From the start of the season Aston Villa looked set to be in for a relegation scrap and that is exactly what has happened.
At the turn of the year Aston Villa had lost three matches in a row, conceding 15 goals, including a humiliating 8-0 thumping at the hands of Chelsea. After 20 games they had just 18 points and were in dire need of a shake-up.
Captain Ron Vlaar has been back in Villa’s line-up following an injury and the Dutch international has not disappointed with talismanic performances.
After more inconsistent form, Villa headed to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
Villa’s attack has been better than their league position suggests - Villa once again looked dangerous and bright on the counter attack with the familiar faces of Andreas Weimann, Gabby Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke combining well as always, along with the pacey and strong Jordan Bowery who also impressed.
It was Villa who struck first through Agbonlahor, and they looked relatively comfortable until Michael Kightly’s strike in the 80th minute.
The Villans’ young team responded superbly with right-back Matthew Lowton scoring a wonder-goal from all of 35 yards, and top scorer Christian Benteke calmly slotting past Asmir Begovic in the last minute.
It was a late fight-back that bodes well for the rest of the season for this inexperienced side. They showed the character and resolve required to stay up.
The win moved Aston Villa up to 16th in the table; three points clear of Wigan and two points clear of Sunderland who have two games and one game in hand respectively.
With relegation 'six pointers' to come against Sunderland at Villa Park and fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic, have we seen enough in this team to say that they will stay up?
There are no problems with their attacking displays so their defence are set to play a big part in their quest for survival - Vlaar’s return will be a huge boost in this respect.
Having won three of their last four matches the future looks a lot less bleak then it did in January.
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