Friday 18 October 2019

Wood earns late point as Burnley twice battle back to draw at Aston Villa

The striker headed in nine minutes from time.

Chris Wood’s header earned Burnley a point (Nick Potts/PA)
Chris Wood’s header earned Burnley a point (Nick Potts/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA

Chris Wood headed home a late equaliser as Burnley twice came from behind to deny Aston Villa a second Premier League win of the season.

The hosts, who also led twice at Arsenal last week before succumbing to defeat, thought they were heading for a vital three points when John McGinn scored his third of the season in the closing stages – only for Wood to level moments later to secure a 2-2 draw for Sean Dyche’s side.

Anwar El Ghazi had given Villa the half-time lead after McGinn had earlier seen an effort chalked off by the video assistant referee, with Burnley substitute Jay Rodriguez equalising with his first Premier League goal since April 2018.

Villa remain in the bottom three having once again lost points from a winning position – the third time the newly-promoted side have done so since returning to the top-flight.

McGinn had the first chance of the game on three minutes but he could not keep his header down as he connected with Matt Targett’s pinpoint cross.

A similar ball into the box at the other end by Erik Pieters resulted in Wood, who bagged a brace to see off Norwich last week, not managing to get enough on the ball in an even opening to the contest.

Both sides came close with free-kick chances as Conor Hourihane’s effort came back off the post before Dwight McNeil rattled the crossbar with his set-piece attempt moments later.

Villa thought they were ahead on 25 minutes as Hourihane and Jack Grealish exchanged passes, with the former’s low cross missed by Wesley but tucked away by McGinn from close-range.

The home fans were still celebrating as referee Lee Mason took the ball from the centre-spot and signalled the goal had been ruled out by VAR with Hourihane offside in the build-up.

Just eight minutes later and Villa could legitimately celebrate taking the lead as a raking pass found Frederic Guilbert, who burst forward before crossing in for El Ghazi to steer a finish past Nick Pope.

The goal gave Villa added impetus and they ended the first-half well on top, El Ghazi heading over before Grealish forced a smart save out of Pope.

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Burnley’s Jay Rodriguez celebrates bringing his side level (Nick Potts/PA).

Rodriguez came on at the interval for the visitors, who looked lively from the outset as Jeff Hendrick whistled a shot over the crossbar.

Mee then headed into the side-netting from a deep Burnley corner as they continued to push forward in search of an equaliser.

With Dyche’s men dominating play and following a slight delay as Villa striker Wesley required treatment and Targett limped off injured, Rodriguez headed the visitors level from a Pieters cross.

That seemed to spur Villa back into action, Grealish arrowing a strike over the bar as Smith’s side went in search of the lead once more.

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John McGinn restored Aston Villa’s lead, but their joy was short-lived (Nick Potts/PA).

Wesley then thought he was breaking through on Pope’s goal only for Mee to make a last-gasp lunge and get just enough pace on the ball for the Burnley goalkeeper to clear.

Villa would regain their advantage with 11 minutes left on the clock, McGinn’s measured left-foot finish going under Pope to seemingly put the hosts on course for a second league win of the season.

But it was not to be as Burnley would equalise for the second time just two minutes later, Wood playing the ball out wide to Matthew Lowton before getting on the end of a deflected cross to head in from six yards.

Neither side could muster a chance to win the game in the closing stages despite a lengthy period of stoppage time.

PA Media

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