Blackburn U21 0-2 Villa U21: Third straight win for Villa young guns
Callum Robinson and Jack Grealish fired Villa to a third Barclays U21 Premier League victory in the space of seven days.
Victories over Sunderland, Chelsea and now Blackburn have put the boys in claret and blue right back in the reckoning for top spot in Qualification Group 1, which would secure a place in the end-of-season knockout stages.
Gordon Cowans' team are now a point behind league leaders Everton - who drew 1-1 against Fulham this evening - after an accomplished display at Leigh Sports Village.
Villa were in control from the outset and should have been comfortably in front by half-time.
On 13 minutes, Daniel Johnson played a neat one-two with Samir Carruthers to carve the Blackburn defence open but the Villa captain dragged his shot wide across goal.
Rovers keeper Matthew Urwin made two terrific saves to keep the visitors at bay.
Firstly, he got strong arm to Robinson's low shot after the striker cleverly cut inside from the left and aimed for the far corner.
Then Urwin came rushing out to charge down another Johnson effort.
But six minutes before the break Villa finally had a deserved reward for their attacking dominance.
Robinson reacted quickest to a long ball in behind the Rovers defence and powered a left-foot shot into the bottom corner.
After the break, Grealish almost teed up Johnson after embarking on one of his trademark mazy runs.
He collected the ball from Carruthers at pace and motored into the box but keeper Urwin got a crucial touch to divert the final pass out of Johnson's reach.
The second goal arrived on 66 minutes through a sublime piece of play from the impressive Grealish.
The Republic of Ireland U19 winger cut in from the left and curled a delightful low shot into the far corner.
Villa keeper Benjamin Siegrist had a relatively quiet evening up until the final 15 minutes when there was a flurry of activity in the away team's penalty area.
The Swiss stopper blocked a powerful drive from John O'Sullivan and also did well to keep out headers from Jamie Maclaren and Nuno Henrique.
Carruthers almost added a third for Villa in stoppage time when he latched on to Grealish's majestic back-heeled pass but Urwin got down to his left to push to safety.
BLACKBURN: Urwin, Wylie, Bauress, Payne, Henrique, Daly, Osawe, MacLaren, Slew, O'Sullivan, Evans. Subs: Cotton [for Payne, 73], Dilo, Brown, Fernandez Molina.
VILLA: Siegrist, Webb, Lewis, Stieber, Donacien, Williams, Crooks, Carruthers, Robinson, Johnson, Grealish. Subs: Calder [for Webb, 87], Watkins, Lyden [for Crooks, 81], Bateman [for Williams, 71].
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