Contributed by Sarah Perry | Join The Team
After our recent red-hot form equalling ten glorious wins on the spin, it only seems right to take a look back over some of the greatest “limbs” moments of the 18/19 season as it nears its conclusion at Wembley.
There’s been many a Villa goal this season, amidst all the various highs and lows it has brought us – 82 to be exact, and 5 of those came within 1 single game.
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Since that infamous Glen Whelan penalty miss that got Steve Bruce the sack; Tammy broke records by hitting the back of the net 25 times, we’ve had Derby Day goals galore (5 to be exact), some absolute screamers, a 3-goal injury time comeback, Mings header’s, the birth of brand new chants, a controversial gifted goal from Marcelo Bielsa and a ridiculous amount of limbs, scenes and carnage both Home and Away.
And thanks to all of that, we’ve found ourselves sitting pretty in fifth and secured a Play-Off spot.
Nobody expected this to be the case even as recently as early March, yet here we are.
So for some light reading as we prepare for the butterflies in our stomachs to ignite ahead of the 18/19 Play-Off campaign, here’s a look back over (arguably – but it’s hard to narrow down) the Top 10 goals of the season:
- Tammy Abraham vs… well, almost everyone
Not one goal in particular, just an overall appreciation for the 25 he’s netted this season. As if becoming the first to score 20 goals since Peter Withe in the 1980/81 season wasn’t enough, we’ve seen 5 more since then, and who knows – there’s likely even more to come.
From his first against Rotherham at home, to his acrobatic attempt against Millwall. From his 4-in-one against Forest to the 5 penalties he’s put away. And then there’s every tap-in in between. A vital player, 25 vital goals, and many moments and score-lines we’ll never forget. Where would we be without the service of Tammy Abraham this season?
- Anwar El Ghazi vs. West Bromwich Albion (A)
He scored both of the goals that Villa bagged in this game, but obviously we’re talking about the absolute rocket he fired into the top-right corner to put us ahead and take the score-line to 2-1.
The Dutchman, after bossing the game for the majority of the 60 minutes then played, got on the end of a well-timed pass by Jack Grealish and took it to just beyond the 18-yard box. Calm and collected, he proceeded to unleash a fantastic strike, which rippled the back of the net and sent the away fans into a frenzy. Johnstone didn’t stand a chance and El Ghazi was able to relish in his 4th and unarguably best goal of the season.
- Conor Hourihane vs Derby (A)
A player known for his ability to score ‘Worldie’ free kicks, pulled out one of his best yet at Derby away back in November. After a trying game, pushing tirelessly for a goal with no joy for above 70 minutes, suddenly they came all at once.
The first, courtesy of McGinn, the second – another for Tammy Abraham, but Hourihane saved the best till last. He lined up his free kick, as he often does, and stood up to the shot with the opposition poised in a row ahead of him ready to defend the attack.
But they didn’t stand a chance, as the midfielder smashed the ball into a perfect arc, sending it curving over the wall and straight into the top-left corner of the net.
Goalkeeper Scott Carson stood no chance, and celebrations of disbelief ensued as we put away yet another goal against an in-form side. Hourihane’s calmness, technique and ability showed itself once more as he bagged his second of the campaign.
- Albert Adomah x Tammy Abraham vs. Sheffield Wednesday (A)
A double whammy at the death up at Hillsborough provided the travelling Villa Faithful with possibly the best Away Day scenes of the season.
After a tough start and a score-line of 1-1 for the majority of the game, a Villa goal looked almost impossible with all the focus on our defence instead as Wednesday kept up their relentless attacks.
A fantastic penalty save from Jed Steer gave us a little more belief, and in what looked like a last gasp attempt, Villa worked the ball into the opposition half and onto the edge of the penalty box. A quick pass from Grealish met the foot of Jonathon Kodjia, who fired at goal only to find the keeper, but after spilling it, Adomah was exactly where he needed to be for the follow up.
He powered it back towards the near post and it was deflected in, causing pandemonium to erupt in the away end. Disbelief that we’d managed to shithouse our way to a win even after being outplayed by the opposition for the majority of the game and elation at getting one over on the ex-manager.
As if one winning goal wasn’t enough, whilst the celebratory carnage continued, Tammy Abraham received a perfectly timed ball from Elmohamady leading the counter-attack down the right wing. He recovered it from the interception of a defender before launching his shot straight into the back of the net to make it 3. LIMBS.
- Jack Grealish vs. Rotherham United
Spoiler Alert: This isn’t his only appearance in this list.
A world-class, team goal away at Rotherham in one of our most drama-filled games of the season – and there’s been a fair few! – makes Number 6. Having missed a penalty, given a penalty away resulting in us being 1-0 down and playing with 10 men after Tyrone Mings saw red, things were looking bleak.
A top-draw penalty from Jonathon Kodjia to bring us level just after half-time offered some consolation and injected some hope and life back into us, but it was goal number 2 that was the one to remember.
Grealish picked up the ball just beyond the halfway line and danced it expertly past the 3 defenders that immediately surrounded him. He picked out Neil Taylor on the touchline to square it back to him before making one of his famous runs towards goal, drawing opposition players with him as he went.
Elmohamady arrived in the box at exactly the right time to receive his pinpoint pass before sending it back in the direction it came. Jack fired it towards goal, and the away end erupted.
A perfectly worked and beautifully aesthetic team goal, after a fiery game full of adversity was exactly what we all needed to see – to prove our winning streak could continue even against all the odds.
- Andre Green vs. Sheffield United (H)
Number 5 is the goal that sparked that iconic piece of commentary that has pretty much already gone down in Villa history. “O’Connell’s mistake, Mcginn, GREEEEEN!”.
Goosebumps. And some of the best limbs of the season – even with the Holte End looking depleted. At 62 minutes, when Billy Sharp had smashed home his 3rd goal of the evening, thousands of Villa fans left their seats to head home early.
After a turgid run of results had already worn their patience down – an embarrassing 3-0 loss or more didn’t seem worth suffering through for many. For the fans that remained, consolation was offered in the form of a Tyrone Mings header in the 82nd minute, prompting chants of “We’re going to win 4-3” to pipe up throughout the stands.
It was meant sarcastically of course, but then the belief really came back when Tammy Abraham tapped home the 2nd. At 3-2, with 4 minutes to go, the atmosphere in the stadium began to thunder once more as we pushed for that last grasp equaliser – and in the 94th minute, courtesy of a defensive error, quick thinking from Mcginn and a genius header from homegrown talent Andre Green, we were rewarded with one of our most unbelievable results of the season. Incredible scenes in the Holte End.
- Jack Grealish vs. Derby County (H)
It’s no secret that the lack of Jack Grealish for almost 3 months of the season, was troublesome for Aston Villa.
We negotiated a somewhat miserable 14 fixtures without our Star man, only managing a measly 2 wins during that entire run amongst a plethora of disappointing draws and losses.
But on March 2nd, an hour before kick off against Derby County, his name was back on the team sheet – with a big fat C for Captain beside it. The mood inside Villa Park was a level above what we had seen for weeks, with everyone excited and relieved to have our starting 11 looking back at its best.
It was a game full of elation – with Villa starting and remaining on the front foot throughout and treating us to a goal-filled 1st half. Conor Hourihane bagged 2 as a result of well-worked build-up play and pin-point passing, and Tammy added another to his ever-growing list.
But nobody inside the stadium could have anticipated what came in injury time of the first half: An absolute worldie from Jack Grealish. Setting up for the final corner before half-time, Glen Whelan readied himself for the delivery. He belted the ball in with precise accuracy to meet the foot of the waiting Captain who unleashed an almighty strike, smashing the ball into the top corner with incredible technique and ease.
It was an unbelievable volley that will go down in history as one of his best, and gave every fan in the stadium that day a special moment to remember. A moment that kickstarted our 10-win run and led us roaring into the play-offs.
- Alan Hutton vs. Birmingham City (H)
This top 3 is pretty much interchangeable, as the context, moment and technique of each of them is so different yet is what makes them all so special.
Hutton vs Blues is a goal that will go down in club history and is a moment that pretty much sealed the right-back’s Cult Hero status amongst supporters. 3-2 up against Birmingham City at Villa Park, in our most anticipated game of the season. He picked up the ball in his own half.
He ran. And ran. And ran.
He stormed past pretty much the entirety of their team. He rattled Craig Gardener. He bombed into the box. He fired it home. He made it 4-2. He caused Villa Park to descend into absolute carnage. He leapt into the Holte End. Hutton made himself a Legend.
One of the best moments of this and any season, he sealed 3 points against our fiercest rivals and sent them home empty handed. Unarguably the Scottish Cafu’s greatest ever moment in the Claret and Blue, and one every fan will cherish witnessing forever. Some of the best scenes the Second City Derby has ever seen, all hail Alan Hutton.
- John Mcginn vs. Sheffield Wednesday (H)
Iconic goal of the season: John Mcginn’s absolute wonder strike against Sheffield Wednesday back in September.
Unfortunately, the game ended up meaning nothing as we faced a 2-1 loss – but the unbelievable volley made the unsavoury result that little bit sweeter.
His equaliser came in the 53rd minute after an up and down first half. An unruly cross from Elmohamady made its way into the box, bouncing around before being headed away by the Sheffield Wednesday defence. It seemed as though it was just going to be another forgetful wasted chance, but waiting just beyond the edge of the 18-yard-box was John Mcginn.
He was poised, ready and waiting, and as the ball arched out towards him, he let rip with a powerful volley towards goal. The unreal strike soared through the air, rocketed off of the underside of the bar and sprang into the net, leaving any and everybody watching open-mouthed in disbelief.
It was one of those once in a lifetime goals, a beautiful balance of flawless technique and luck, impossible to re-create. It was a hit that every single soul present at Villa Park that day will feel blessed to have seen in person, and one that will never be forgotten. John Mcginn has given us some special, special moments this season – but that goal undeniably takes the cake as the best of them.
- Jack Grealish vs. Birmingham City (A)
Super Jack does the Blues on their own turf and fulfils his lifelong dream of scoring the winner at St Andrews. The game was a Second City derby like no other. The atmosphere felt more hostile somehow, the competitive buzz ramped up seemingly higher than ever before.
10 minutes in after a somewhat shaky start, Jack Grealish took a whack to the face from a pitch-invading Blues fan trying to gain some respect down his local. It was a shocking scene that nobody expected, and sparked reaction all over the country. The Captain picked himself up and dusted himself off – a calm, collected reaction to a cowardly, out of order attack. The game continued, and throughout the next 60 minutes, things were tense.
But there was an air of anticipation. There was a feeling that something was written in the stars and destined to happen. And halfway through the second half – it did. Elmohamady picked out John Mcginn with a throw in and he found Neil Taylor running in down the left wing.
He squared it to Jack, who took it on, before smashing it – past countless bodies in the box and straight into the bottom of the net. A glorious moment of Pride, Passion and Meaning for the boyhood Villan, after the most turbulent of starts. Madness ensued in the away end as he dived amongst the masses for the greatest celebration moment of the season. Unbelievable noise, flailing limbs and the very definition of SCENES.
He deservedly got the last laugh, and boy, what a way to make it happen.