Jack Grealish underlines significant day by volleying Aston Villa past Burton Albion

Villa's captain signed a five-year deal on Tuesday, and showed his commitment with a superb display as Villa progressed in the Carabao Cup

Jack Grealish - Jack Grealish underlines significant day by volleying Aston Villa past Burton Albion
Jack Grealish’s late goal ended the resistance of Burton Albion, who had taken an early lead Credit: REUTERS

Hours after signing a new contract, Jack Grealish underlined his hero status at Aston Villa with a spectacular volley to swing the momentum of this tie.

Grealish had been a menace all evening against a League One club renowned for cup upsets and struck two minutes from time to ease Villa into the next round.

Villa competed in the final of this competition only 198 days ago and Grealish’s wonderful goal finally ended the resistance of Burton Albion, who had taken an early lead.

Dean Smith, the Villa head coach, said: “For him to commit his future is a big coup for the club. It shows we are aiming to move in the right direction.

“I think it is a statement of intent from the owners of where we want to move to as a club. 

“It is a fit that works. Jack being a Villa fan and the captain. He led the club back to the Premier League and kept them up. Now he wants to go a step further.

“We had a really good run in this competition last season and we want to do it again.”

Burton have embarrassed Premier League opposition in recent years, accounting for Bournemouth and Burnley, while they also knocked out Villa in the 2017-18 season when Steve Bruce was in charge.

The Brewers threatened another upset when they took the lead after just 66 seconds with left-back Colin Daniel finishing at the far post.

Colin Daniel gave Burton an early lead Credit: AP

Playing their first game of the season, Villa did improve and it was their record £28 million signing, Ollie Watkins, who drew them level six minutes before the break.

Grealish’s clever flick released Neil Taylor in the Burton area and the Wales international’s low cross presented Watkins with a simple finish from a few yards out.

Last season’s Championship Player of the Year should have added Villa’s second goal on the stroke of half-time.

Grealish was again the provider, marauding from the corner flag to run inside the area and tee up Watkins from close range, but this time the forward struck the top of the crossbar.

Villa dominated the second half but Burton’s defending was desperate and, at times, brilliant. 

With penalties looming, Grealish settled the tie two minutes from time with a volley, crashing Henri Lansbury’s corner past Teddy Sharman-Lowe.

Keinan Davis, a substitute, added a third goal in added time to secure a third-round tie against either Bristol City or Northampton.

Match details

Burton (4-4-2): Sharman-Lowe; Fox, Brayford, Bostwick (Gallacher 26), Daniel; Edwards (Gilligan 66), Quinn, Wallace, Lawless (Powell 66); Akins, Hemmings.
Substitutes: Garratt (g), Anderson, Hewlett, Williams.
Booked: Akins.

Villa (4-3-3): Nyland; Elmohamady, Mings, Hause, Taylor; Lansbury, Nakamba, Ramsey (Douglas Luiz 71); El Ghazi (Jota 80), Watkins (Davis 71), Grealish.
Substitutes: Steer (g), Konsa, Samatta, Guilbert.
Booked: Ramsey.

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)