Matchweek 27
All times shown are your local time
Sat 2 Mar 2024
Kick Off:
Kenilworth Road, Luton
Att: 11,594
Ref: Michael Oliver
45 +5
  • HT
    90 +2
  • FT



    Aston Villa recovered from a Luton Town fightback to snatch a late winner at Kenilworth Road that consolidated their hold on fourth place. 

    Having seen Tottenham Hotspur close to two points off their position with a turnaround victory at home to Crystal Palace earlier in the day, Villa seemed in control as they went 2-0 up through a first-half double from in-form Ollie Watkins. But the home side fought back through goals from Tahith Chong and Carlton Morris. However, two of Unai Emery’s substitutes combined as Moussa Diaby crossed to Lucas Digne to head in the winner in the 89th minute. 

    How the match unfolded

    Rob Edwards made one change to his Luton side as Andros Townsend replaced Cauley Woodrow, while Emery also made one change as Ezri Konsa came in for Pau Torres.

    Villa made a quick start and Jacob Ramsey went close with a chested effort from a Leon Bailey cross, before Luton lost a defender after only six minutes as Amari’i Bell limped off.

    Bailey then fed Watkins, whose shot towards the near post was saved by Thomas Kaminski. And from the ensuing 24th-minute corner delivered by Bailey, Watkins had time to head in.

    Villa almost instantly got a second through Bailey and Watkins combining again, with the Jamaican releasing his team-mate, who shot across goal and hit the far post.

    Watkins continued to torment Luton with his second goal in the 38th minute, latching on to Douglas Luiz’s quick free-kick over the top before whipping the ball clinically into the far Aston right corner. The goal was initially ruled out for offside but a VAR check showed he had timed his run perfectly.

    It took Watkins’ tally to 16 Premier League goals, only one behind top scorer Erling Haaland in the race for the Castrol Golden Boot. He also has scored nine away goals, a feat only Dwight Yorke has managed for Villa in a season, in 1997/98.

    A heavy home defeat looked on the cards at half-time, but Luton were transformed after the break, getting on top in midfield and testing Villa’s defence with a steady stream of balls into the box.

    The hosts got their reward in the 66th minute as Villa failed to clear from a corner and Matty Cash was forced into a goalline block, with Tahith Chong following up to score.

    Six minutes later it was 2-2 as Alfie Doughty delivered another splendid set-piece, whipping in a free-kick from the left which Carlton Morris at the far post volleyed low past Emiliano Martinez.

    Luton looked the likelier side to score a late winner but in the final two minutes of normal time Diaby delivered a moment of brilliance, whipping in a left-footed cross for left-back Digne to head in powerfully and send the visiting fans in rapture.

    Villa maintain their five-point gap over Spurs, with 55 points. Luton remain in 18th spot, four points adrift of safety with a match in hand on Nottingham Forest. 

    Club reports

    Luton Town report | Aston Villa report

    Match officials

    Referee: Michael Oliver. Assistants: Stuart Burt, Dan Cook. Fourth official: Matthew Donohue. VAR: Peter Bankes. Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes.

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    Club Reports

    Match officials

    Referee: Michael Oliver

    Fourth Official: Matt Donohue

    VAR: Peter Bankes

    Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes

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