ASTON VILLA (5) v/s BURNLEY (2)
MARTIN O’Neill hailed an “electric” 13-minute spell in which his Aston Villa side tore Burnley to shreds and reignited their top-four charge.
Villa fell behind early on to a Steven Fletcher goal but equalised through Ashley Young before running in four goals in less than a quarter of an hour. Stewart Downing hit two while Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor added close-range finishes in a white-hot spell at the start of the second half.
“There was relief with the equaliser and then we had a spell where we were electric,” said O’Neill. “In that spell, the movement was terrific and we also had the ability to finish moves off, which has not been our strongest point. We started slowly. We didn’t get into gear in the first half and were sluggish. But, in a game where expectations were high for us to win it, to come from behind was very pleasing.”
Victory means Villa lie seventh in the table, but only a point behind fourth-placed Tottenham and with a game in hand.
Burnley, for whom Martin Paterson scored a late consolation, remain 19th and without an away win all season. “We will get the result away from home,” said manager Brian Laws. “I am confident about that. The second goal was the killer. It was very sloppy and led to a crazy 12 or 13 minutes that lost us the game – and you can’t rectify anything after that.”