As I'm sure you know by now, Aston Villa trounced Norwich City to the tune of a 1-4 scoreline in the League Cup quarterfinals. Steve Morrison scored in the 19th minute, but Brett Holman (rapidly becoming one of my favorite players ever) answered just two minutes later. From that point the rest of the first half was a tense affair, as was much of the second. But then Andreas Weimann scored a brace and Christian Benteke put the exclamation mark on the match with the fourth of the day.
But why am I typing so much? You're presumably here because you'd actually like to see these things, wouldn't you. Well, allow me to oblige. Here's Brett Holman's goal:
I'm starting to wonder if he's like Stiliyan Petrov with a bit more accuracy. You remember that Stan would take those outside-of-the-box shots at least once a match and they rarely went in. Well, on November 24th, we saw him barely miss one against Arsenal (would've been in were it not for a perfect save), then on December 1 he scored one that looked eerily similar to this against QPR. I can't remember him taking this shot any other times. That's three attempts in five matches with a 66% success rate that would be 100% were it not for a perfect save. Sure he's dead after 65 minutes, but how can you not love what we've seen from Holman?
Now, before we get to more goals, I do want to point one thing out. Shay Given got the start as keeper yesterday, and by all accounts was pretty miserable for most of the day. I say most of the day because he made a save in the second half that kept the match tied and very well may have kept momentum from swinging Norwich's way:
We are all rightfully in love with Brad Guzan. And everyone knows that Shay Given isn't the keeper he was in the first half of last season. But boy, it's nice to see some vintage Given every now and again.
After that, Andreas Weimann scored what would end up being the winning goal. I warn you, this is a big gif, because I wanted to include his amazing celebration:
That was close enough to the end of the match that Villa fans could be hopeful, but we all know what happens to a Villa lead in the last minutes. Andi stepped in to prevent the seemingly inevitable and make it 1-3:
I think my favorite part of that goal was Benteke's tenacity after his failed attempt. He kept right after the ball, spied the open Weimann, and made a perfect pass that left no doubt as to the outcome. The ability to stay with play and create something out of nothing is, I think, the single biggest factor that differentiates between Darren Bent and Christian Benteke. This goal, by the way, reminds me a lot of Andreas Weimann's first goal against Manchester United. In the same way, Benteke's strong, tenacious play kept the ball alive and then his perfect pass to Weimann made the goal inevitable. I know we love the Gabby/Benteke pairing, but I wonder if the Weimann/Benteke one might be better?
Finally, speaking of Benteke, he closed out the match in stoppage time with a thunderous shot to make the final score 1-4:
Afterwards, he decided to show Villa fans how much he loved them:
It may be hard to tell there, but he's making a little heart with his hands.
I simply cannot remember a time when I was more excited by Villa, nor a time when I was more entertained. We may have something special here everyone. But again, why am I typing. You're all still watching all of those insane goal. Enjoy them!