs happen to be left in the bottle. But this time, we are celebrating because HOLY CRAP WHAT JUST HAPPENED? ARE WE DREAMING?
Let's start with the goal from Ron Vlaar. That's right, the Villa centerback scored the first goal of the match, and astonishingly enough, it wasn't with his head. The ball fell to the foot of Vlaar, my roommate yelled SHOOT RON SHOOT, Ron listened, and boom! Aston Villa had the lead. Incidentally, that was his first goal in a Villa shirt.
Unfortunately, Vlaar's celebrations left him so exhausted that he couldn't turn around and do what he's paid to do -- namely, defend. Less than two minutes later, Danny Rose had equalized for Sunderland, with a goal that also marked his first in the red-and-white stripes. Apparently, defenders were taking matters into their own hands at Villa Park.
But Andreas Weimann just couldn't stand the fact that the strikers were being overshadowed, so he stepped up into the breach. Matthew Lowton sent in an absolutely sexy ball that Andi, running up the left, managed to control with a marvelous first touch. Simon Mignolet, running forward to stop the Austrian, had no chance, and Villa took the lead.
And if you ever had any doubt about how committed Weimann is to the Villa, you only have to look at his goal celebration, and see the ultimate joy he showed when realizing he may have played a role in keeping the club up. So let's not talk about players leaving right now, mmmkay?
Speaking of players we don't want to leave, it was Christian Benteke that grabbed the third Villa goal. Gabby Agbonlahor used his lightning feet to get behind the Sunderland defense, but Mignolet was there to push his shot away. Fortunately, Bentekkers was also there, and for once, he wasn't offside. He got his head to the ball and suddenly Villa had three.
I know. I can't believe it either.
And then it just got better. Yes, pinch yourselves -- Benteke scored ANOTHER, less than five minutes. He climbed over the back of our old friend Carlos Cuellar to head in ... what was this? Oh right. Villa's FOURTH.
A few minutes later, Villa very nearly had a fifth, but somehow Sunderland were up for a little game of ping-pong. It looked as though Weimann sent in about five consecutive shots, but the poor dear was denied each time.
Somehow, things just kept getting better for Lambert's Lions. With twenty minutes left to go, Stéphane Sessegnon went in late on Yacoba Sylla, clattering through the back of his legs. It maybe wasn't a red card, but who cares -- the referee pulled one out anyway.
That was the last straw for Sunderland. Two minutes later, Benteke had completed his hat-trick, this time with his left-foot. He brushed by the Black Cats' defense to slot the ball in from a tight angle, giving Villa their number FIVE goal of the night.
FIVE FIVE FIVE FIVE FIVE.
But the Villa, either mindful of the goal difference or just having an absolute blast playing, weren't content to leave it at that. It was Gabby this time, accepting a very generous pass from David Vaughan. The speedster went one on one with Mignolet and then nonchalantly sauntered past, dinking the ball into the empty net.
SIX SIX SIX SIX SIX SIX.