Post-mortem: Three goals enough to put Hull in their place

This is a post mortem and the point of a post mortem is to put down the facts and discuss them and hopefully come up with an explanation. This isn't a post about faith or hope or expectation.

So, I wanted to title this post Aston Villa beat Hull, the worst performing away team in the league, but I know I'd get into trouble even though it is a fact and everyone that visits this site had predicted a win and some even 3-0.

I knew I'd get into trouble because even though they are the facts, some are going to want me to look for the positives but when we beat two teams on the bounce that I believe will be relegated, I find it hard to start thinking that Emile Heskey created that space for Richard Dunne on the first goal and tend to prefer to believe that the space was created because they are rubbish away from home and lack confidence.

What the Papers Say

Janine Self, The Sun
Martin O'Neill has found someone with the skill, work-rate and heart to replace the irreplaceable. The answer was right there in front of him, all along. Bye-bye Gareth Barry, hello James Milner - the customised winger who is clearly relishing being on centre stage.
Peter Lansley, The Times
James Milner’s emergence as a creative central midfield player is offering Aston Villa the flexibility to prosper from the loss of Gareth Barry.

The Players and Some Stats

Brad Friedel, Luke Young, Richard Dunne, Carlos Cuellar, Stephen Warnock, Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, James Milner, Stiliyan Petrov, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Emile Heskey (John Carew, 78).

Including the goals, we had four shots on target in 90 minutes. Basically we took our chances because seven were off target. In those same 90 minutes we made 211 successful passes - a little more than usual and failed with 62.

Man of the Match

Clear as day, this is James Milner and after two good performances in the middle of the park don't you just have to ask yourself why it has taken Martin O'Neill to figure this out when people on here have been calling for this for so long I can't be arsed to go look back and find when it all started. Milner had middle of the part written all over him from day one. He can't cross, but he works and has a very good pass. He picked up 79.6% of the votes.

Final Analysis

We were given more space, we were allowed to play and hands up, James Milner looks much better in the middle of the park than he does out on the right. Stewart Downing, playing on both the left and right for us, looked quite decent and he looks faster than I thought he was going to be. Defensively, I think it is going to be hard to drop Carlos Cueller when James Collins is fit, because well, what has he done wrong?

At the end of the dayA good win at home and three points but a real test is coming up next against a team that we know can score goals but also against a team that will be playing a weakened defensive line up. Let's not get carried away with victories over Hull and Pompey - let's get carried away after five victories on the bounce and after we've beaten Manchester United, Sunderland and Stoke. If that happens, I'll even start to get carried away.