Aston Villa 0 Burnley 1Burnley signed off the Premier League season with an impressive away victory over FA Cup finalists Aston Villa.
Danny Ings scored an early winner – his 11th goal of the campaign – as the Clarets dropped down to the Championship in style at a packed Villa Park.
At the other end, an inspired Tom Heaton, who became the first Burnley player to receive a senior England call-up since 1974 earlier in the week, was in stunning form and kept a third consecutive clean sheet.
Fredrik Ulvestad was handed his full debut for Burnley, as he replaced Matt Taylor in one of two changes for the Clarets.
Michael Keane was given the nod ahead of Michael Duff at centre back.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood named nearly a full-strength side ahead of next week’s FA Cup final against Arsenal.
Burnley had the first effort on goal when Kieran Trippier’s long-range free-kick was comfortably held by Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer.
But the Clarets went in front on seven minutes.
After an initial ball into the box was only half-cleared by the Villa backline, Ulvestad kept it alive by heading it back into the danger area to find Ashley Barnes at the far post.
The striker then headed the ball across the face of goal for Ings, who rose highest and directed a looping header right into the far corner of the net.
The Villans needed just over a quarter of an hour to create their first opening, but when the ball broke into the path of Ron Vlaar inside the penalty area from Baker’s knock down, the
Dutchman could only half-volley it wide of the upright.
Burnley kept passing the ball sharply and posed a threat in behind Villa’s back four.
And the Clarets could have doubled their lead midway through the first half.
George Boyd twisted and turned Nathan Baker before crossing the ball into the far post where Ings, leaning back, could only side foot the ball over the crossbar.
Shortly past the half-hour mark, Sean Dyche was forced to make his first substitution with Sam Vokes coming on for Barnes, who limped off injured after an aerial challenge with Fabian Delph.
Moments later, Christian Benteke managed to control the ball on his chest inside the box before seeing his shot deflected behind for a corner.
The Belgian international then forced a routine stop from Heaton with a far-post header, as the Villans stepped their search for an equaliser.
And Heaton was once again called into action when he produced a stunning, fingertip save to keep out a well-struck volley from Ashley Westwood on the stroke of half-time.
After the break, it was Villa who looked to up the tempo, but it wasn’t until the 63rd minute when they finally carved out another opening.
Following good work by Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor couldn’t find a way past Heaton, who saved his shot with his leg.
In response, Ings slipped Boyd through into the penalty area, only for Steer to race off his line quickly to deny the winger, who had tried to lift the ball over him.
At the other end, Heaton was kept busy when he first pushed away a powerful, long-range strike from Delph before turning Charles N’Zogbia’s first-time effort behind for a corner.
Late on, Ings received a standing ovation from the travelling Claret support when he made way for Steven Reid, who himself making the final appearance of his career.
And Burnley held on to their first win at Villa Park since January 1973 while also setting up Premier League club records for number of points (33) in a single campaign.
Burnley: Heaton; Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee; Boyd, Ulvestad (Taylor 66), Jones, Arfield; Ings (Reid 88), Barnes (Vokes 34).
Subs not used: Gilks, Duff, Kightly, Jutkiewicz.
Aston Villa: Steer; Bacuna (Hutton 81), Vlaar, Baker, N’Zogbia; Westwood; Cleverley (Sinclair 72), Delph; Grealish; Agbonlahor, Benteke.
Subs not used: Guzan, Sánchez, Weimann, Robinson, Green.
Goals: Ings 7'
Bookings: Vlaar (53’) – Ulvestad (29’), Arfield (67’)
Referee: Mike Jones