Post-mortem: Aston Villa take three points from Arsenal

It would be easy to say we were lucky yesterday but most of you know I don't like the easy route although I will happily accept that we got the luck in the right places yesterday and it helped.

But we put the ball in the net twice yesterday, my hopes that Spurs and Wigan would win and The Clowns would lose happened and we defended like a team again. It was a very good day.

What the Papers Say

John Ley, The Telegraph
And Villa were having a chuckle early on, taking an 11th-minute lead through Bent. When Stiliyan Petrov sent the ball high over the Arsenal defence Bent was unmarked. The England striker was played onside by Sébastien Squillaci but still had much to do as he chested the ball before volleying it into the top corner. Four minutes later, James Collins’ low pass sent Ashley Young forward, and his ball past the returning Thomas Vermaelen handed Bent the chance to claim a second, which he took with a neat finish.
Julian Bennetts, The Independent
Bent's predatory instinct was superb – he took Petrov's long ball on his chest before volleying home in one movement before latching on to Ashley Young's precise through-ball to fire low under Wojciech Szczesny.

No need to comment on the two papers above, I know. It is also quite frustrating that all the reports I've read this morning are all clearly written with an Arsenal bias. I'm not starting on that again, I'm just saying.

The Manager

Gary McAllister
He [Bent] is a proven goal scorer - his record suggests that - and he has been excellent around the place. It was a big show of faith by the owners to invest the money. People raised their eyebrows when he joined us for such a big fee, but by the end of the month, when other players were going for £50m and £35m, he didn't look a bad buy.

He is a guy who is in possession of the number nine shirt for his national team, as well. Today he was aided by two other England players, Stewart Downing and Ashley Young and in the first half those three were electric. They caused Arsenal's back four a few problems.

Players and Man of the Match

Brad Friedel, James Collins, Richard Dunne, Luke Young, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young, Fabian Delph (Emile Heskey, 91), Nigel Reo-Coker, Stilian Petrov (Michael Bradley, 80), Stewart Downing and Darren Bent all played and won it yesterday and you won't be surprised at who won the man of the match vote either.

Yes, it goes to Darren Bent with, as things stand right now, just over 65% of the nearly 400 votes. I'm going to close that later and I don't expect he will be caught - it was a fantastic display.

Final Analysis

There you go. Three points in London and up to fifth in the current form table - not a bad end to the season and we all know that it could get much much better next Sunday, if results go the way we want them to go and I think they will.

I think Spurs are going to score for fun next weekend. They need to win to be sure of Europe next season (which was why it was important for them to beat Liverpool yesterday) and Harry Redknapp will get his players fired up for it. I'm hoping they put four or five past them - I think it might take a few to be sure.

But before I go today, to continue celebrations, a quick note about why I've mentioned the current form table quite a bit as of late. Firstly, the manager has taken a bit of stick from a few people and while the actual table is the real judge of his achievements, it can't be easy when you don't have a summer, join in September and to top it all off, you're trying to change how the club play football.

So, I've mentioned that table, because it is a good one to look at to see a snapshot and because we all know this was always going to be a transitional season. Problem is, next season is going to be one too now, which is why it is so important to get the manager installed as quickly as possible so he has a summer and pre-season.

Right, no more banging of drums, I'm off to dream about Blackpool or Wigan and Spurs winning next weekend. Turned out okay, didn't it.