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Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins was Dean Smith’s only silver lining in Burnley defeat

After returning to winning ways in the Premier League last weekend, Aston Villa suffered a surprise defeat to Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday night.

Dean Smith’s side were in front twice against the Clarets, but a late comeback from the home team saw them walk away with all three points.

Amid all the disappointment, there was one man who the Villa boss and the club’s fans should take comfort in, Ollie Watkins.

The summer signing had gone through a wretched goal drought of around two months in the Premier League, until he broke that duck against Newcastle last time out.

Who was responsible for Villa's defeat?

The players

The players

The manager

The manager

And then on Wednesday, he proved that he seems to have found his goal-scoring touch with a superb near-post run and first-time finish into the back of the net.

It wasn’t just his goal that saw him stand out among a bunch of average performances however, with Watkins’ overall display something for Smith to find a silver lining in.

The £27m-rated ace won nine duels on the night – far above his season average of 7.2 – and really gave the Burnley centre-backs a handful with his physicality and movement off the ball.

The former Brentford ace also showed he’s got the quality to pick out his teammates with two key passes, with only Jack Grealish making more among his Villa teammates.

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Writing for The Birmingham Mail, Ashley Preece said in his post-match player ratings: “Villa’s main man up front flicked home his eighth goal from 18 this season. Went close soon after when put through by McGinn’s classy pass.

“Occupied Tarkowski and Mee really well, while it was the former who came through the back of Watkins with what was a real nasty challenge that could have snapped Watkins’ Achilles. Worked hard once more as he completes another 90 minutes. Didn’t have much to go at in the second half as Burnley got their tails up. Another goal will be welcome, though.”

Now that the “top-class” Watkins is back in form, Villa will be confident of maintaining their push for an impressive European place over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, this Aston Villa ace let Dean Smith down against Burnley…

Article title: Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins was Dean Smith’s only silver lining in Burnley defeat

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