Burton 1-3 Aston Villa: Grealish inspires Carabao Cup win

Burton 1-3 Aston Villa: Jack Grealish celebrates new bumper contract with stunning strike after setting up £33m Ollie Watkins for debut goal before Keinan Davis seals Carabao Cup win

  • Grealish celebrated his new £135,000-a-week deal by inspiring cup comeback
  • Defender Colin Daniel fired Burton ahead after just 64 seconds on Tuesday 
  • Grealish started the move which led to Watkins scoring the equaliser
  • Villa captain fired home a volley from the edge-of-the-box in the 88th minute

On the day he committed to his boyhood club, there was something irrepressible about Jack Grealish here.

Showing once again why Aston Villa were so desperate to keep hold of their captain, he seemed to be involved in absolutely everything as the Premier League club overcame stubborn Burton.

The League One side came within two minutes of taking their illustrious visitors to penalties but Grealish – who else? – had other ideas.

Jack Grealish celebrated his new £135,000-a-week deal by inspiring Carabao Cup comeback

Burton Albion (4-2-3-1): Sharman-Lowe; Fox, Brayford (c) (Gallacher 25), Bostwick, Wallace; Quinn, Edwards (Powell 66); Akins, Lawless (Gilligan 66), Daniel; Hemmings

Substitutes not used: Garratt (GK); Anderson, Hewlett, Williams

Player-Manager: Jake Buxton

Scorer: Daniel 2

Booked: Akins, Quinn

Aston Villa (4-3-3): Nyland; Elmohamady, Hause, Mings, Taylor; J. Ramsey (Douglas Luiz 71), Nakamba, Lansbury; El Ghazi (Jota 80), Watkins (Davis 71), Grealish (c)

Substitutes not used: Steer (GK); Guilbert, Konsa, Samatta

Manager: Dean Smith

His sweet edge-of-the-box volley from a corner to win it demonstrated the class of a man whose new five-year deal will net him £135,000-a-week.

Stunned when Colin Daniel fired Burton ahead after just 64 seconds, Villa finally made their dominance of possession pay six minutes before half-time when club record £28m signing Ollie Watkins opened his account on debut.

Grealish had been involved in that goal and when Villa needed someone to spare them from potential embarrassment, their captain answered the call in spectacular fashion. Keinan Davis made sure of progress to a third round tie against either Bristol City or Northampton Town with an assured stoppage time finish.

Dean Smith attempted to insulate Villa against any shock result by fielding essentially his strongest team with Grealish partnering club record signing Watkins and Anwar El Ghazi in attack.

The Aston Villa captain fired home a volley from the edge-of-the-box in the 88th minute

But the Brewers have left several Premier League opponents punch drunk in this competition in recent seasons and it didn’t take long for Villa, who lost here at this stage two years ago, to fall into an ambush.

Tyrone Mings headed sideways to Neil Taylor, whose clearance was blocked by a leaping Ryan Edwards. The next thing, Edwards had zipped a cross to the back post and Daniel stormed in unnoticed to lash into the roof of the net. The clock read just 64 seconds.

It was the left-back’s first goal in 52 appearances for Burton which came as a surprise given a finish that had all the assuredness of a seasoned striker.

Unsurprisingly, the League One side dropped back but Villa’s play was ponderous for a while, the quality of the final pass lacking.

Ollie Watkins scored his first goal for Aston Villa from close range in the 39th minute

Grealish at one point skipped forward 30 yards through the middle but ignored the obvious pass into El Ghazi to go it alone and saw his shot blocked.

The England man’s duel with Burton right-back Ben Fox was a fascinating sub-plot, a meeting of trendy hairstyles. Fox absolutely clattered Grealish early on to send a signal there would be no tolerating any trickery or nonsense.

But after an El Ghazi snapshot from the edge of the box flew wide, Grealish wouldn’t be denied and he played a key role as last season’s finalists equalised.

Collecting a pass in that familiar wide left position, Grealish attracted three Burton players like a magnet yet somehow managed to slip the under-lapping Taylor in.

Watkins missed a great chance to score his second goal after being set up by Grealish

Taylor was so taken aback the pass had been threaded through he initially didn’t realise he had it but then had the present of mind to cross low into Watkins.

The £28million summer arrival from Brentford couldn’t have wished for a simpler finish for his first competitive goal in Villa colours.

Mings sent a scuffed volley wide as half-time approached and Villa really should have led in stoppage time.

Again, inevitably, it was Grealish involved as he skinned Fox on the byline and laid the ball on a plate for Watkins in the middle. The forward’s left-footed strike clattered the crossbar.

For all their defending, Burton did occasionally pose a threat on the break. This being their fourth competitive game of the nascent season, they did have a snap and sharpness.

Substitute Keinan Davis sealed the Carabao Cup victory with third goal in stoppage time

Late in the first-half, Edwards curled an effort narrowly wide of the post with Villa keeper Orjan Nyland diving to make sure. And just after the break, Kane Hemmings broke clear to fire across goal.

But the direction of travel was largely towards Burton’s goal with Grealish arrowing in a cross that ended up more closely resembling a shot.

Such was the Villa captain’s need to influence matters he was, at one point, the closest player on his side to keeper Nyland as he tried to spur a move from deep. Moments later he was clipped on the heel by Lucas Akins, who was booked.

Burton keeper Teddy Sharman-Lowe, just 17 and on loan from Chelsea, was sharp to deny a Watkins header but the Villa man was standing offside.

Smith threw on Douglas Luiz, Davis and then Jota to freshen things up and the latter whipped a shot just over the bar late on.

But Villa wouldn’t be denied. Grealish scored his brilliant second from Henri Lansbury’s corner and Davis was sprung free by Douglas to curl home the third.

Defender Colin Daniel fired Burton ahead after just 64 seconds against Aston Villa

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