Aston Villa 3-0 Bournemouth: Luiz, Ramsey and Buendia all on target
Aston Villa 3-0 Bournemouth: Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey and Emi Buendia all on target to seal comfortable win for hosts, denting the survival fight of Gary O’Neil’s Cherries
- Aston Villa beat Bournemouth 3-0 to keep the visitors mired in a relegation fight
- The Cherries have a knack for opening the scoring, but Douglas Luiz hit early
- Jacob Ramsey and Emi Buendia scored in the final ten minutes to seal victory
In a Premier League table since Unai Emery took over before the World Cup, Aston Villa would be joint-fourth with 26 points in 14 games, behind only Arsenal, Man City and Man Utd.
And while a win over relegation-fighting Bournemouth – who have only won eight points on the road all season – might have been expected at Villa Park, this was yet another indication of how terrific a job Emery is doing in the West Midlands.
Dragged in with the club flirting with relegation, the Spaniard has them looking up rather than down and perhaps even geared for a late-season push for a place in Europe.
Their eleventh win of the season pushed them into the top half of the table, at least until the late game finished at Stamford Bridge, for the first time since August.
Both managers name unchanged sides with Gary O’Neil sticking with the same eleven that beat Liverpool last weekend. Meanwhile Emery didn’t make any changes from the side that drew at West Ham.
Douglas Luiz opened the scoring for Aston Villa seven minutes into the Bournemouth game
Jacob Ramsey doubled the lead for the hosts with ten minutes left on the clock at Villa Park
The comprehensive result showcased the way Aston Villa have changed under Unai Emery
And it took Villa just seven minutes to take the lead with a move wonderfully started and finished by Douglas Luiz. The Brazilian picked up the ball in his own half, drove into opposition territory and found Ollie Watkins, whose effort was blocked but the ball fell to Leon Bailey inside the box. With a burst of pace past Lloyd Kelly, Bailey created an angle to put the ball across goal where Luiz was waiting for a simple tap in.
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1): E Martinez 7, Cash 7, Konsa 6, Mings 6, Moreno Lopera 7, McGinn 6 (Chambers 90), Douglas Luiz 8, Bailey 6 (Traore 65, 6), Buendia 7 (Duran 90), J Ramsey 7, Watkins 7
Subs unused: Santos Silva Chambers, Young, Olsen, Digne, Sinisalo
Goals: Douglas Luiz 7, J Ramsey 80, Buendia 89
Manager: Unai Emery 7
Bournemouth (4-4-1-1): Neto 6, A Smith 6 (Brooks 79, 6), Stephens 6, Senesi 6, Kelly 6, Ouattara 6 (Vina 90), Rothwell 6 (Traore 59, 6), Lerma 6, Anthony 6 (Semenyo 59,6), Billing 7 (Moore 90), Solanke 6
Subs unused: Travers, L Cook, Mepham, Christie
Bookings: Billing, Lerma, Senesi, Stephens
Manager: Gary O’Neil 6
Referee: Robert Jones 6
It was the ninth goal Bournemouth had conceded in the first 15 minutes of games this season – the worst in the Premier League
Yet the visitors should have levelled instantly after and Villa skipper John McGinn was a lucky man when Jaidon Anthony failed to capitalise on his loose pass. McGinn was careless and Anthony struggled to get enough contact on his effort.
Philip Billing then failed to get on top of Adam Smith’s cross and headed over when he was free, before Dominic Solanke’s effort was saved by Emi Martinez.
Just as the visitors were building, against the run of play, Villa should have doubled their lead when Emiliano Buendia threaded Watkins through on goal but Neto was on hand to deny the Villa striker from point-blank range. Watkins really should have finished.
Villa were then denied what looked like a stonewall penalty when Jacob Ramsey’s strike hit the hand of Jack Stephens and went over but VAR decided that Stephens’ hand was in a natural position and thus decided it wasn’t a handball.
Still Bournemouth pushed as the rain began to hammer down at Villa Park and on the brink of half-time, Dango Ouattara delivered a teasing cross which Matty Cash got to first.
O’Neil turned to his bench shortly after the break, bringing on Hamed Traore and Antoine Semenyo. Ouattara won a free kick on the edge of the box but Billing’s strike was superbly tipped over by Martinez.
Every single point is going to be pivotal in this scrap for survival and Bournemouth kept on knocking. Solanke was put through on goal but was guilty of taking too long.
Gary O’Neil turned to the Cherries bench to try and turn the game in favour of the visitors
Sub David Brooks made his return after 536 days absent with Stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma
Emi Buendia scored a header with a minute left of regulation time to make it 3-0 to Villa
O’Neil put on David Brooks, who made his first appearance since September 2021, after he was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma. As he came on for the first time in 536 days, the Villa Park crowd applauded in unison for the Welshman. Some things are bigger than football indeed.
And that applause turned into celebrations a minute later when Ramsey finished from close range after a knockdown from Watkins to double Villa’s advantage.
The three points were wrapped up shortly after when Buendia headed in from a corner.
For Bournemouth, it was a performance where they could have easily won a point had they taken their opportunities but as it was, they will enter April knowing that they have it all to do if they want to be playing Premier League football next season.
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