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Aston Villa entered Monday's match against Sunderland desperately needing to secure 3 points. If they didn't, Wigan would be only two points back with a match in hand. Well, the club did exactly what we've come to expect from them, by taking an early lead and then giving it up in the dying min...
I'm getting word that Villa, in fact, did not do what they normally do. Instead they held on for the dr...
The win? Surely you're jesting narrative construct. So they won 2-1, then, right?
Wait. 6-1? As in, SIX goals? Preposterous. Why, I'd only believe that if I could see it for myself.
What's that? I can? Simply by scrolling down? Alright then, I think I will. Won't you join me, dear reader?
Here is Ron Vlaar, who you may remember as a defender who may not know what a shot looks like, scoring a dazzling goal to open the affair. Notice how many people that ball dances through. It's as if it were a magic trick of some sort. What a lovely shot. (Also, what do you think of the in-gif captions? Are we fans of that? I'm toying around with them.)
But, in the one "typical Villa" moment of the match, the club gave up an equalizer a mere minute later:
That gif is so long to show you just how terribly the defense did in letting Danny Rose score. It was a pretty poor showing. Luckily, they didn't have much to do for the rest of the evening, as after this point Sunderland seemed to absolutely crumble. Minutes later Andreas Weimann would score the only other goal Aston Villa would need for the evening on an absolutely perfect ball from Matthew Lowton:
And here's another look to see just how well-placed Lowton's ball was:
Andi, being who he is, gave us our favorite celebration:
The teams went into the half with Villa up 2-1. Most fans were praying that the club could just hold on. And boy did they ever, as Christian Benteke proceeded to make the match his own with a 17-minute hat-trick that saw goals in the 55th, 59th, and 72nd minutes. Here is the first:
That's not an easy follow-through, and Benteke did well to bury the rebound. His second goal came off of a - and no, I'm not making this up - corner. That's right, Villa scored from a corner. Here, see for yourself:
He cleared former Villa defender Carlos Cuellar easily and there was never any doubt that the Belgian's header was true. That's two goals using his head on the day. His third would be more of what we've come to expect from the Beast, as he used his muscle to create a shot for himself:
What I couldn't get in that gif was the build up, where Benteke forced his way through the Sunderland defense. The fact that he did so and regained total control of the ball is just another reason the young player is so special.
But the day's fun wasn't over, as Villa needed only one more goal over a 10-man Sunderland to leap over Newcastle in the BPL table, taking 16th on goal differential. Gabriel Agbonlahor was happy to oblige when he collected an errant Sunderland pass and raced up-field for a one-on-one with the keeper that he was sure to win:
The goal was Gabby's 62nd in league play while wearing the Villa kit, making him the club's all-time leader in EPL goals scored. Congrats!
All-in-all it was an amazing day, and one that should leave the team with confidence to spare as they head into this weekend's match against Norwich City. What was your favorite goal of the day? Let us know in the comments!