Committed and passionate. A highly energetic spectacle of pride.
The Villa players really gave everything for their post-match celebration. If only the game was as lively.
Olof Mellberg, fists clenched, running in circles. David O'Leary doing his David Pleat impersonation with his sprint on to the pitch.
Whether he was sarcastically gesturing at the Blues fans before giving chairman Doug Ellis a wave is a matter for conjecture. But what isn't up for debate is whether the Villa players knew they were rubbing their opponents' noses in it during those few minutes after the final whistle.
Provocation and goading seems to be as much a part of the local derby as the Sunday noon kick-off time.
Who can forget Blues' manager Steve Bruce's jog of delight on to the Villa Park pitch in celebration of Stern John's last-minute equaliser last season? And what about Mellberg sounding off about not only Birmingham City and the players, but also the supporters?
Still, Villa have experienced enough heartbreak since Blues were promoted, so this was the players' moment to finally celebrate victory against the old foe.
The game itself was the typical derby that we have come to expect. A physical duel with little excitement - except, that is, for Villa's well-worked goal.
The only untypical aspect of this derby (apart from the result) was the lack of goalkeeping blunders.
At times, the match resembled one of those untidy scraps we all fondly remember getting involved in on the school playground. The players were bunched up, with legs recklessly swinging at each other.
Apart from the odd moments of skill from Villa's Stephen Davis and James Milner and Blues' David Dunn, there wasn't enough action to satisfy neutral fans, and so whoever decided not to televise this game was proved right.
Many of the Blues fans in the Main Stand voiced their anger at the players for what they perceived to be a lack of passion.
"Come on Wally!", they shouted to their Uruguayan striker Walter Pandiani. But it was difficult to know for certain if he was the intended target because there was quite a few Wallys on the pitch.
The Villa fans sang throughout, obviously buoyed by the early goal.
Sit Down Potato Head, directed at Blues manager Steve Bruce, was a firm favourite for many in Railway End away fans section. The Blues fans saved their loudest Keep Right On for after the final whistle.
After the game, amid the sounds of police helicopters and dogs, many Blues fans could be heard moaning about their lack of success at St Andrew's this season. But it is doubtful if any of the other three loses at home would hurt more than this.
"They had to beat us one day," said one young Blues fan to his dad.
However, the last time Villa recorded a league victory against Blues would have been years before he was born.
The Villa fans marched away from Small Heath to the city centre singing and clapping. Many of them probably couldn't remember the last time Villa beat Blues either.
But they won't forget the day when Kevin Phillips finally broke Villa's duck against their local rivals.