Aston Villa extended their unbeaten Premier League run to four games as they beat Bournemouth 3-0 at Villa Park, who remain deep in relegation trouble.
Unai Emery’s side set the tone early on as Douglas Luiz slotted home inside seven minutes. But Bournemouth reacted well and gave Aston Villa an equal test for much of the game.
They came closest just after the hour when Emiliano Martinez made a superb, diving save to keep out Philip Billing’s thunderous free-kick.
But perhaps their brightest moment in the game was the return of David Brooks to competitive action after his battle with cancer. Almost a year after announcing he was cancer-free in May 2022, he came on for Jack Stephens in the 79th minute for his first appearance in 18 months.
But Bournemouth capitulated in the final 15 minutes of the game as Aston Villa scored twice more. Some tenacious play from Jacob Ramsey (80) saw him fire home the hosts’ second, before Emi Buendia (89) rounded things off with his fifth goal of the season.
It sees Aston Villa move above Chelsea and into 10th place, ahead of the Blues’ match against Everton on Saturday evening, live on Sky Sports. Bournemouth were unable to capitalise on their win against Liverpool last weekend, and slip into 19th place after Leeds’ win against Wolves.
How Aston Villa eased past Bournemouth
Aston Villa took advantage of their early pressure as they went ahead inside seven minutes. Ollie Watkins’ attempted shot pinged along the top of the area, finding Leon Bailey on the right. He then fired the ball into the middle – Marcos Senesi’s outstretched foot unable to stop it – with Luiz there to slot home
But Bournemouth reacted well and had a plethora of chances. The first was almost a gift from John McGinn as his sloppy back pass was almost latched on to by Jaidon Anthony. Billing then nodded wide, while Dominic Solanke also saw a bended effort palmed away by Martinez.
- Aston Villa named an unchanged XI from last weekend’s draw at West Ham. Boubacar Kamara remained out for Unai Emery’s side.
- After their 1-0 win against Liverpool last weekend, Bournemouth unsurprisingly also named an unchanged XI. Hamed Traore was fit enough to start on the bench.
Aston Villa also continued to look dangerous going forward. Just before the half an hour, Watkins was played through the middle by a lovely Buendia pass, but his attempted chip was smothered by Neto.
There was a late first-half penalty shout for Villa. After a well-worked short corner, Ramsey’s thunderous shot from range appeared to hit Stephens on the hand before going wide. VAR took a lengthy look at the incident, but did not award a penalty.
Aston Villa began the second half well again and had a few half chances – but Bournemouth were denied an equaliser just after the hour. Billing sent a sensational free kick over the wall, but Martinez made a stunning, leaping save to his right to keep out the effort.
But Aston Villa’s quality soon began to shine through as Ramsey doubled their lead late on. It stemmed from a deep Luiz free kick, with Watkins cushioning header into his teammate’s path. Ramsey then easily drove past Stephens before his shot deflected home via Neto’s back.
Villa began to dominate and – after a goal was ruled out after the ball had already run out of play – added their third in the 89th minute. Luiz again was the instigator, from a corner this time, which was headed on slightly by Tyrone Mings. Buendia was waiting just behind to send the ball past the goalkeeper. There was a brief VAR check, but the goal rightly stood.
Player of the match – Douglas Luiz
A brilliant afternoon from the midfielder. Aston Villa looked slick and dangerous going forward, and he was the main instigator.
Of course, he scored the opening goal in the middle of a period of Aston Villa domination, and should really be credited with assists for the other two goals as well.
Both goals were sparked by his set-piece delivery and his importance to this victory cannot be understated.
Aston Villa: Martinez (7), Cash (7), Konsa (7), Mings (7), Moreno (7), McGinn (7), Luiz (8), Bailey (7), Buendia (7), Ramsey (7), Watkins (7).
Subs used: Traore (6), Chambers (n/a), Duran).
Bournemouth: Neto (7), Smith (7), Stephens (5), Senesi (6), Kelly (6), Ouattara (6), Rothwell (5), Lerma (6), Anthony (7), Billing (7), Solanke (7).
Subs used: Traore (5), Semenyo (6), Brooks (6), Moore (n/a), Vina (n/a).
Player of the match: Douglas Luiz.
FPL stats – Aston Villa 3-0 Bournemouth
FPL stats – Aston Villa vs Bournemouth
- Goals: Luiz, Ramsey, Buendia
- Assists: Bailey, Watkins, Mings
- Bonus points: Mings, Luiz (3), Ramsey (1)
After the international break, Aston Villa will return to action live on Sky Sports as they travel to Chelsea on Saturday April 1; kick-off 5.30pm. Bournemouth play on the same day, hosting Fulham at the Vitality Stadium; kick-off 3pm.