Aston Villa dismissed relegation-candidates Bournemouth for a convincing 3-0 victory at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.
Powered by a Douglas Luiz masterclass performance, Villa dominated the match from start to finish. With all three points in tow, they keep pace with rival clubs competing for UEFA Europa Conference League qualification.
Luiz put the hosts ahead in the seventh minute when he tapped in a low cross by Leon Bailey. The move capped a raucous start for the Birmingham side and set the tone for the rest of the contest.
Jacob Ramsey scored Villa’s second goal in the 80th minute — a deserving souvenir for a top-drawer performance. The local lad took a pass from Ollie Watkins in stride, beat a defender in the box, and squeaked an attempt through the Bournemouth keeper for the goal.
The match’s final tally came in the 89th minute, when Luiz played an in-swinging corner that Tyrone Mings flicked on to Emi Buendia, who scored with his own head.
Sights set on Europe
Now with 38 points in 27 matches, Villa sit in 11th place, level on points with 10th-place Chelsea. Brighton have 42 points and occupy seventh place, which is likely to be the Conference League qualification spot at season’s end.
Saturday’s win ensures Villa are 11 points clear of 12th-place Crystal Palace and 14 points ahead of 18th-place West Ham. With 38 points, Villa are essentially safe from relegation and can set their sights on a top-half finish with perhaps a chance at Europe.
Manager Unai Emery said after the match that: “We started very well in the first 20, 25 minutes but after our goal, they reacted and started playing, trying to push up and created some chances.
“After the first half, in the dressing room, we were speaking about it and in the second half our reaction was very good.
“At the end, we deserved to win and to score a second and third goal and to share it with our supporters.”
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