Douglas Luiz says Aston Villa’s happy camp must keep going after the “important” win over Burnley that rounded off their impressive 2023.
The Brazilian midfielder secured the three points with an 89th-minute penalty as Unai Emery’s side beat the Clarets 3-2 in Saturday’s Premier League contest at Villa Park.
A return to winning ways after a draw against Sheffield United on December 22 and Boxing Day loss at Manchester United, it saw them move up to second, level on points with leaders Liverpool.
It was their 26th league win of 2023 and a club-record 32nd victory in all competitions across the calendar year, and Luiz said in quotes on Villa’s official website: “Everyone is so happy.
“We believe in the group, we believe in Unai and we know he has so much experience. Everyone is happy and we need to keep going and continue.”
Villa were ahead at half-time after Leon Bailey and Moussa Diaby scored either side Zeki Amdouni’s equaliser.
Burnley were then reduced to 10 men by Sander Berge’s 52nd-minute dismissal, but it looked as if it might end up a frustrating afternoon for the hosts as they failed to make the most of a series of chances and Lyle Foster then made it 2-2 on 71 minutes.
Luiz subsequently had the final say via the late spot-kick awarded after a challenge on Jhon Duran by fellow substitute Aaron Ramsey, the former Villa player whose brother Jacob was in the home starting line-up.
Luiz added: “It was so important for us because we didn’t play so well in the last two games. If we can win at home it’s so important for the fans.
“The group is very tired and now we have a few days off to enjoy. There are so many important players who have injuries and it’s hard but you need to keep going.”
Villa are unbeaten in their last 17 home league games, which includes a club-record sequence of winning 15 in a row before the Sheffield United match.
Regarding the efforts of Vincent Kompany’s Burnley, who remained second-bottom, five points adrift of safety, midfielder Josh Brownhill told the club’s official website: “To put on a performance like that here, where they’re excellent and have been doing very well in the league is something that we can be proud about.
“It’s a little bit unlucky that we didn’t come away with anything. There are things we can improve on still, there’s goals that you look back on and there’s things that you could have done to stop them. But we took our chances, to come here and score two is not easy.”
Foster’s goal was his first since returning to action this month after an eight-game absence in which he had been receiving care for his mental health.
And Brownhill said: “Everything that he’s been through recently, I can tell that goal meant a lot to him and for us as players. Hopefully that form can continue for him because he put out a really good shift.”