Six goals, a stunning hat-trick, shambolic defending and – at the end of it all – a point a piece.
A perfect result if you’re anybody but Villa or QPR.
Just as you think results can’t get any worse after victories for those at the bottom at the weekend, it so very nearly did last night but for an inspired performance from Christian Benteke.
A point is certainly better than defeat but it really was a must win. And prior to the game and up until their equaliser, I was confident of that.
A hat-trick from Benteke for his seventh goal in five games is great on an individual note but the draw is a frustration. A win pushes us out from the pack and within safety. A draw leaves us in limbo.
We should have capitalised on a dominant opening 45 minutes, having produced more first-half shots – 14 – than any of our previous games this season.
But a switch in formation for QPR in the second half changed the dynamics. What followed was poor and, but for a confident strike from Benteke off the post, we could have been in real trouble.
A constant throughout was a hapless defence.
Be it a misjudged headed clearance from Leandro Bacuna for the first, unmanned posts for the second or weak tackles from Kieran Richardson and Carlos Sanchez for the third – all were very basic errors.
Richardson left himself exposed time and time again against Matt Phillips. Bacuna on the other side didn’t fare much better after the introduction of Armand Traore either.
It highlighted the importance of sturdy full-backs as opposed to converted midfielders.
How we could have done with Alan Hutton and Matt Lowton on either side. And how we could have done with Jores Okore at the back over Ron Vlaar. With those in the side we would have won.
Villa were 17th, 18th, 17th, 15th, 17th, 18th and then 17th again last night after all that huff and puff before finishing the night in 16th with 29 points.
We’ve missed an opportunity to get away from that last night.
I have confidence we will stay up but we’ve now put it on ourselves to get two wins from the last six.
Sherwood’s return to Tottenham could almost have a derby feel about it but Manchester City is a different kettle of fish. Wedged in between our Wembley appearance, these are two tough fixtures.
Our season will now hinge on games in May against Everton, West Ham, Southampton and Burnley. Six points there should do it but that’s putting an awful lot of pressure on ourselves so late on.
And the pressure we’ll feel on the last game of the season is sure to be huge.
Leicester host QPR and we host Burnley on May 24 in two vital relegation battles and it’s looking unlikely we’ll head into that not needing something, even if it’s just denying Burnley a win.