Aston Villa let two leads go against Burnley to leave Villa Park with just a point.
Follow the writer on Twitter: @findfoy
Aston Villa XI: Tom Heaton [GK], Frédéric Guilbert, Bjorn Engels, Tyrone Mings, Matthew Targett, Marvelous Nakamba, John McGinn, Conor Hourihane, Jack Grealish (C), Anwar El Ghazi, Wesley Moraes
Subs: Jed Steer [GK], Neil Taylor, Ezri Konsa, Douglas Luiz, Trézéguet, Jota Peleteiro, Keinan Davis
Burnley XI: Nick Pope [GK], Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Erik Pieters, Jeff Hendrick, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood, Dwight McNeil, Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood
Subs: Joe Hart [GK], Jóhan Berg Guðmundsson, Robert Brady, Ben Gibson, Jay Rodriguez, Aaron Lennon, Phil Bardsley
Aston Villa fans got what many of them had been asking for in this home game against Burnley, a change in system, a 4-1-4-1, which saw Conor Hourihane come into the fray and Matthew Targett get his first Premier League start.
The home side had an early chance as Targett whipped in a cross for McGinn, who should have scored but headed over the bar. Burnley followed a few minutes later with a great chance of their own that saw Woods fail to hit the target.
Just before the ten-minute mark, Jack Grealish should have done better with a shot from outside the area that had too much power and ended up in the crowd.
Conor Hourihane hit the post with an effort in the 12th, wrapping a ball from a free-kick that had beaten Nick Pope. In direct response, Dwight McNeil thundered a free-kick from a similar position off the crossbar of Tom Heaton’s goal.
The game went a little scrappy as the half-way mark of the first half came, with fouls from both sides, and Ashley Barnes talking himself into the referee’s book.
John McGinn got his third goal of the season in the 24th minute – or so he thought. Conor Hourihane played the ball into the box for McGinn to finish – but VAR ruled the goal out for Hourihane being offside before playing the ball in. It was a fine, fine margin.
Aston Villa weren’t aggrieved for long as John McGinn played a long ball across to Guilbert, who crossed in to Anwar El Ghazi who clipped the ball over Nick Pope in the Burnley goal.
The home side were on top from this point onwards – but had been for much of the game anyway. John McGinn was unplayable, but every player was contributing well.
James Tarkowski was booked for an off the ball incident with Wesley in the 44th minute as a flailing arm hit the Villa forward in the face. This was shortly followed by a strong, clean strike from Jack Grealish on the outside of the box that had to be saved with a strong hand from Nick Pope.
[At this point in the game, Aston Villa had made double the amount of passes that Burnley had and were enjoying 64% of the possession.]
The second half saw Jack Cork replaced by Aston Villa’s arch-nemesis from last season, Jay Rodriguez.
The away side started the second half on the front foot and had the first chance as Jeff Hendricks fired towards goal but his goalward strike was blocked over the bar for a corner by Tyrone Mings.
Wesley was knocked unconscious by a ball being kicked directly into his face in the 53rd minute which was a concerning period in the game for Aston Villa as the Brazilian forward received treatment. The striker recovered after around three minutes and was able to continue.
Matt Targett looked to have picked up a knock in the 61st minute as he went down clutching his hamstring. The left-back was replaced like-for-like by Neil Taylor.
It was the aforementioned man that brought Burnley level. Jay Rodriguez found the ball at the far post as a cross from Erik Pieters went across the box and the forward rose above Neil Taylor to head in.
Trézéguet was put onto the pitch in the 70th minute as El Ghazi took an accidental knock to the head in the build up to Burnley’s equaliser.
Ashley Westwood was booked in the 77th minute for time-wasting as he fouled Jack Grealish before booting the ball into the Aston Villa net from around 40 yards out.
John McGinn found the net in the 79th minute, and this time it counted. Trezeguet got all the way to the line before playing a ball into the back post, where the Scot was able to sidefoot the ball between Nick Pope’s legs and into the back of the net.
Burnley responded immediately with a cross finding Chris Wood who rose the highest in the Aston Villa box, heading past a rooted Tom Heaton. Ashley Barnes was replaced by Robbie Brady shortly after.
Trézéguet was booked in the 86th minute for a heated conversation with the referee to get the opposition booked. Keinan Davis replaced Wesley in the 87th minute.
There were seven minutes added on at the end of the half. Aston Villa had a few opportunities to take the lead back with a few corners, but the game ended in a stalemate.