I watched this game in a pub in London’s East End. From my seat the most natural TV to watch had a partially obscured view and I could only see the left hand side of the screen, in the first forty five minutes though, such was our dominance, the left hand goal and penalty area was all you needed to see. On Saturday we needed to pick Real Men to fight and counter the size and tactics of Stoke City, at Villa Park though we were met with such callow youth it almost seemed unfair at points, like one of those games you play as a kid and start swapping players between the sides to even up the game.
Fifteen corners in the first half says it all, only five short of the Premier League record for ninety minutes apparently. Villa were lucky that the majority of them were taken by the random boot of Kyle Walker and we rarely threatened from them, in fact our own failing in that forty five minutes, and it’s quite a big one, is that we were so on top and yet failed to score.
Villa changed a couple of things in the second half and came at us a bit. After a few minutes of for once witnessing the home side nicking tackles and hurrying us in possession I whispered that I could see this turning out badly (and yes, my glass was half empty), but then two goals in a couple of minutes and even I, a man who’s never comfortable unless we’re four goals clear, felt optimistic that we would get the all the points.
Bale will grab the headlines but it was Defoe’s fine finish from Naughton’s precise through ball that tipped the balance of things permanently back in our direction and set us on our way. Our favourite Welshman was pretty much left to run riot unrestrained from then on and took full and stylish advantage with three well taken goals.
Sandro and Dembele were powerful, skilful & imperious throughout, Vertonghen and Gallas figuratively had their hands on the foreheads of the home attackers as they whirled their arms furiously out of range and unable to land a blow. Lloris was rarely called on and the full backs were constantly on the rampage.
Overall a very impressive and promising display with only the lack of goals before half time and the quality of the opposition as negatives. Well done chaps.
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