Match: Aston Villa v Burnley
Date: Saturday 28th September 2019
Venue: Villa Park
El Ghazi (33), McGinn (80)
Rodriguez (67), Wood (81)
Heaton, Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett (Taylor 62), Nakamba, McGinn, Grealish, Hourihane, El Ghazi (Trezeguet 70), Wesley (David 88). Unused subs: Steer, Luiz, Konsa, Jota.
Story in brief
Villa had to settle for a point after twice leading through Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn in an entertaining contest.
Sub Jay Rodriguez headed the visitors’ first equaliser, with Chris Wood nodding home Burnley’s second within a minute of McGinn’s goal.
McGinn had already had an effort disallowed by VAR when the home side deservedly went ahead with a move instigated as the Scottish midfielder broke from midfield.
His perfect pass picked out Frederic Guilbert and when the full-back crossed from the right, El Ghazi got in front of his marker to steer a superb angled shot into the far corner.
Burnley were level when Rodriguez headed home a left-wing cross from Eric Pieters, but Dean Smith’s side were back in front with another superb goal ten minutes from the end.
Sub Trezeguet crossed from the right and McGinn’s stunning angled volley was too hot to handle for keeper Nick Pope, who could only help the ball over the line.
But the visitors were level almost immediately, the unmarked Woods heading in a cross from former Villa man Matt Lowton.
Another Captain Marvel?
John McGinn has continued to earn the plaudits following his seamless step up from Championship to Premier League football.
And respected BBC commentator Pat Murphy came up with a new one during the Burnley game, observing that the midfielder reminded him of a young Bryan Robson.
That’s praise indeed, particularly when you consider that Robson went on to become England’s Captain Marvel.
Maybe the same destiny awaits McGinn with his native Scotland.
In the meantime, there will be no complaints at Villa Park if he maintains the form he has displayed so far this season.
Football, but not as we know it…
VAR may be designed to ensure that correct decisions are always made by referees but the new system has done Villa few favours so far.
That was evident from the boos which accompanied the regular pre-match video of Alan Shearer explaining how the system works.
And when John McGinn had his 13th-minute effort belatedly ruled out for an offside verdict against Conor Hourihane, Holte Enders voiced their opinion of VAR in no uncertain terms.
True, the decision was the right one, but there were no appeals from Burnley’s players and both sides were ready to resume the game before the “no goal” outcome was reached.
It’s certainly not football as we knew it…
Supporters simply can’t get enough of Villa in the Premier League – even when it’s not possible to see the whole of the pitch.
All four home games have topped the 40,000 mark, and the Burnley game was sold out two weeks in advance, with fans even snapping up tickets for seats with a restricted view.
A trip to East Anglia is next on the agenda, Villa heading to Norfolk next Saturday to take on Norwich City at Carrow Road.
The next match at Villa Park is against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday 19th October (3pm).