BURNLEY, August 27: Defender Matty Cash scored twice in the first half as Aston Villa won 3-1 at Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday to continue their winning run.
Cash, playing his 100th match for Villa, was the unlikely hero as he scored for the first time for over a year in Villa’s third straight victory in all competitions since their 5-1 thrashing at Newcastle United on the opening day of the season.
The Poland international put the visitors in front in the eighth minute as he turned in a looping Ollie Watkins cross at the end of a swift counter-attack.
Cash doubled the lead 12 minutes later, steering home Moussa Diaby’s cutback to complete a slick move.
Belgian defender Hannes Delcroix, who was signed from Anderlecht this month, had a debut to forget in Burnley’s back line but did well to deny Diaby with a well-timed interception.
Vincent Kompany’s Burnley began the second half on the front foot and were rewarded with a goal in the 47th minute as Lyle Foster outmuscled Pau Torres in the area and rifled his shot past Robin Olsen.
In a frenetic 10 minutes after the goal, Burnley had several chances to equalise, with Olsen keeping out a goal-bound Delcroix header, but Villa weathered the storm.
As Burnley continued to commit bodies forward in their hunt for a leveller, Villa struck again in the 61st minute through Diaby, who slotted home from the edge of the area.
Watkins and substitute Nicolo Zaniolo spurned late golden opportunities but Villa coasted to a second league win and provisionally climbed to sixth in the standings.
Burnley’s second straight loss left them down in 18th, though they have played only two games after last week’s fixture at Luton Town was
due to stadium works at Kenilworth Road.
Burnley travel to Nottingham Forest in the League Cup on Wednesday and Villa host Hibernian in the second leg of a Europa Conference League playoff tie on Thursday. Villa won the first leg 5-0.
Manchester City’s unbeaten start continues with win over Sheffield United
Manchester City’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season was extended on Sunday when Rodri sealed a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United after Erling Haaland scored once and missed a chance for the champions.
Haaland hit the post with a penalty attempt in the first half before his header put City ahead after the break at Bramall Lane.
City were on the verge of dropping points when Jayden Bogle levelled against the run of play with just five minutes remaining.
Rodri saved City with a stunning strike three minutes later, sending Pep Guardiola’s team to the top of the table after three victories in a row.
City’s latest triumph came without Guardiola, who was watching on television while recovering from back surgery in Barcelona.
The City manager was in close contact with his deputy Juanma Lillo, who took over at Bramall Lane and will also be in charge for Saturday’s match against Fulham.
Guardiola’s recovery will have been aided by the knowledge that City can prosper without him.
Although he did it from afar, it was a monumental victory for Guardiola, who now has 200 league wins with City in just 269 games, breaking Jose Mourinho’s previous Premier League record of 326 matches established in 2020.
For the first time since 2016, City have started a season with three straight league wins, sending a message to their title rivals that last season’s treble triumph has not satisfied their hunger for success.
When Julian Alvarez’s cross was stopped by John Egan’s outstretched arm in the 36th minute, City should have gone ahead.
However, Haaland smacked his penalty against the post. As the ball rebounded to safety, the Norwegian stood with a stunned expression on his face.
After scoring seven penalties in the Premier League, it was Haaland’s first miss.
When Haaland missed another fantastic chance from Kyle Walker’s cross, it appeared that the striker was having a bad day.
Wes Foderingham punched away a close-range chip from Haaland after Mateo Kovacic’s pass.
However, in the 63rd minute, Haaland rewarded City’s territorial control by rising above Jack Robinson at the far post to head his third goal of the season from Jack Grealish’s tempting cross.
City were in front before Blades replacement Bogle equalised in the 85th minute.
Walker was guilty of a wasteful backheel inside his own area while playing against the club he supported as a child, extending a United attack that culminated with Bogle’s ferocious strike bouncing in off Nathan Ake.
Rodri hammered into the top corner from 12 yards after Walker redeemed himself by recovering possession outside the United area, and City recovered the lead three minutes later.
(Reuters/ToI With inputs from AFP)