Digne scores winner as Villa snatch victory at Luton

2 March 2024 0 By Total Football News

Lucas DigneLucas Digne has scored six Premier League goals but this was his first from inside the box

Lucas Digne scored a dramatic late winner as Aston Villa strengthened their grip on a Champions League place and meant Luton Town’s comeback was in vain.

Villa had looked in complete control thanks to Ollie Watkins’ first-half double and it seemed as if they would go on to increase their lead.

England striker Watkins headed in from Leon Bailey’s corner to give Villa the lead and raced onto Douglas Luiz’s ball over the top before slotting in their second.

That one was initially disallowed by the officials for offside but awarded after a video assistant referee (VAR) review.

Luton, who did not have a shot until first-half injury time, looked like a new team after the break.

Tahith Chong gave them hope with a goal after a scramble in the box and Carlton Morris’ controlled volley from Alfie Doughty’s free-kick levelled the score.

Morris even had a chance to win the game for Luton but his header was straight at Emiliano Martinez.

And Digne made them pay when he headed in a cross from fellow substitute Moussa Diaby.

Fourth-placed Villa are now 11 points above Manchester United in sixth, with fifth place likely to be enough for a Champions League place next season.

Luton remain four points off Nottingham Forest and safety.

Watkins’ fine form continues

Ollie Watkins scoresOllie Watkins is the second top scorer in the Premier League this season with 16

Watkins may well be the most influential player in the Premier League this season. The 28-year-old is the only player to be in double figures for goals and assists in England’s top flight.

His double at Kenilworth Road takes him up to 16 Premier League goals, the best seasonal tally of his career, and only behind Manchester City phenomenon Erling Haaland.

Villa had already squandered several chances when Watkins somehow found space in the box to nod in Bailey’s corner.

The pair have combined for seven Premier League goals this season, more than any other duo.

Watkins’ second came from another set-piece. Luiz took a quick free-kick from the halfway line over the top which Watkins controlled expertly before slotting in via the inside of the post.

A decision of offside was initially given but a VAR review found Chiedozie Ogbene had kept Watkins onside – so his seventh league goal of 2024 stood.

He now becomes only the fourth player to score 16 goals in a Premier League season for Villa after Christian Benteke, Dwight Yorke and Juan Pablo Angel.

Watkins only had one clear chance for a third in the second half when set up by Morgan Rogers, but his weak shot saved.

At that stage Villa were looking comfortable – but they almost squandered the three points before Diaby and Digne, who both came on in a quadruple change after 79 minutes, teamed up to boost their Champions League hopes.

Luton are still battling

Carlton Morris scoresCarlton Morris is the first Luton player to score in three consecutive top-flight home games since 1990

Luton, in their maiden season in the Premier League since the 1992 rebrand, have had a hugely impressive campaign to still have hopes of survival. Burnley and Sheffield United, who were promoted alongside them last season, are as good as relegated.

With Everton and Nottingham Forest – the two teams directly above them – still facing the potential of points deductions for breaching spending rules, Luton could have an extra edge too.

They looked out of this game after 45 minutes with injuries affecting them – not for the first time this season.

An early injury to Amari’i Bell left them playing people out of position at the back but they improved when they brought on Japan defender Daiki Hashioka for his Premier League debut.

Chong gave them hope moments after Reece Burke’s effort had been cleared off the line by Matty Cash – and seven minutes later they were level through Morris.

After Digne nodded home, they had one more big chance but Teden Mengi headed over five minutes into stoppage time.

Player of the match

WatkinsOllie Watkins

with an average of 8.54

Luton Town

  1. Squad number6Player nameBarkley

    Average rating

    6.76

  2. Squad number45Player nameDoughty

    Average rating

    6.55

  3. Squad number14Player nameChong

    Average rating

    6.51

  4. Squad number9Player nameMorris

    Average rating

    6.44

  5. Squad number27Player nameHashioka

    Average rating

    6.15

  6. Squad number15Player nameMengi

    Average rating

    6.10

  7. Squad number7Player nameOgbene

    Average rating

    6.08

  8. Squad number17Player nameMpanzu

    Average rating

    6.04

  9. Squad number24Player nameKaminski

    Average rating

    6.01

  10. Squad number30Player nameTownsend

    Average rating

    5.91

  11. Squad number29Player nameBell

    Average rating

    5.90

  12. Squad number18Player nameClark

    Average rating

    5.90

  13. Squad number12Player nameKaboré

    Average rating

    5.87

  14. Squad number16Player nameBurke

    Average rating

    5.65

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

    Average rating

    8.54

  2. Squad number12Player nameDigne

    Average rating

    7.83

  3. Squad number2Player nameCash

    Average rating

    7.58

  4. Squad number19Player nameDiaby

    Average rating

    7.52

  5. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

    Average rating

    7.46

  6. Squad number1Player nameE Martínez

    Average rating

    7.29

  7. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

    Average rating

    7.22

  8. Squad number31Player nameBailey

    Average rating

    7.18

  9. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

    Average rating

    7.15

  10. Squad number17Player nameLenglet

    Average rating

    7.10

  11. Squad number15Player nameÁlex Moreno

    Average rating

    6.65

  12. Squad number47Player nameIroegbunam

    Average rating

    6.60

  13. Squad number41Player nameJ Ramsey

    Average rating

    6.59

  14. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

    Average rating

    6.48

  15. Squad number22Player nameZaniolo

    Average rating

    6.46

  16. Squad number27Player nameRogers

    Average rating

    6.40

Line-ups

Luton

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 24Kaminski
  • 16BurkeBooked at 38mins
  • 15Mengi
  • 29BellSubstituted forOgbeneat 6′minutes
  • 12Kaboré
  • 18Clark
  • 6Barkley
  • 45Doughty
  • 30TownsendSubstituted forHashiokaat 53′minutes
  • 14ChongSubstituted forMpanzuat 84′minutes
  • 9Morris

Substitutes

  • 1Shea
  • 7Ogbene
  • 8Berry
  • 10Woodrow
  • 17Mpanzu
  • 23Krul
  • 27Hashioka
  • 43Nelson
  • 44Piesold

Aston Villa

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1E Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 4Konsa
  • 17Lenglet
  • 15MorenoSubstituted forDigneat 79′minutes
  • 31BaileyBooked at 45minsSubstituted forDiabyat 79′minutes
  • 7McGinn
  • 6Douglas LuizBooked at 45mins
  • 41J RamseySubstituted forRogersat 29′minutesBooked at 50minsSubstituted forIroegbunamat 79′minutes
  • 8data-reactid=".4i8b2taa10.0.0.0.1.$include-34.0.0.1:$panel-0.$0.0.0.1.3.$9PO166989.1.0">TielemansSubstituted forZanioloat 79′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 11Watkins

Substitutes

  • 12Digne
  • 14P Torres
  • 16Chambers
  • 19Diaby
  • 22Zaniolo
  • 25Olsen
  • 27Rogers
  • 29Kesler-Hayden
  • 47Iroegbunam
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
11,594

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Luton Town 2, Aston Villa 3.

Second Half ends, Luton Town 2, Aston Villa 3.