The Four Year Odyssey: Villa’s Long & Winding Road to Redemption (Part 2)

A week after the battling draw at Stoke, Jack Grealish returned and whilst we told ourselves not to get too carried away, we knew things could now improve and they did in astonishing fashion.

Frank Lampard’s playoff chasing Derby were the first in line for a resurgent, hungry Villa and were blown away in one of the most dominant first half performances ever seen at Villa Park – a 4-0 win and a Grealish wondergoal marked the return of the good times.

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The Four Year Odyssey: Villa’s Long & Winding Road to Redemption (Part 1)

Saturday 16th April 2016. A painful date etched into the minds of all Villa fans; the day that a solitary Marcus Rashford goal confirmed Aston Villa’s relegation from the top flight for the first time in 28 years leading Joleon Lescott to infamously describe it as a “weight off our shoulders”.

Aston Villa’s captain Joleon Lescott walks from the pitch with teammates as their team is relegated from the English Premier League after being defeated 1-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday, April 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Combined with Randy Lerner’s increasingly remote, seemingly apathetic ownership, a succession of failed managers and a scattergun mass recruitment drive of players that never gelled into a team (many of whom have since built successful careers elsewhere) and Villa’s once touted “bright future” looked like a distant, crumbling memory.

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