After a weekend of shocks and surprises, Aston Villa produced their own contribution by scoring twice yesterday and avoiding defeat against lower league opposition.
This was pinch-yourself territory for Villa's supporters, after an afternoon during which Paul Lambert's team overcame their goal phobia and were boosted by the positive news that Fabian Delph had signed a new contract.
The Holte End has a new hero in Carles Gil, the £3.25 million signing from Valencia, who underlined his vast potential with a breathtaking goal, Villa's second in more than 11 hours of football.
And all those fears that Bournemouth would become the latest addition to Lambert's crime sheet in cup competitions - joining Bradford, Millwall, Sheffield United and Leyton Orient - were washed away on a rare day of optimism. Perhaps the future under Lambert could be bright, after all. Resolving the uncertainty over Delph is a huge step forward, with the England international signing a new deal worth around £55,000 a week.
Delph could have departed on a free transfer in the summer, and had told Villa he was keeping his options open last year, but his decision to sign a four-and-a-half-year deal has come at the perfect time for Lambert.
"Fabian has got his whole career in front of him and I'm not sure many people saw the new contract coming," the manager said. "It's the right thing for Aston Villa as it would have taken millions to replace him and we can't obviously do that. He'll get better and better and he's a big talent. He's a Villa captain in the making and has that drive and hunger to succeed.
"It puts everything to bed and he'll now be settled. I know when I was out of contract as a player it can be uncertain but he's now going to drive us forward for years. It's a great lift for us and we've then gone on to score two unbelievable goals."
Eddie Howe, the Bournemouth manager, made eight changes from the team that lost at Leeds United in midweek but they settled quickly to dominate the first half. There was the whiff of another upset in the air.
Kieran Richardson was required to clear an effort from Shaun MacDonald off the line before Eunan O'Kane drew a scrambling save from Shay Given with a powerful low drive.
Villa were booed off the pitch at half time, after again failing to produce a single shot on target, but Gil's classy strike in the 51st minute turned the game dramatically in home side's favour.
The Spanish winger had already shot into the side netting early in the second period before producing a moment of genuine class out of nothing.
After picking up the ball on the right he advanced towards goal, cut inside Ian Harte and then bent a wonderful shot into the far corner.
Even Lambert puffed out his cheeks in his technical area as Gil celebrated wildly in front of the Holte End. "A world-class finish," the Villa manager said afterwards.
Villa were then in control and added a second 19 minutes from time, Andreas Weimann producing another well-taken finish from Alan Hutton's pass to kill off any lingering resistance from Bournemouth.
"How s*** must you be, we've scored two goals," a stunned Holte End chanted.
Bournemouth did grab a consolation in added time, with the substitute Callum Wilson poking in from close range. (© Daily Telegraph, London)