Aston Villa can look forward to another season of Premier League football but that was the only issue resolved at this club on a day when relief was the overriding emotion. So many questions remain unanswered, not least whether Randy Lerner, the Villa owner, will sell up this summer and what the future holds for Paul Lambert, whose position as manager is under renewed scrutiny after another thoroughly underwhelming season.
For the moment, Villa supporters are just thankful that their relegation fears have been put to bed. After a run of one point from their previous six matches and with away fixtures at Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur to come, Villa came into this game desperately short of confidence and with their top-flight status on the line, but a spirited performance, including a couple of goals from a resurgent Andreas Weimann, delivered the victory that put smiles on faces during what could have been an awkward "lap of appreciation" after the final whistle.
Weimann, who for so much of this campaign has looked a shadow of the player that tormented defences last season, chose a good day to rediscover his touch. Without a goal since January and with only three to his name in the league all season, the Austrian dispatched two headers in the space of four minutes before the interval to take the game away from a Hull City side that played like they had their mind on Saturday week's FA Cup final.
Hull were obliging opponents from the outset, gifting Villa the lead after only 58 seconds, when Ashley Westwood capitalised on some poor defending to get the home team off to the best possible start. Although Hull got back into the game when Jordan Bowery turned Liam Rosenior's cross into his own net, the visitors never looked like recovering from the double blow Weimann inflicted just before the interval.
Lambert was jubilant at the end. "That was massive," the Villa manager said. "I just said to the lads in there: 'I've been involved in massive games before but the pressure on that one was incredible.' But they came through that. I thought they were outstanding and deserved to win the game. I thought Andi was brilliant, his two goals were probably long overdue, I thought Bowery was excellent coming on and [Fabian] Delph and Westwood were outstanding. It was a huge performance."
The opening goal came after Gabriel Agbonlahor got away from Curtis Davies on the left flank and cut the ball back for Marc Albrighton, who missed his kick before teeing the ball up for Westwood to calmly stroke a low shot from the edge of the area beyond Steve Harper.
Hull, however, were level in the 28th minute through a perfectly executed training ground free-kick. Tom Huddlestone lined up to shoot but instead released the unmarked Rosenior, whose low centre was diverted past Brad Guzan by the substitute Bowery. Huddlestone then came close to putting Hull in front with a 25-yard shot that was brilliantly turned around the post by Guzan.
At the other end Weimann wriggled clear on the right only to be denied by Harper, who tipped Bowery's header over seconds later as Villa began to apply a little pressure that paid off in the 41st minute after a game of pin-ball in the Hull area.
Delph's corner from the right was met by Nathan Baker, whose first header was blocked by Nikica Jelavic and his second kept out by the crossbar. Jelavic was first to the rebound but he succeeded only in nodding the ball in the direction of Weimann, who emphatically headed home.
With Hull still reeling from that setback, Weimann struck again with a glancing header from Bowery's inswinging cross to release the pressure valve and leave Steve Bruce lamenting his team's "awful" defending. "The way we started the game was the way we finished the first half, we were so sloppy," the Hull manager said.