Ings, Buendia and Watkins on target to end Clarets run


James Anderson was saddened after Burnley suffered an England-style collapse in charge of survival.

Aston Villa had the most abrupt end of a run that pushed the Clarets out of the drop zone under caretaker chief Mike Jackson.


Danny Ings puts Villa in the leadcredit: Reuters
Amy Bendia it 2-0.  makes


Amy Bendia it 2-0. makescredit: Alamy

It was a one-sided move that may have given local boy Anderson a flashback to playing an Australian Ashes romp.

And for Burnley fans so full of hope that they were meant to stay, suddenly the nightmares returned.

Goals of a third for one-time clarinet Danny Ings, the excellent Amy Bendia and Ollie Watkins sealed a victory that – perhaps – should have been even bigger.

And while it was a loss that, with Leeds in freefall and next facing Arsenal, is more important than fatal right now, Jackson can only hope there are no lasting mental scars.

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To think, people assumed Villa would be easy beat, with nothing concrete to play, save their own pride.

With a warrior like Steven Gerrard, this was unlikely to happen. It took hardly six minutes to prove this fact.

The wonderful Buendia made it when his perfectly weighted pass tore apart Burnley, and Ings buried his finish in the bottom corner.

The goalscorer made a point of not celebrating given his Clarets connections and you can understand the Villa striker’s mixed feelings.

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It may have been seven years since he left Turf Moor, but this place will always hold a special place in his heart.

after all. It was his clinical finishing in four years at Turf Moor that landed him a move to Liverpool in 2015 with goals for over a century.

For Burnley, things could only get better. As for Ings, he couldn’t have felt worse. Yet even if he was playing it down, Buendia wasn’t going to do the same – with some justification.

Since Philippe Coutinho’s arrival on loan in January, the Argentine had become a decadent figure, and only made his debut at Burnley as Gerrard tried to shake things up a bit.

Chalk that up as a mission accomplished, then, Steve. Because Buendia followed their help for the first and obtained the second himself.

Maybe turning Coutinho’s short-term stay into a permanent one is a no-brainer, so many believe. In this form, Buendia is by far the better option.

Of course his side-footed finish overtook James Tarkowski on the way to Nick Pope, but the celebrations were no less encouraging for it.

In direct contrast to the Clarets’ sentiments, however, and Pope’s “calm down” gestures were spoken by his teammates.

Ollie Watkins celebrates grabbing Villa's third


Ollie Watkins celebrates grabbing Villa’s thirdcredit: getty
Maxwell Cornet dropped by Amy Martinez to score Burnley's consolation


Maxwell Cornet dropped by Amy Martinez to score Burnley’s consolationcredit: AFP

Yet all Burnley had its moments, they were more frantic than finesse. Frenzy at one end, full at the other.

Villa keeper Amy Martinez’s most serious save, while it was still at least a contest, was to tip Tyrone Mings’ errant header over the top with giant Vout Weghorst steaming up.

The two were down and chasing him until Dwight McNeill made his best start, choosing to shoot when Ashley Barnes leapt into space at the far post.

And in truth it was a chase, they never looked like winning, either, with the visitors very much in cruise control.

So it was no surprise when the third goal also went their way, swiftly eliminating any doubts about the result. Not that there were many by then.

Again it was a masterpiece in its creation, with Buendia and Lucas Digne leading the way, and McGinn giving a cross to the radar-controlled standard.

Sure enough, Ollie Watkins’ diving header went through Pope but headed down, from point blank range, with little chance for the Burnley keeper.

Watkins saw another attempt only deflected widely, a thunderbolt was behind Matt Cash, and a sudden defeat threatened to become a drubbing.

To their credit at least Burnley kept going fast, but by now it was certainly more hopeful than expected. Points, as all inside the field, had long since disappeared.

He found something to cheer for when substituting Maxwell Cornet – why he didn’t get to heaven early only knows – left Martinez around to smash in a consolation.

The cheers, however, were no more than half-hearted and watched in dismay by Anderson and the rest of the people in the stands. Talk about Boots in Googly.

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And you know the worst thing for Burnley? A quirk of the fixture list means the two will reunite on Thursday’s week.

Jackson and his staff may be praying that there won’t be a repeat at Villa Park, or they may finally be heading for the championship.

See how the game unfolded in our live blog…


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