Plucky Hatters are outclassed as Aston Villa make it 12 straight wins on home soil
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Luton turned in yet another valiant performance but they were unable to prevent a high-class Aston Villa side from winning a 12th straight Premier League game on home soil this afternoon.
The Hatters sprung a surprise ahead of kick-off, with defender Gabe Osho making his top flight debut in place of the injured Reece Burke, one of three changes made by Rob Edwards.
Former Villa loanee Ross Barkley began in midfield, with Manchester City loanee Issa Kabore coming in too as Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu and Tahith Chong dropped to the bench.
As expected, Unai Emery’s side started strongly, a weak punch by Thomas Kaminski saw John McGinn fire over the top from 20 yards, but Villa should have led inside five minutes, cutting Luton open on on the right, Moussa Diaby’s cross teed up by Ollie Watkins for the unmarked Nicolo Zaniolo whose left footed volley from 10 yards was wide.
Zaniolo then poked wide with Villa somehow awarded a corner, before Thomas Kaminski ensured the scores remained goalless making an absolutely stunning save on 11 minutes.
Alfie Doughty was caught out by a ball over the top and with the visitors appealing for an offside flag that never came, Diaby went through and picked out Watkins just eight yards out, who was destined to score, only to see the Belgian produce an truly amazing stop, the rebound fortunately hitting him as well.
Kaminski could do little on 17 minutes though when a free kick from the left was cleverly played to McGinn, who had peeled away at the back post to spin past Town's covering defenders and locate the bottom corner with unerring accuracy.
The stopper was proving by far the busier of the two keepers as he made sure Villa didn't have a quickfire second, able to block Zaniolo's close-range toepoke from a Watkins cross.
Luton then had their best chance of the half on 27 minutes, Chiedozie Ogbene simply knocking the ball past Boubacar Kamara, getting his head down and charging forward, his low cross nicked off the toes of Morris by Emiliano Martinez.
Changing ends just a goal behind, as they had done at the City Ground last week though, Luton once more came unstuck in the opening moments of the second period.
This time, a hanging cross from the left was headed out only as far as Diaby who rattled his first time effort into the bottom corner to double Villa’s advantage.
While they had managed to come back from such a deficit against the Reds, an in-form home side was a completely different proposition as it now became a matter of damage limitation for the visitors.
Edwards responded by bringing on Andros Townsend and Tahith Chong for Osho and Brown as Barkley rifled an ambitious attempt well over from range.
Luton fell 3-0 behind on 62 minutes though, the simplicity of it surely a source of annoyance to Edwards, as Kamara's long pass saw the impressive Diaby get away from Teden Mengi to poke the ball beyond Kaminski, Lockyer only able to bundle the ball into his own net from a few yards out.
A wonderful sliding intervention from Kabore prevented a certain fourth after Villa sped forward following a free kick that went wrong for the visitors.
The hosts weren't happy settling for the three though, second half sub Leon Bailey bombing forward as he had done whenever the chance arose, this time skewing wide at the critical moment, before McGinn got it all wrong on his right foot, scuffing a fine chance straight at Kaminski.
After the first real spell of prolonged pressure by the hosts, which saw the packed away end bring out the ole's, they also had a goal to celebrate with seven minutes to play.
Townsend's dinked cross saw Adebayo go up for a header, and with Ezri Konsah trying an incredibly complacent back header, it struck the bar and then rebounded into the net off the diving Martinez.
The goal breathed even more life into Luton and their terrific away support, who saw their players continue their knack of finishing games strongly, going close to pulling another back in stoppage time due to the pressing of Barkley.
He dispossessed his opponent on the edge of the area to see a shot blocked away, as the rebound dropped to Adebayo, his effort also charged down with Martinez going the wrong way.
A second wasn’t forthcoming though as Luton remained in the bottom three, but they left without a huge dent in their goal difference, as they will now look forward, albeit with some trepidation, to the visit of Liverpool next Sunday.
Villa: Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash (Diego Carlos 79), Ezri Konsa, Douglas Luiz (Leander Dendoncker 90), John McGinnn (C), Ollie Watkins, Lucas Digne, Pau, Moussa Diaby (Bertrand Traore 90), Nicolo Zaniolo (Leon Bailey 46), Boubacar Kamara (Youri Tielemans 79), .
Subs not used: Rob Olsen, Calum Chambers, Clement Lenglet, Tim Iroegbunam.
Hatters: Thomas Kaminski, Issa Kabore, Gabe Osho (Andros Townsend 57) Tom Lockyer (C), Teden Mengi, Alfie Doughty (Ryan Giles 79), Marvelous Nakamba (Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu 76), Ross Barkley, Jacob Brown (Tahith Chong 57), Chiedozie Ogbene, Carlton Morris (Elijah Adebayo 76).
Subs not used: Tim Krul, Cauley Woodrow, Joe Johnson, Jayde Luker.
Booked: Zaniolo 28, Cash 49, Kabore 52, Kamara 70, Doughty 75.
Referee: John Brooks