Chris Wood headed in a late winner as Burnley came from behind twice

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Chris Wood headed in a late winner as Burnley came from behind twice to grab an unlikely victory against Aston Villa in a thrilling match at Turf Moor.

Villa had been 2-1 ahead with 14 minutes remaining before Dwight McNeil’s low cross evaded everyone for an equaliser and the midfielder then crossed for Wood to score Burnley’s third.

The visitors dominated the first half and had gone in front when Ollie Watkins flicked the ball into the net following Matt Targett’s low cross from the left.

After a number of fine saves by Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope, the hosts levelled through Ben Mee’s header, only for Villa to regain the lead with Jack Grealish’s half-volley.

But Burnley, who had only scored five times in their previous eight home Premier League matches this season, found two more goals to ease their relegation concerns.

They remain 15th in the table, but are now nine points ahead of 18th-placed Fulham, who drew 0-0 at fellow strugglers Brighton.

“In the second half I was very proud and super pleased,” said Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

“We didn’t have a handle on the game in the first half but the mentality was excellent and in the second half they were really working hard.”

Villa have now only won one game in six in all competitions and manager Dean Smith felt this was a missed three points.

He said: “The game should’ve been over at half-time, the chances we created, they were quality chances.

“I’m disappointed because that’s an opportunity wasted. I don’t take plusses from this game at all. We did enough to get the points, so not happy.”

Superb Pope performance denies Villa
For Villa, who stay 10th, they will be wondering how they failed to take all three points and then left Lancashire empty-handed.

Within three minutes, the away side should have gone ahead when Ezri Konsa headed over when well placed, before Watkins was the first of many players to be denied by England international Pope.

Watkins flicked Villa into a 13th-minute lead, but Pope then saved from the impressive Grealish and in a one-on-one chance with Watkins, with Ross Barkley then shooting against the crossbar with the rebound.

But Villa kept on creating chances as Bertrand Traore’s strike was blocked by Mee, with Pope showing great reflexes to then save Tyrone Mings’ follow-up. Targett was the next man to be frustrated and the missed opportunities continued to come in the second half with John McGinn also denied.

With the score at 1-1, Grealish, following a superb individual run from the halfway line, saw his strike blocked by Pope, although Grealish then got a deserved goal before Pope then stopped Watkins making it 3-1 to Villa.

The hosts ended strongly and goals from McNeil and Wood, both coming inside a three-minute spell, gave Burnley the three points.

Burnley battle for third win in seven days
When these two sides met in December at Villa Park, it ended in a 0-0 draw and the point was enough to take the Clarets out of the relegation zone.

Since then, they have won four of seven Premier League matches, including a 1-0 victory at reigning champions Liverpool on 21 January – becoming the first team to win a Premier League game at Anfield since April 2017.

Just like that victory against Jurgen Klopp’s side, Sean Dyche will be extremely proud of his team for not giving up when they looked like being overwhelmed.

A tough first half for them against Villa saw away goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez barely troubled with Robbie Brady’s 25-yard strike that went well over one of only a handful of attempts at goal.

Dyche brought on Jack Cork for Josh Brownhill at half-time and the Clarets performed much better after the break.

Villa’s misses proved costly as Mee headed an equaliser early in the second half from Ashley Westwood’s corner and they could have taken the lead but Wood was denied by Martinez.

Despite Grealish restoring Villa’s lead, the hosts did not let their heads drop and equalised through McNeil. However, the goal had a slice of luck to it as his low cross was aimed for substitute Matej Vydra, with the ball evading everyone and going into the far corner of the net.

But there was nothing fortunate about the winner as Wood’s fourth goal of the campaign gave Burnley back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season.

It seals a great week for the Clarets as they have now won three times inside seven days after also beating Fulham 3-0 away from home in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

Wood heads in another goal – the stats
This was Burnley’s highest-scoring Premier League win since they won 3-2 against Chelsea in August 2017 – before this, their last 12 league games with five or more goals had all ended in defeat
After winning all nine previous Premier League games in which they scored first this season, Aston Villa suffered their first league defeat after scoring first since a 2-1 loss to Chelsea last June.
Since his Premier League debut for Burnley in August 2017, no player has scored more headed Premier League goals than Chris Wood (15, level with Harry Kane).
Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins netted his eighth Premier League goal of the season in his 18th appearance, equalling their top league scorer last season (Jack Grealish, eight in 36 apps).
Aston Villa had 45 shots against Burnley in the Premier League this season, their most against an opponent in a top-flight campaign since 2010-11 vs West Ham (51 shots).
This was only the second time Burnley have conceded first at Turf Moor in the Premier League and gone on to score three times, after their 4-2 win over Spurs back in May 2010.
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has been directly involved in 14 goals in 18 Premier League appearances this season (six goals, eight assists), as many as in 36 appearances last season (eight goals, six assists).
Only Johann Berg Gudmundsson (17) has more Premier League assists for Burnley than Ashley Westwood (16).
‘The game should’ve been over at half time’ – what they said
Burnley manager Sean Dyche, speaking to Match of the Day: “Second half I was very proud. I thought they were the better side first half, had more creativity and we didn’t ask many questions.

“Sometimes we have to rely on our resilience and the players kept working, plus [Nick Pope] made big, important saves.

“The change at half time was thanks to the mentality of the players, asking questions, being on the front foot. The second half was really pleasing against a really good Aston Villa side.”

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith, speaking to Match of the Day: “Pope has made some really good saves but the game should’ve been out of sight.

“It’s very tough to win any game in this league and we have started the season so well but you can’t get three points the way we played.

“We didn’t do the basics well enough in the second half. They were a bit fortunate with the second goal but no excuses.”

What’s next?
Burnley face Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday (12:00 GMT) and then are at home against Manchester City three days later (18:00 GMT).

Aston Villa play at Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday (20:00 GMT), before entertaining West Ham on Wednesday, 3 February (20:15 GMT).

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