Aston Villa, the real Aston Villa, beat Sunderland

First things first, I'm not saying because Barry Bannan played we won. It wasn't all him and if you wanted to know the truth; Gabby not only scored, but played a pivotal role in the goal. Pivotal might actually be too weak a word.

But, it wasn't just those two either. Westwood had a great and I mean, really great debut. Weimann, playing on the right didn't have a great game but he put in a shift and it should be acknowledged. Add to that, Benteke was involved in everything and you've got to be happy.

The starting eleven plus one


Brad Guzan, Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark Joe Bennett and Eric Lichaj, Matthew Lowton, Stephen Ireland Ashley Westwood, Barry Bannan, Gabby Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann were the players.

And I say plus one because Bennett went off in the 11th minute to be replaced by Lichaj (who was also replaced late on by Enda Stevens (also making his debut in the Premier League)) and all around today, it was refreshingly positive.

But the player for me was Gabby. It was like he grew up today and wanted to be part of everything. I'm worried this is just another one of those rare performances that make you think he has something about him, but for me and because he is Villa, he gets the benefit of the doubt.

The goal

Gabby also not only scored the goal, but he also made it and in more than just a clever pass. He picked the ball up on the left, took the ball across the pitch to the right and played in Lowton by making some space. The cross came in from Lowton and was headed down by Benteke and picked up by Gabby supporting the cross to shoot and score.

It was very nice to see and Gabby did it the entire match - he was everywhere looking for the ball.

But, it was also Westwood, it was Bannan, it was Lichaj and Lowton, Vlaar and Clark. It was Guzan the Brave and Christian Benteke. Even Stephen Ireland played a role today and Weimann did too.

What I'm saying is, is that there was something very Aston Villa about today. Was it Bannan, Lichaj, Weimann, Guzan, Gabby and Clark? I don't know, but it looked good, it looked really good.