For a team that's been total trash for a couple seasons now, Aston Villa have pulled off their fair share of upsets over the past couple years. And with another chance coming up this week, I thought I'd ask the 7500 to Holte staff what their favorite Villa upset is.
Q: Aston Villa play Manchester United this Friday. What is your favorite instance of Aston Villa pulling off an upset?
Aston Villa 2-0 Chelsea in 2007. It was one of the first Villa games I saw live and the atmosphere was unbelievable. Zat Knight scored on his debut, then we finished it with the type of scintillating counter attack that became our trademark. Young skinned his man on the wing, cut inside and fired the ball across the box for Gabby to divert with a deft touch. If there had been a roof on Villa Park it would have blown off.
Obviously it didn't work out in the end but that performance seemed like a huge statement of intent, that we really meant business. What made it even sweeter was sitting right next to the Chelsea fans. Living 8 miles from Stamford Bridge I constantly have to put up with them, so it meant even more. To cap it off...Mourinho was sacked shortly after. Awesome.
Aston Villa's 3-1 win at Arsenal on the opening day of the 2013-14 season stands out in my mind. After the incredible streak the team went on to finish the previous season and stay up, that deserved win at the Emirates was a huge victory that at the time had everyone tabbing Villa as the surprise package of that season. Of course, Villa finished 15th with 38 points and that match was the highlight of another miserable recent season. Thanks, Paul Lambert.
2-1 over Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final. Jack Grealish was outstanding and some other guy did well too, but I can't decide if I can remember his name.
Arsenal 0 - 2 Aston Villa, November 2008. A great away win from the O'Neill era which really felt like we were chasing the top-4. We had some bad results against Chelsea and Man United in those years, but some great tussles with the Gunners. Made even more special because we dominated that match so much that even missing a penalty didn't sink us. If anyone wants to see Gabby in his prime, go back and watch that match.
Aston Villa 3, Manchester City 2. Three completely different goals to complete a comeback at a point when City was much better than they are now, and seeing Andi Weimann's chip crawl past the goal line for what seemed like an eternity were some of the best seconds of Paul Lambert's reign.
I'll say it. We had no right to be in the FA Cup final last year. Liverpool should have taken us out, but they didn't and as disappointing as the game was, it was still a cup final. It might not have been against the biggest team, or the best result - but we beat a team that should have nailed us on paper to get a chance for glory. Any team can beat any other on its day in the Premier League, so this was truly special.
I don't know, I'm probably with Herbert here in that 3-2 over City. Either that or the 3-1 a month earlier over Arsenal that I watched in a bar full of Gunners fans. I thought we were gonna be good after both of those results. :(
To throw something else out there, I'll go for the 1-0 over City in Darren Bent's debut in January 2011. That was at the start of my Villa-following life, and it's the result that really made me fall in love with this club.
There's a few that are up there, but I've got to go with the 3-2 win over Manchester City because I was there. The game itself was pretty absurd. Villa were terrible in the first half and 1-0 to City at half time was generous. We equalised out of nowhere twice and just as the guy sitting next to me was saying we won't hold on for a draw, Guzan boots it long, the ball misses everyone, and Andi Weimann gets a toe on it and it rolls into the net. 2-0 over Chelsea a close second.
There are a ton of much better answers on the board like the Tony Moon game against Arsenal, but my personal favorite the win at Anfield in December 2012. I had a Liverpool fan over and he was so frustrated that he left. That was one of the few real proud days in the Lambert era to be a Villa fan as far as I am concerned.
On December 12, 2009, Gabby Agbonlahor scored a 21st minute goal to give Villa a lead against Manchester United at Old Trafford. For the next 70+ minutes, Villa put in a solid, if not incredible, defensive display to keep United out and give Villa its first league win at Old Trafford since 1993. I was watching that match on a coughillegialstreamcough in my dorm room in my first semester at college. After that match, I went and took a shower, put on my Villa shirt and proudly walked around campus with my head held high. That win took Villa into third place, two points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in fifth. After that match, I really thought Villa were going to make it to the end of the season in at least fourth and qualify for the Champions League. Did they? I think I went into a coma after that match.
Those are our answers and now we want to hear from you. What's your favorite Villa upset?