Burnley 3 Aston Villa 2: Wood fells high-flying Villans as Clarets snatch thrilling comeback win

CHRIS WOOD came up with the header that proves Aston Villa aren’t so special yet.

Boss Dean Smith believes his claret and blues from Birmingham may be in for something extra good this season.

And twice they were in front.

But they will have to be a lot more special at the back if they are to push for a place in Europe.

But they will have to be a lot more special at the back if they are going to push for a European place at least.

Smith’s side could so easily have had the points done and dusted before the interval.

They were ahead, anyway, by the 14th minute as Watkins underlined why what seemed a whopping fee of up to £33M last summer now looks real value.

The striker benefited from Jack Grealish’s push to Matt Targett whose instant low cross was perfection.

England goalkeeper Nick Pope was let flat – footed by the 25 year old’s flick.

Yet Watkins scored 26 goals in 50 games for Championship club Brentford last season.

That strike took him to ten in 21 appearances for his new club.

He also became the first Villa player since Christian Benteke in season 2012-13 to hit double figures in goal involvement in his first Prem season – eight goals and two assists.

Benteke’s tally was 19 goals and four assists.

Yet he should have had a second at Turf Moor in the 41st minute.

The Clarets rear guard were completely caught out by John McGinn’s long through – ball.

Watkins’ first touch allowed Pope to close him down and block one-on-one.

The ricochet fell to Ross Barkley who volleyed against the bar.

Second later Pope reacted brilliantly to parry from Tyrone Mings then Ben Mee heroically got in the way of Bertrand Traore’s low-flying rocket.

Yet just when it seemed Burnley were on the ropes Ben Mee popped up with a sucker punch header six minutes into the second half from Burnley’s first corner.

Jack Grealish then put Villa ahead with a wonderful volley after playing a one – two with Douglash Luiz.

But if Dean thought his side had the Clarts jus where they wanted him he as badly istaken.

Dwight McNeil tried a cross – cum – shot that evaded the lunge of Emiliano Martinez.

The goalkeeper might have done better in reacting to that effort.

But he should certainly have done far better as Wood rose to deliver a weak – looking 78th minute header – yet the goalkeeper failed to read the bounce as the ball flew over his dive.

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