A debut goal from Ollie Watkins, as well as goals from Jack Grealish and Keinan Davis wrapped up tonight’s game at the Pirelli.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa returned to competitive football for the first time in the new season in a second-round tie in the Carabao Cup against Burton Albion tonight.
Burton took the lead in under two minutes after a poor clearance from Neil Taylor allowed the Brewers acres of space and the option of playing around the Aston Villa box, before the ball fell to Colin Daniel at the far post, who smashed the ball past a flailing Orjan Nyland.
Aston Villa enjoyed most of the following pressure and possession, with Neil Taylor and Jack Grealish both having shots blocked in the following ten minutes.
Burton were forced into a relatively early change as Michael Bostwick picked up a knock in the 24th minute, and was replaced by Owen Gallacher – who was making his debut for the Brewers.
Ollie Watkins was the man of the first 45 minutes for Aston Villa as he scored a debut goal in the 39th. Jack Grealish drew three men out to the left before poking a ball through to Neil Taylor – who took a while to realise where the ball was after the smartness of the pass – before the Welshman poked a ball across the face of goal for Dean Smith’s record signing to bury into the net.
Watkins almost grabbed a second in added time as Grealish received the ball by the corner flag, before keeping it in play with a deft touch and running down the line towards goal before playing the ball to the debutante who smashed the ball against the crossbar.
Neither side made changes as they moved into the second half, and Aston Villa started the brighter of the two, winning three corners within the first two minutes – none of which truly tested the Burton defence.
Things died down towards the hour mark, with Aston Villa enjoying their possession-based dominance, but struggling to get efforts towards the opposition goal.
Burton made their final two changes in the 65th minute, with Lawless and Edwards replaced by Joe Powell and Kieran Gilligan.
Watkins forced Burton’s young keeper into a strong save just before the 70th minute, but the forward had been flagged offside regardless. Jacob Ramsey received a yellow card in the 70th minute for a rash challenge on Powell.
Ollie Watkins and Jacob Ramsey were replaced by Keinan Davis and Douglas Luiz in the 71st minute. Aston Villa made their final substitute eight minutes later with Anwar El Ghazi being replaced by Jota Peleteiro.
The aforementioned Jota swung a left-footed strike which curled just over the bar in six minutes before the 90th minute, as Aston Villa looked to put the game to bed before they were forced into a penalty shoot-out.
Jack Grealish seemingly won the tie with an 87th minute edge-of-the-box volley following Lansbury’s corner, with his shot bouncing into the ground as he stroked it into the Burton goal.
Keinan Davis wrapped up the game in stoppage time as he beat Burton’s offside trap before racing into the box and calmly finished past Sharman-Lowe.
They left it late, but Dean Smith’s tricky Villans have started the season off with a win.