And so Villa collapsed 0-4 to Manchester City at Villa Park to crash out of the FA Cup.
Let's be clear - going out of the Cup is not a big blow. Sending the fans home angry again is. After a few good games, the Villa Park faithful were left embarrassed in front of 6,000 Manchester City fans, though with a total attendance of just over 23,000 clearly there wasn't a lot of hope beforehand.
Here's the story of the game with the aid of a few illustrations:
Villa lined up with City old boys Scott Sinclair and Micah Richards coming back into the side, along with Ciaran Clark while the previously solid pair of Joleon Lescott and Jores Okore were rested. Fabian Delph lined up for City along with their youngster Kelechi Iheanacho.
Villa went down within three minutes, a City corner forced over the line by Iheanacho.
There was some pretty good Villa possession play but then the ref awarded a soft penalty when Leandro Bacuna came into contact with Raheem Sterling. Iheanacho slotted his second past Brad Guzan.
Villa struggled their way to half-time while Bacuna continued his dispute with Sterling and was perhaps lucky to only pick up a yellow.
City happily settled in to defend deep and hit Villa on the counter in the second-half. The match was uneventful until a dreadful backpass from Idrissa Gana let Iheanacho steal in for his hat-trick. Just two minutes later the ball was given cheaply away in the middle of the field and after Guzan managed an initial save, Raheem Sterling scored City's fourth.
Gabriel Abgonlahor and Jack Grealish both made second-half appearances and the Villa Park crowd was briefly roused by their presences but after the fourth goal the crowd was streaming out of the stadium and the familiar gloom had settled over the Claret and Blue half of Birmingham.
Rémi Garde has a big job to rouse the team before the Tuesday trip to West Ham and another loss would be toxic before the Norwich City match next weekend.
What's your instant reaction to the match? Let us know in the comments below.