What started as an injury-fraught battle to stay in the Championship has quickly become a leader's push for promotion in the West Midlands.
In his third match back from injury, after playing only a few minutes in the previous two, Mile Jedinak played 90 minutes and was integral in Aston Villa's 2-0 win over rivals Birmingham City.
Villa boss Steve Bruce dropped in-form striker Birkir Bjanarson to accommodate the Aussie, and Jedinak won 16 duels - the most on the park - in addition to making seven clearances.
The win moves Villa to second spot in the Championship, as Bruce's phenomenal record as a promotion-specialist begins to take full effect.
Villa have now won seven matches in a row, the first time the Villans have achieved this feat since 1990. They sit a point above Derby County in the crucial, last automatic promotion spot. It was only Jedinak's sixth full match of the season.
Jedi's return performance was particularly well-timed for the Socceroos' captain. With the depth that Villa can now boast, in combination with the squad's existing leadership - the likes of John Terry - Jedinak's place in the squad was under threat.
This show of class does a lot to smooth those concerns.