Aston Villa were left missing some golden opportunities against Burnley, and pick up a point against relegation-zone Burnley.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa returned to Villa Park this evening for a game against Burnley, as Dean Smith’s side looked to fix their poor home form and continue from the weekend’s win against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
It was the home side who threatened early, with both Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins having shots blocked in the Burnley box, and Bertrand Traore firing just wide of the post as a corner was headed out to him waiting on the edge of the area.
Ollie Watkins forced Nick Pope into an awkward save eight minutes into the game as he shot from a tight angle, which the keeper had to palm away from his goal line.
Aston Villa had a golden opportunity to go ahead as Anwar El Ghazi’s cross found Bertrand Traore at the far post – where the Burkinabe international was too slow to get an attempt away and was smothered by the Burnley defence. Burnley had an opportunity down the other end of the pitch shortly after as Chris Wood was afforded a relatively free header – but Emi Martinez scrambled to dive and palm it away spectacularly.
Around the half hour mark Ollie Watkins nearly gave the Villans the lead – but we’re not sure how aware he was of it. Elmohamady struck from outside of the box towards the bottom left, where it struck Watkins’ thigh and was forced off the line by former Aston Villa defender Matt Lowton.
Anwar El Ghazi took an exceptional free-kick in the 37th minute, which Nick Pope got a fingertip to and pushed onto the crossbar. Without Pope’s intervention, the ball would have likely gone in.
Kortney Hause, his usual imperious self in the air, was having a strong game defensively – and could have picked the opening goal a few minutes before half-time as he rose to meet a flick-on at the far post and his header thundered off the upright.
Six minutes into the second half, and Bertrand Traore had another excellent opportunity that he spurned. He was through on goal but decided to opt for a pass rather than a shot, which was cleared away. Ollie Watkins had a chance a few seconds later, with his backpedalled header forcing Pope into an awkward save.
Anwar El Ghazi had a few more chances in the following ten minutes, with one fired wide and another saved well by Nick Pope.
Burnley were the side who made a change first, with Villa arch-nemesis Jay Rodriguez replaced by Ashley Barnes.
El Ghazi was next on the ‘golden opportunity but spurned chance’ list, as Jack Grealish played him in on goal but his shot was poor and saved easily by Nick Pope.
Keinan Davis replaced Bertrand Traore with ten minutes remaining, potentially signalling a change in system – or the position of Ollie Watkins – however it initially seemed that Davis would play from the right. Chris Wood was replaced by Matej Vydra shortly after.
Just a few minutes before the end of the 90, Jack Grealish had an exceptional opportunity after working his way into the Burnley box, before the Aston Villa captain fired over the bar.
Aston Villa were left rueing their chances in this game, and leave Villa Park with a point.