Yesterday, Aston Villa played one of the most insane matches that I've ever watched. There is so much about it--from the passing statistics, to the possession deficit, to the constant change in score--that baffles my mind. When I wrote my instant recap yesterday, I didn't have all of the goals made into gifs, and those that I did have weren't of the very highest quality. Well, I wanted to fix that for everyone, so presented below are numerous high-quality gifs of the five goals from the victory. I hope you enjoy!
Gabby Agbonlahor (15')
I'm ecstatic that Gabby scored his first goal of the season here, but I'm a bit puzzled by how it all went down:
It's as if Gabby was so determined to get his first on the season that he was unwilling to entertain any other ideas. Libor Kozak could not have been more open, and a quick pass to him would have been just as likely to end in a goal as the acrobatic move around Southampton's last defender. Nevertheless, it was a classic Gabby strike: run like a fiend and outpace everyone else on the pitch. I think Villa should've gotten two for this, since the Saints player re-kicked it back into the net.
Jay Rodriguez (48')
When you've got less than 30% possession, you should expect to be pressed a ton. Rodriguez had already had three attempts saved in the first half when he finally managed to connect with this one:
That's an absolutely perfect cross from Nathaniel Clyne, and while you could make the argument that he shouldn't have been in the position to put the ball in in the first place, everything from there is just tough luck for Villa. Ron Vlaar likely would have been defending Rodriguez on that play, though, so his absence is a pretty big deal.
Libor Kozak (64')
With Christian Benteke waiting on the sideline to come in for him, Libor Kozak decided to make one last impression on the match, and send Villa ahead for the second time of the day:
I like that, for two weeks in a row, Karim El Ahmadi has been a part of a goal that came from the wings. This time, unlike KEA's strike against West Brom, Southampton actually had defenders on the player in the box. Unfortunately for the Saints, Kozak snuck in front of them and met El Ahmadi's perfect cross. It's an awkward looking goal, but one that took a ton of precision and skill to pull off.
If you look at that first gif, you can see the part of the stands to the right of the goal (as we're looking at it) go insane. That's where Villa's supporters were. You can also see Kozak leap over the pitchside advertising boards. He was going to say hello to a few people:
I kind of love him a little bit for that.
Dani Osvaldo (69')
It would be Villa if they didn't make things a struggle. And if you thought Jay Rodriguez's goal was the result of some nice crossing by Southampton, this one was even better: Stewart Davies to Rickie Lambert to Dani Osvaldo, with nothing that a Villan could do to stop it:
I've got nothing else to say. That was just beautifully executed.
Fabian Delph (80')
Is anyone else as amazed as I am that this is Delph's first Premier League goal? Two weeks in a row we've had a player do that. Anyhow, as you can see here, this is just a stunning bit of finishing. Delph takes a pass after having already sprinted 20-30 yards, runs the rest of the pitch to just outside the box, and then takes a powerful strike with his left foot that curls beautifully into the left side of the net. Everything about this is gorgeous:
At the beginning of that gif, Delph isn't even in the frame. How far did he run for that? 90 yards? Seems about right.
Almost more amazing to me is the fact that Delph is full-out sprinting, and he doesn't even break his stride to take the shot. Good lord I love watching this. Care for another? Of course you do.
Merry early Christmas everyone.
So what was your favorite goal of the day? Let us know in the comments!