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The Sherwood Impact - in 3 GIFs

Clive Mason/Getty Images

The first half was the same old Villa, lucky not to be at least two goals down to a Leicester side who are comfortably the worst in the Premier League.

And then Tim Sherwood headed down to the dressing room and what we saw in the second half was a totally different Villa - not in terms of tactics, but in their aggression, their intensity and the pace of their play. Players were snapping into tackles, taking the ball and looking up, launching attacks.

Now that might have absolutely nothing to tell us about Tim Sherwood and everything to do with fear of being dropped from the side. But even if that's all it is, it was hugely refreshing to see and it might be enough to keep us up. So here are three moments from the second half that summed up that change:

Moment 1 - Tom Cleverley comes to life

A hopeful Villa attack breaks down on the edge of the penalty area. Cue the opposition breaking and scoring on the counter-attack as the midfield disappears, a la Arsenal or Hull. Unless Thomas Cleverley storms in and wins a perfect 50-50 slide tackle to release the ball to Delph to beat his man and launch another period of Villa pressure. Cleverley showed more desire in that moment than in all his Villa performances to date.

Moment 2 - Ciaran Clark rocks Schlupp's world

The Villa midfield is beaten too easily by neat Leicester passing as Schlupp turns his man and puts in a through-ball for the Foxes to score, bringing back shades of Arsenal. Unless Ciaran Clark spots the danger instantly, races out and transports everyone back to the golden days of football where shorts were baggy, tickets were 10 shillings and a defender could take the ball with such force that an attacker briefly discovers the power of flight. Credit to Schlupp for a lack of theatrics - and note Delph and Weimann busting their lungs to get the counter underway.

Moment 3 - Villa make their own luck and score

With two minutes of the 90 left to defend their lead, Shay Given sends a ball to Benteke who loses out in the challenge with no-one pressing the loose ball. The ball goes back to the Villa end where Leicester pull back an equalizer from an excellent Kramaric header, for a replay at the King Power Stadium, where the Villans crash out of the FA Cup and get relegated as Carles Gil is injured by a Jamie Vardy ankle-breaker.

Unless Jack Grealish pressures the loose ball ahead of a mobile Benteke who drops back, Alan Hutton wins the resulting aerial duel and Benteke ends up in the perfect position to flick onto Scott Sinclair making a clever run behind the defence and getting a shot on target, which Schwarzer spills into his own net - the kind of goal that Villa haven't been able to force out of the opposition all season.

Hope for the future

Winning the 50-50 challenges, launching quick attacks and getting shots on goal. All the things that Villa have desperately lacked this season as confidence drained out of good players. It's not tactical genius and it might not even really be Tim Sherwood. But if it could be enough to keep us up - and even get us to Wembley.