Villa Park was epic this evening. The noise in the first half was incredible and the scenes at the end were just amazing. It was a warm night, the players showed heart and ability and the old place absolutely rocked.
I thought we deserved the win, for all that Everton huffed and puffed, I thought we edged it overall - and I think Everton are a very good side.
Heaton was nicely solid, exactly what you'd hope for, Guilbert was excellent I thought; his pace and energy opens up space down the flank for others - dropping Elmo was the right decision based on that performance and on the other side I thought Taylor was really solid again
Then we have the pairing in the middle. I'll start with the obvious - the man whose name will be rolling around Gareth Southgate's head tonight - Tyrone Mings was immense, a colossus - he's a leader, he can do the simple stuff and the dramatic stuff and he does it all with a little bit of a strut - there was a tackle with about five minutes left in the first half that was simply perfection - appearing out of nowhere to sweep a ball away - he's a Rolls Royce - and I see no reason why he shouldn't play in more shirts with lions on. He's not alone though and what's brilliant about our defence is that Bjorn Engels is very quietly, very efficiently excellent next to him - we look decent at the back.
In midfield, Luiz is a very good footballer - but I think there's a great footballer in there - it's important we remember that he's younger than Callum O'Hare - that he'll make mistakes from time to time - we need to be patient with him - he looks like he's worth it. I love watching John McGinn chase down someone who has the ball, I know what's going to happen, you know what's going to happen, but the poor bugger in possession often has no idea - I feel bad for those who have to play against him,. Grealish was very good, without being flash - he got us out of tight areas at times and linked back to front really well - as did Jota - he's got really quick feet and an eye for a pass - I still don't think he's a winger - he has no pace at all, but he's fun to watch with the ball.
Trezeguet is rapidly becoming a favourite - he's a little bit of Grealish and a little bit of McGinn spliced together - he's smooth, but he'll chase lost causes and get stuck in - at some point, he's going to win us a game on his own.
If Tyrone Mings is Superman at the back - Wesley is the incredible Hulk up front - I thought he was brilliant - never mind the goal, he beat Keane and Mina up tonight - he dragged them all over the park, held the ball up brilliantly and used it intelligently - he's learning that the Premier league is a fight and we're learning that there's plenty of fight in him. The goal will do him good, but what I felt was really impressive was his desire and energy to put in the work that made our second goal. I think we've got a good one.
I thought the ref was rubbish - allowing players on both sides to stand over free kicks all game - then not having the balls to back that up by sending off Coleman after he'd kicked Trezeguet on the ankle - in fairness, it wasn't big things he got wrong - it was every small thing.
What will stick with me tonight though is the noise, the atmosphere - there aren't many grounds that can match that - there aren't many grounds that can play host to the celebrations for the second goal and do them justice - there isn't anywhere quite like Villa Park. There isn't a better feeling than winning three points and earning all three.