1. If the wide players can get the service in, Rudy Gestede can score goals
Rudy Gestede is probably the player with the greatest potential to change Villa fans' minds this season. Though he still should have done better last season, the basic fact remains Villa didn't get the ball consistently to his head where he scores goals.
20 minutes in and a well-taken glancing header to put Villa in the lead and the signs are things might be different this season. And a delicate chip over to finish a delightful pass from Ross McCormack just before half-time, showing a previously hidden burst of speed and delicacy of touch showed things might be really different.
That first goal also showed the importance of the full-backs this season - it was Aly Cissokho's cross for the first goal and Leandro Bacuna also swung a dangerous ball onto Gestede's head. The question is whether Cissokho and Bacuna can do that against the better teams in the Championship while also defending well because in Roberto Di Matteo's system the full-backs will need to do both.
2. Jack Grealish could be the answer in attacking midfield and the wing
Villa fans have called for a central attacking midfielder and another winger to be brought in before the end of the season, but with his first goal at Villa Park, Grealish could step in to both roles.
Against Rotherham he was back in his favourite position, drifting in from the left. It was his cute reverse pass to the overlapping Cissokho that set up the cross in the first goal and he cut in from that side to score his goal.
If Villa do want to fit in Gestede, McCormack and Jordan Ayew, there might not be space for two out and out wingers as well so the ability to drift inside and connect play around the box is vital while the full-backs take up the crossing - for an example see Christian Eriksen at Spurs. Grealish looks well set to develop his play in similar style.
3. Ayew could be a blessing and a curse
Speaking of the third member of Villa's attacking trident, Ayew might be the trickiest for Di Matteo. With Gestede and McCormack set to be high up the pitch, Ayew is forced out wide or deeper. He has the skills - the second goal was a lovely passing move between all three of Villa's forwards - but it will put extra demands on him.
That was shown by his unhappiness at being taken off for Adama Traoré at 74 mins. Two goals to the good, it makes sense to pull off a third forward and put on a winger who can provide a different type of threat and also cover the wings but Ayew may be unhappy at being the one who is regularly taken off when Villa are protecting a lead.
Tony Xia has clearly made keeping Ayew into a statement about the desire to go straight back up but he and Di Matteo will have to handle the forward carefully.
What did you think we learned from the match? Let us know in the comments below!