Burnley 1 v 2 Aston Villa (Premier League)
The first day of the New Year sees the Clarets welcome an old friend back to the club as former captain Tom Heaton brings his struggling Aston Villa side back to Turf Moor. The Clarets will be looking to start the year with three points, which would move them onto twenty-seven points just three or four wins away from safety.
Aston Villa started the stronger of the two sides and had the first real effort of the half fell to the visitors when Trezeguet sent a cross into the Clarets box which Ezri Konsa Ngoyo headed just wide of Nick Pope’s goal.
On eleven minutes, the visitors scored what looked like an excellent goal as Wesley played the ball into the Burnley penalty area for Grealish who headed the ball passed Nick Pope to give Aston Villa the lead. However the goal was disallowed by VAR for Wesley’s heal being off-side at the edge of the box.
The Clarets had their first real effort of the half on twenty minutes when Ashley Westwood played in Dwight McNeil who’s left footed shot from outside the box went high and wide of Tom Heaton’s left-hand post.
Just seconds later Aston Villa then went straight up field with Jack Grealish collecting the ball in midfield before playing in Wesley who’s right footed shot from the right side of the box was saved by Nick Pope in the centre of the goal.
The home side should have taken the lead on twenty-three minutes, when Dwight McNeil sent a cross into the Aston Villa area but Chris Wood could only send his header wide of Tom Heaton’s post leaving the score 0-0.
On twenty-seven minutes, Jack Grealish and Wesley played a neat one-two on the edge of the Clarets area, Jack Grealish clipped the ball back to Wesley who took it on his chest and then hit a shot through the legs of Nick Pope into the goal to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
The Clarets tried to get straight back into the game on thirty-four minutes, when Ashley Westwood found Ashley Barnes at the edge of the visitors area but his right footed shot when high and wide of Tom Heaton’s left-hand post.
The visitors extend their lead on forty-two minutes, when the ball was played into Wesley just outside the Clarets area, he in turn found Guilbert who played the ball to Grealish just inside the Clarets area on the left-hand side, he took one step inside Bardsley before firing the ball past Nick Pope to make it 2-0.
The Clarets had two firther chances to pull a goal back in the final minute of the half, the first effort fell to Phil Bardsley but his right footed shot from the right side of the box was well blocked by the Villa defence. The second effort fell to Jack Cork again from the right hand side of the area, but his right footed shot from the edge of the box was also blocked this time by Neil Taylor to make the half-time score 0-2.
Sean Dyche was clearly unhappy with the players performance as he had words with the squad at the interval. Dyche, was so unhappy he made two changes at half time with Jay Rodriguez & Johnan Berg Gudmundsson replacing both Robbie Brady & Ashley Barnes.
The visitors had the first effort of the first-half as Jack Grealish again found Douglas Luiz who hit a left footed shot from the centre of the box which was well saved by the Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope. On fifty minutes, the Clarets started to get back into the game when Tarkowski fired the ball into the path of Rodriguez, but it bounces straight off the striker’s foot and out for a goalkick.
Just after the hour mark, the Clarets should have pulled a goal back as Dwight McNeil crossed into the Ashton Villa box, the ball found Chris Wood in the middle of the area unmarked but his shot went wide of Tom Heaton’s right-hand post and out for a goalkick.
On seventyminutes, the home side pulled a goal back following an excellent deep cross by Ashley Westwood which was met at the back post by Chris Wood who powered his header passed Tom Heaton into the goal to make the score 1-2.
The biggest appulse of the day was for the Clarets former goalkeeper Tom Heaton who injured himself on a post when Chris Wood scored, he had to be stretchered off the pitch to be replaced by Nyland. But as he left the pitch the Clarets fans sang “Heaton, Heaton, Heaton and “There’s only one Tom Heaton” with lead to the former player waving to the crowd as he went down the tunnel.
The Clarets continued to push for the second goal in the nine minutes of injury time as they forced a couple of corners and a shot in injury time that was saved by Nyland, but they failed to trouble the replacement goalkeeper and the full-time score was 1-2.
Speaking after the match manager Sean Dyche said, “The frustration was we put in a very good second half performance against Manchester United and didn’t come out today. We we’re miles off with and without the ball and made too many mistakes in that first half. In the second half we made a vast improvement and asked questions. We were waiting for the game but you have to go and grab it.”
Burnley – Pope, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Cork, Westwood, Brady, McNeil, Barnes, Wood (Subs) Hart, Long, Lowton, Hendrick, Drinkwater, Gudmudsson, Rodriguez
Aston Villa – Heaton, Taylor, Konsa, Mings, Hause, Guilbert, Luiz, Grealish, Trezeguet, Wesley (Subs) Nyland, Chester, Lansbury, Hourihane, El Ghazi, Kodija, Elmohamady
Goals – (Burnley) Wood (80) (Aston Villa) Wesley (27) Grealish (42)
Attendance – 19,561