Luton Town 2-3 Aston Villa: Digne deals killer blow after Hatters come from behind at Kenilworth Road

After consecutive thrashings at the hands of Liverpool and Manchester City, Luton Town would be looking to hold their own against an in-form Aston Villa side looking to establish themselves as serious contenders for UEFA Champions League football.

LUT: Kaminski; Bell, Mengi, Burke; Doughty, Barkley, Clark, Kaboré; Chong, Townsend; Morris

AVL: Martínez; Moreno, Lenglet, Konsa, Cash; Ramsey, Luiz, McGinn, Bailey; Watkins, Tielemans

By the time Michael Oliver blew his whistle to signal the start of the half-time interval at Kenilworth Road, Aston Villa looked to be cruising to a rather comfortable victory that would serve to further bolster their chances of participation in Europe’s elite competition next season.

Ollie Watkins had opened the scoring after smashing home a header from a Leon Bailey corner in the 24th minute, before going on to double his personal tally less than fifteen minutes later as he latched onto a ball over the top of the Luton defence from Douglas Luiz.

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But despite failing to record a single shot during the first half, Luton Town emerged from the interval as a rejuvenated side and a 66th-minute strike from Tahith Chong served to inspire a sensational comeback from Rob Edwards’ side.

It took just six further minutes for the Hatters to draw level in front of a buoyant home crowd on Saturday evening, with Carlton Morris smashing a volleyed effort past Emiliano Martínez following an Alfie Doughty free-kick.

The hosts looked the likelier side to find the winner, with Morris coming painstakingly close with a headed effort that he could only direct straight into the arms of a grateful Martínez – but football can be cruel, and it was Aston Villa Lucas Digne that had the last laugh after he nodded a Moussa Diaby cross past Thomas Kaminski in the 89th minute.

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Aston Villa are now 11 points clear of sixth-placed Manchester United, and occupy fourth place in the Premier League table – though a fifth-placed finish will likely be enough to secure UEFA Champions League qualification.

The Villans have a tricky week ahead of them, travelling to Amsterdam to face Ajax in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League round-of-sixteen tie on Thursday before hosting Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.

As for Luton Town, they are now four points off safety and will be desperate for a positive result against Oliver Glasner’s Crystal Palace next Saturday to rebuild confidence ahead of a winnable streak of games.