A Jack Grealish masterclass helps Villa cruise past Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup second round as his 88th minute volley broke down a ressiliant Burton side.
Burton Albion caught a complacent Aston Villa off-guard early on as Ryan Edward‘s cross was met by defender Colin Daniel, who hammered home to put the home side 1-0 up against last seasons finalists within the first minute of the game.
Ollie Watkins opened his goalscoring account for Villa on the 39th minute, converting from an accidental no-look cross from left-back Neil Taylor from six yards out.
Watkins could have bagged himself a brace before the end of the first half, after Grealish danced past the Burton defense from the corner flag and teed up Watkins – unfortunatley the striker snatched at the opportunity and blasted his shot over the bar.
Burton Albion weren’t without their chances though; as Kane Hemmings got beyond Taylor early in the second half but struck his chance wide of Orjan Nyland.
Lucas Akins found himself with a scoring opportunity inside the box after making a maurading run beyond the Villa midfield, but his effort was blocked by Kortney Hause.
Youngster Jacob Ramsey enjoyed his first start for Villa, the Great Barr born midfielder played 70 minutes and caught the eye of many Villa fans.
Operating in more of a free role in the midfield, Ramsey found himself running onto the end of crosses and carrying the ball forward – the youngster certainly wasn’y shy on the ball.
Grealish scored a sublime volley assisted by Henri Lansbury from a corner, the Villa captain who’d only signed a five year contract earlier today scored the winner for the visitors – hitting his volley into the ground to beat Burton’s young Sharman-Lowe in goal.
Keinan Davis rubbed salt in the wound of Burton, after the substitute calmly slotted home with his left foot in the 90th minute – scoring his first goal in over a year for Villa.
Villa will face either Bristol City or Northampton Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup. Dean Smith’s focus will now be on Villa’s Premier League opener against Sheffield United.