An 89th-minute penalty from Douglas Luiz earned Aston Villa a hard-fought 3-2 home victory over 10-man Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday, provisionally moving Unai Emery’s side to second place in the table.
Villa moved up to 42 points from 20 games, level with league leaders Liverpool and two ahead of Arsenal and champions Manchester City – all of whom are yet to play this weekend. Burnley remained in 19th place.
“”We are in the big club, we deserve it. We work every day so hard. Everyone is so happy, we need to enjoy the moment,” Villa midfielder Luiz said.
After a defeat and a draw in their last two matches, Villa began well, as Ollie Watkins forced Burnley keeper James Trafford into a sharp save before setting up Leon Bailey, who fired into the roof of the net to break the deadlock in the 28th minute.
Burnley responded three minutes later when Dara O’Shea headed a free kick across goal towards Zeki Amdouni, who volleyed in at the far post to level the scores.
A simple finish from Moussa Diaby put the hosts back ahead in the 42nd minute, with Watkins again involved as he sprung Burnley’s offside trap and provided the assist in the final twist of an end-to-end first half.
Burnley looked brighter after the break and created several chances, but were dealt a massive blow when Sander Berge was sent off after being shown a second yellow card for a tug on Luiz’s shirt.
Villa turned up the pressure as they sought to extend their lead, but a string of chances went begging before they were given an almighty scare late on as Burnley levelled through Lyle Foster’s smash and grab effort.
Burnley defended with tenacity to delay the inevitable, but Villa’s advantage ultimately proved too great and the home fans breathed a sigh of relief after Luiz hammered his spot-kick off the underside of the crossbar and into the net following Aaron Ramsey’s foul on Jhon Duran.
“I just tried to score. It is hard because at that moment the result is 2-2,” Luiz said.
“The last three games we don’t play so well. It is halfway through the season, the players are tired, we lost three or four players to injury. It is difficult but we need to keep going.”
Luiz’s late strike sealed Villa’s ninth home victory this season and took their tally of home wins for 2023 up to 17 – more than any other team in the Premier League.