The Villa Underground has written repeatedly over the years about how following Aston Villa should come with a health warning.
Watching Villa’s final game at The London Stadium against West Ham was no different, putting supporters through an emotional rollercoaster over 94 minutes.
It was a hide behind the sofa encounter at times, but Villa held their own, creating opportunities, whilst keeping it tight at the back.
The nerviest moment was undoubtedly Antonio’s first half strike. Getting beyond Mings and Konsa, Antonio could only screw an effort wide with Reina advancing.
Villa emerged more purposeful after the break, threatening in the early stages with McGinn and Samatta having half chances.
We had to soak up some pressure though, but held firm – having to wait well into the 84th minute to feel some sense of safety.
Grealish, ghosting into the box, unleashed a fierce effort that Fabianski could do nothing to stop. Cue scenes of wild jubilation on the field, it felt as though it has been scripted, with Villa’s captain leaping into players and staff on the sidelines.
The celebrations were, in typical agonising Villa fashion, short-lived.
With barely a minute having passed since Grealish’s goal had registered, without even time for it to sink in, West Ham advanced.
Villa, with a defensive resolve unseen pre-lockdown, quickly closed down Andriy Yarmolenko. His effort, cannoned off Grealish as he made the challenge, looping high and over the helpless Pepe Reina. Only Villa could be on the end of such a flukey goal of this sort and at such a crucial time.
Relief was replaced by high anxiety as Villa sought to shut the game down, repeatedly trying to head for the corners and stifle play.
As the referee blew for time on the 94th minute, Villa had to sit out the result at Watford. They failed to comeback from a 3-0 deficit at The Emirates, despite having pegged them back to 3-2.
What a comeback, against all odds and from a position of almost certain relegation a mere matter of days and games ago.
Aston Villa are still in the Premier League. It’s remarkable and it’s fantastic.
More to follow.
A decade of Villa News to your inbox – JOIN TODAY!
Want to help even more? Please Donate