We <3 you Andi. We <3 all of you. - Jamie McDonald
A 19th minute goal by Steve Morison was cancelled out just two minutes later by Brett Holman, and a late Andi Weimann brace and Christian Benteke stunner put Villa through to the next round in convincing fashion.
Following the League Cup is always pretty tricky. Most of the earlier-round games aren't televised in the U.S., and even if they were I'd be unable to watch them since they take place in the middle of the work day. For the most part, I'm okay getting by listening to Jack Woodward's commentary and following along with those in attendance kind enough to keep us up-to-date via Twitter. But for games like this one, it's just not good enough.
I've been patiently* waiting for highlights to be posted since the full-time whistle, and I just don't really have the words right now. The four goals that Aston Villa scored to advance past Norwich City and into the League Cup semi-finals were everything I've been hoping to see from this team and more. Holman's volleyed rocket, Benteke's footwork and vision, Weimann's positioning and finishing, the build-up to the fourth; these were not Aston Villa goals, at least not in any form that I'm used to seeing them. These were the kind of goals that classy, confident, skillful teams score.
Am I getting ahead of myself by being so excited? Probably. Villa did get this far, in part, by beating Manchester City 4-2 at the Etihad, after all. The highlight package was about four minutes long, and apparently the rest of the game was not without it's scary moments. And of course, it would certainly nice to get this kind of performance in the league one of these days.
But forget all of that pragmatic crap. Aston Villa just went away from home and put an absolute whipping on one of the most in-form sides in England. They scored four absolutely gorgeous goals, and managed to keep a pretty potent attacking side to just one. They're in the semifinals of the League Cup, and they're capable of beating every remaining side. Maybe things will go back to being dire once again, and this game will look like an aberration. But if Aston Villa are capable of showing this kind of quality on an even semi-regular basis, the rest of the year could be a pretty fun ride.
*Not at all patiently.