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Welcome to the Lion's Den - or how we roared Aston Villa to a point against Manchester City

A changing of the Garde brings in a new vibe at Villa Park

If you told me that you could 'roar' a team to victory before the match against Manchester City, I'd have called you a fucking liar. There's 22 players on the pitch, their ability is not changed nor altered because you've swam through five pints of lager and are getting a bit rowdy and waving a little flag around.

Well, when Fabian Delph stumbled every time the Holte End shook the ground beneath his feet, and every time he looked short of confidence as Manchester City pressed Aston Villa into a corner in a lunge for victory, I felt like I was changing the course of Villa's season myself. Of course, don't just take my word for it - I'd taken the effort to record Fabian Delph's Villa Park return.

A video posted by James Rushton (@jamorushton) on

The artistry of 20,000 people screaming 'wanker' at one human being is unmatched. Damian Hirst can keep his petrified half-sharks - I'll happily take a podgy finger screaming obscene semi-lyrics at a young footballer over an artsy-farty can of soup any day of the week. A verbal onslaught clouded the whole match as words

What is success to a Villa fan? It's weird. Success to me isn't a trophy win or an unbeaten streak, like it might be for fans of other clubs. Success is what happened during Villa's last home game with Manchester City, a point against one of the best teams in England - well earned and hard fought. I think there was a stigma against American fans a while ago, who were seemingly believed to have thought soccer a boring game because you can have a scoreless match; after the nil-nil with Manchester City, I'm pretty sure that everyone can agree that soccer is not a boring sport at all.

Thus far at Villa Park, I'd struggled to believe that the crowd, as loud & loyal fans, could have an effect on a match. After all I'd watched the Villa succumb to Sunderland and waver before West Brom. How could I believe that I could change the outcome of a match against Man City? What basis of proof did I have that would lead me to believe that notion?

I felt that I was proven wrong and in every single way, as one Fabian Delph made his way back to B6. For the three people who perhaps don't know what happened - Fabian Delph left Villa under controversial circumstances in the summer. You can easily google the actual story, so I'm going to take some time to reflect on the situation with some funny analogies on the whole palava.

It was like going to McDonalds, ordering a Big Mac, then shouting your head off about how much you love Big Macs seconds before plowing the filthy little burger into the head of the server.

It was like telling the baying crowd before you that you were going to launch into an awesome stagedive only to fly into a dropkick and take out those who love you.

It was like turning your car around, having decided to go in a different direction.

There was nothing morally wrong about what Fabian Delph did. He chose to take more money and do the same job. Who in their right mind wouldn't do that? Of course, we're in football world - so he gets called a wanker (and quite rightly so). He doesn't just get called a wanker though, does he? He gets called a wanker so loud one would think the kraken has awoken for a mid-afternoon snack. That kind of loud.

So did I feel that I had some kind of effect as Delph stumbled upon his Villa Park return? Yeah, I bloody well did.

Back to the draw. As Villa edged the match out under a siege fire, Villa Park felt more like the Alamo than a stadium near Perry Barr. Brad Guzan saved a goal with his noggin, his arms, his crossbar, his feat, Micah Richard's head - he was pretty unstoppable, which makes a massive change from the terrible run of form he seems to be stuck in(*His antics would return in the next match against Everton, where he dropped a few clangers..). I'll not forget the scream of delight as the final whistle sounded under a barrage of shots from a dominant Manchester City. It was great, and hopefully the video I've captured below will do it some form of justice.

The point that felt like three. #AVFC

A video posted by James Rushton (@jamorushton) on

We head into the next home game and will welcome Watford after a 4-0 thrashing by a solid Everton side. Remi Garde inspired Aston Villa against Manchester City and will have to prove that Villa's result against Everton was the outlier. One thing's for sure - it will take more than a single point for me to leave Aston with a smile on my face, as I did for the first time this season when we played Manchester City and stole the point that (didn't) shake the world.