Villa see off Bournemouth to move into top half

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Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Saturday March 18, 2023
Jacob Ramsey scored Aston Villa's second as they saw off Bournemouth at Villa Park

Aston Villa claimed their third win in four Premier League games as they cruised past struggling Bournemouth at Villa Park.

Douglas Luiz was picked out by Leon Bailey and swept home from close range early on, before Jacob Ramsey jinked past Jack Stephens to make sure of three points.

Villa added a third when Emi Buendia headed in from a yard out after Tyrone Mings flicked on Luiz's corner.

While Unai Emery's side moved into the top half, for a few hours at least, Bournemouth remain in the bottom three after being brought back down to earth following their win over Liverpool last weekend.

Villa were on top from the start and, after Luiz put them in front, they had numerous chances to extend the lead.

Ollie Watkins had the best of the opportunities when he was put through by Buendia, only for his dinked effort to be kept out by Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto.

The hosts might also have had a penalty six minutes before the break when Ramsey's goalbound shot was deflected over the bar by the hand of Stephens, but the video assistant referee turned down Villa's appeals.

Bournemouth's limited threat came through the pace of their front three. However, Dominic Solanke, now without a goal in 10 league matches, lacked conviction when clean through and his hesitation allowed Mings to get back and make the block.

Defeat left Gary O'Neil's side a point from safety, but there was a major highlight as David Brooks came on to make his first appearance since being diagnosed with cancer in 2021 - 534 days since his last game.

Villa continue to make progress under Emery

When Emery took charge in October, Villa were below Bournemouth in the table. Victory on Saturday means they are now 14 points ahead of them and they looked the superior side throughout.

Even before going in front, Villa looked to have the measure of Bournemouth, with Buendia, flanked by Ramsey and Bailey, finding space between midfield and defence and looking to feed Watkins.

After the goal, VIlla eased off and allowed Bournemouth back into it, but a couple of scares midway through the half shook them out of their slumber and by the break they were in the ascendancy once more.

Chances were more scarce early in the second period, but Villa always maintained control of the game as Luiz and John McGinn patrolled the middle of the park, and the hosts always looked the more likely to find the game's second goal.

Ramsey eventually provided it and Villa were able to express themselves for the final 10 minutes, creating chances at will as Watkins came close again and Mings spurned a glorious chance, shooting straight at Neto from seven yards out having been left all alone at the far post.

With 11 games to go and only four points separating sixth and 11th in the table, Villa have the chance to make it an exciting end to the season and push for an unlikely European spot.

Blunt Bournemouth struggle again on the road

After the high of toppling Liverpool a week ago, it was back to reality for Bournemouth as they succumbed to a ninth defeat in 10 away games in all competitions.

The manner in which Villa were able to cut through them will be a concern for O'Neil and the Cherries have now kept only one clean sheet in 24 league away games.

Bournemouth's best spell came after the opening goal as they managed to get players close to Buendia and frustrate the Villa creator.

However, Villa adjusted, Bournemouth did not and the Argentine was soon collecting the ball in vast areas of space again - and if it was not him, then it was Bailey, Ramsey or left-back Alex Moreno exposing the gaps.

Just as concerning was the lack of threat at the other end. Against Liverpool and Arsenal, Bournemouth were always dangerous on the break.

They were again here but, with Villa also at their best on the counter, such chances were harder to come by, especially after going behind so early.

Tasked with trying to break down a set Villa backline, Bournemouth rarely troubled Emi Martinez in the home goal as they suffered another disappointing day on the road.

Player of the match

McGinnJohn McGinn

with an average of 8.02

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

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  2. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

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  3. Squad number41Player nameJ Ramsey

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  4. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

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  5. Squad number2Player nameCash

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  6. Squad number15Player nameÁlex Moreno

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  7. Squad number10Player nameBuendía

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  8. Squad number5Player nameMings

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  9. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

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  10. Squad number31Player nameBailey

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  11. Squad number1Player nameE Martínez

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  12. Squad number9Player nameTraoré

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  13. Squad number22Player nameDurán

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  14. Squad number16Player nameChambers

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AFC Bournemouth

  1. Squad number7Player nameBrooks

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  2. Squad number13Player nameNeto

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  3. Squad number24Player nameSemenyo

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  4. Squad number29Player nameBilling

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  5. Squad number25Player nameSenesi

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  6. Squad number8Player nameLerma

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  7. Squad number5Player nameKelly

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  8. Squad number11Player nameOuattara

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  9. Squad number14Player nameRothwell

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  10. Squad number3Player nameStephens

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  11. Squad number9Player nameSolanke

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  12. Squad number32Player nameAnthony

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  13. Squad number15Player nameA Smith

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  14. Squad number22Player nameTraorè

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  15. Squad number21Player nameMoore

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  16. Squad number18Player nameViña

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Aston Villa

Formation 4-2-3-1