All the nerves. All the worry. All the anxiety. Villa fans went into today’s Championship play-off semi-final with panic on the mind. After all, a tough trip to a sell-out Riverside Stadium against Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side in a first-leg clash.
All those fears? They all flowed out. Evaporated. In a single second of gameplay.
It only took 15 minutes and Aston Villa’s first attempt on goal. Jack Grealish whipped in a dipping corner and Mile Jedinak had all the time, and open field, in the world to attack the ball and send it past Darren Randolph in the Boro goal. Middlesbrough decided to play the corner without a man on the far post - and the usually astute Pulis saw his side caught out from a set-play. You couldn’t make it up, could you?
More on Mile. The man loves play-off occasions. Remember when he bagged a hat-trick for Australia against Syria?