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Four goal burst seals easy win.

Aston Villa v Burnley: Line-up & stats
Premier League results/standings

Burnley remain in the bottom three as Aston Villa thumped Brian Laws’ men at Villa Park as they push for the final Champions League spot.

The visitors took the lead through Steven Fletcher inside the opening ten minutes after a well worked move but Ashley Young leveled for Aston Villa on the half hour mark with a low right footed drive.

A crazy fifteen minute spell in the second half saw Villa hit four goals through two Stewart Downing efforts, Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor putting the result in doubt. Martin Paterson added a late consolation in stoppage time.

Burnley traveled to Villa Park with the worst away record in the Premier League looking to catch Aston Villa dreaming of next weekends Carling Cup final.

The Clarets had picked up just a single point on the road this season before today’s game but Brian Laws’ men were looking to capitalize on the defeats of some of their nearest rivals.

Meanwhile a handsome win for Aston Villa would have seen them steal fourth place in the race for the final Champions League place ahead of Liverpool's trip to Manchester City.

The first chance of the game fell to Stylian Petrov after a patient passing move in the Burnley half, the Bulgarian was teed up on the edge of the box but his effort flew wide.

Just moments later Burnley took the lead when on loan Chelsea midfielder Jack Cork slid in David Nugent who raced into the box before squaring the ball to Steven Fletcher who tapped in at the back post unmarked.

Nugent was looking busy and the on loan Portsmouth forward hit a long range strike that took a wicked deflection and could have gone anywhere but the ball looped wide of Brad Friedel's goal.

Villa were struggling to get into the game and had no real chances to speak of in the opening twenty minutes other than a half chance that fell to James Milner on the edge of the box but his volley sailed high and wide.

Martin O'Neill's men were using the pace of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing down both flanks to great effect and Emile Heskey got on the end of a cross from the latter but his header went wide of Brian Jensen's right hand post.

A long range effort from Villa center back James Collins was hit well but straight at Jensen who saved the Welshmans strike comfortably.

Villa leveled the scores just after the half hour mark when Burnley failed to react quick enough to a short Ashley Young corner who played the ball to Milner before receiving the ball back and hitting a low drive through a crowded box leaving Jensen no chance.

The home side enjoyed the majority of the possession for the remainder of the first half but couldn’t make it tell and the teams went into the break level.

Burnley started the second period in the same vein as the opening half but failed to carve out and clear chances in the first ten minutes as they had done previously.

Instead it was Villa who look the lead, a long ball forward was flicked onto Young who raced clear but was eventually crowded out by the recovering Burnley defense. The winger played the ball square into the open space and Stewart Downing raced on to the ball and struck his shot low into the left hand corner.

Gabriel Agbonlahor should have doubled the lead moments later after breaking clear but Jensen saved well one on one with the Villa striker. However, the saved effort came out to Milner who played the ball to Downing, the former Middlesbrough man turned well and his strike took a deflection leaving Jensen helpless as it rolled into the net.

Downing may have had a sensational five minute hat trick when Young played a corner straight out to the 25-year-old who volleyed first time but Jensen saved well.

Emile Heskey did compounded further misery on Burley minutes later after great work by Agbonlahor down the left hand side, the striker crossed the ball low into the area and Heskey finished from close range.  

Gabriel Agbonlhaor got on the score sheet himself five minutes later after flowing move by Villa saw Milner cross for the 23-year-old to bundle home from close range.

Burnley continued to threaten from long distance but Friedel was rarely tested. Martin Paterson tapped in in stoppage time but Villa strolled home for a comfortable win.

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