Aston Villa 1 West Ham United 0
They go by the sobriquets of Big Brother and Little Brother and, in just two matches, they have done more to inspire confidence than any other Aston Villa striking partnership in five years.
Big Brother is John Carew, the Norwegian who is built like a skyscraper but runs like a gazelle. Little Brother is Ashley Young, the Englishman who is built like a blade of grass but boasts the tenacity of a Jehovah's Witness.
When Carew left Villa Park on Saturday, having scored the only goal to defeat West Ham United, he was carrying a briefcase. "Yes, there is a laptop inside," he said. "A big one. Not like Ashley Young's, which is a small one."
Cue laughter. Cue an appreciation of how well these players have grown to understand each other and their relevance to the Villa squad.
Carew and Young have developed a genuine friendship off the pitch and a ruthless combination on it. They had never met until January 26 but now it is hard to imagine a time when they were not playing together for Villa.
At full-time, as the Villa supporters cheered a victory that finally dispelled any threat of relegation, Carew and Young embraced each other. They looked different in every way but shared a common cause. It was a moving moment.
They came to Villa Park at great cost — Young for at least #8 million, Carew in exchange for Milan Baros — but there are all the signs that they can do for Villa in this decade what Peter Withe and Gary Shaw did in the early Eighties.
Carew is the targetman who holds the ball up well, Young is the sprinter who flourishes with balls over the top. Their movement off the ball is impressive and they have the knack of knowing what the other is likely to attempt.
Even Martin O'Neill, the Villa manager who has begun the most exciting of revolutions, could not have expected his new strikers to have started with such style so quickly.
"I thought the two of them could play together," O'Neill said, then hinted that the partnership is as much a result of accident as design.
The perception grows, however, that anybody — except, of course, for Baros — could flourish under O'Neill.
Look at Wilfred Bouma, who now plays like an international left-back whereas, in the past, under David O'Leary, he revealed none of the appropriate attributes necessary for a successful career with Villa.
Bouma was brilliant against West Ham, surpassed only by Carew, as Villa dominated for 85 minutes but nearly came unstuck.
It was only two fine saves by Thomas Sorensen in the final few minutes, with one timely intervention by Bouma, that preserved Villa's lead.
The victory was deserved but, as was the case against Watford in the previous home match, they came close to plucking a draw from the jaws of victory.
Villa played with pace throughout and exposed all the flaws that have sent West Ham towards the bottom three of the Premiership. Carew deservedly opened the scoring in the 36th minute, collecting a pass by Young, holding off the challenge of Calum Davenport and scoring with a low shot.
With Gavin McCann dominating the midfield, Stiliyan Petrov looking more confident than in previous matches, Villa rarely looked ruffled.
West Ham's cause was not helped by an injury to new signing Matthew Upson, making his debut after moving from Birmingham City for #7.5 million, in the 30th minute. Sympathy was in short supply as Upson, whose previous trip to Villa Park had also caused him injury, limped towards the dressing rooms and out of sight.
West Ham, disappointing and lacking assurance, came to life late on, just as Villa unwisely seemed to settle for the victory.
With the ball bouncing aimlessly around the Villa penalty area and nobody willing to make the timely clearance, Matthew Etherington's close-range shot was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Sorensen.
West Ham's response was to continue their assault and, from the resulting corner, Davenport's close-range shot was beaten away by the Villa goalkeeper.
And when Sorensen was not around to save Villa, Bouma emerged to provide the necessary work. Just when it looked as though a header by George McCartney was bound for the goal, Bouma deflected the ball against the crossbar.
When Villa cleared their lines and ended West Ham's hopes of an equaliser, the cheers around the stadium were as loud as those that greeted Carew's goal.
It was that kind of afternoon, where joy and nervousness merged to create a strange atmosphere.
Carew was off the pitch by then, substituted because he suffered cramp during the second half.
He trotted off to a standing ovation.
He did not know it then but the supporters were already building him up as the latest Villa icon.
Scorer: Carew (36), 1-0.
ASTON VILLA (4-4-2): Sorensen; Bardsley, Mellberg, Cahill, Bouma; Petrov, McCann, Barry, Agbonlahor; Carew (Berger, 73), Young (Ridgewell, 90). Substitutes not used: Taylor, Davis, Maloney.
WEST HAM UNITED (4-4-2): Carroll; Spector, Davenport, Upson (Dailly, 30), McCartney; Benayoun, Reo-Coker, Quashie, Boa Morte (Etherington, 61); Zamora, Blanco (Harewood, 60). Substitutes not used: Green, Mullins.
Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).
Booking: West Ham — Reo-Coker (foul).