Struggling Aston Villa picked up their second away win of the Premier League season, securing three vital points in a 2-1 win at Burnley on New Year’s Day, their first league win at Turf Moor since 1936.
Villa thought they had taken an 11th minute lead through a diving header from Jack Grealish but a VAR review found that Wesley‘s heel was marginally offside during the move and the goal was overturned.
It was Wesley who did open the scoring though in the 23rd — the impressive Grealish finding him in the box and the Brazilian swivelled and fired past Nick Pope to give Villa a deserved lead.
Burnley were unusually sloppy in defence and lacking their usual spirit of work-rate and it was no shock when Grealish doubled Villa’s lead four minutes before the break, finishing off a lovely passing move with a confident curling finish.
Rodriguez and Chris Wood both missed good chances before Wood finally found the target with a back post header from an Ashley Westwood cross in the 80th minute but Burnley were unable to force an equaliser.
Villa’s former Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton injured himself attempting to keep out the goal and was carried off the pitch on a stretcher.
Burnley have now lost six of their last eight games and head into a tough run of games where they will face Chelsea, Manchester United, Leicester City and Arsenal.
The win takes Villa, who had lost eight of their last eleven games, out of the bottom three and Grealish, whose class shone throughout, said they had responded to facing up to their situation.
“We had a long meeting during the week and there were some home truths said and it showed today. Burnley is one of the toughest places to come in the league and thankfully we got the win,” he said.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche was nonplussed by his team’s first half display.
“Disappointing result but the frustration is we didn’t turn up today until halftime. You can’t give any team a two-goal headstart and it wasn’t through excellent play, it was from our mistakes,” he said.
“With the quality of chances we created we could’ve nicked something out of the game but you can’t give teams that headstart.”