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Nextgen Series Report: Villa U19S 4-1 Rosenborg U19S


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A superb display from Graham Burke was the highlight as Villa swept aside Rosenborg to make it nine points from four games in the NextGen Series.

The claret and blues young guns have an outstanding chance of reaching the knockout stages in the prestigious European U19 tournament after yet another four-goal haul at Villa Park.

Burke scored twice while Gary Gardner and Michael Drennan were also on target as Villa came from behind against the Norwegian side.

Fenerbahce's goalless draw against Ajax in Istanbul earlier in the afternoon added a bit of spice to this clash as it made top spot in Group 3 attainable.

Not only were three points up for grabs here but there was the opportunity to gain a psychological advantage ahead of a potentially crucial meeting in Trondheim next Wednesday.

A positive result in the return fixture would virtually ensure Villa's passage into the last eight.

Rosenborg, who came into this game with one win from two matches, struck the first blow when the tournament's top scorer Mushaga Bakenga capitalised on a mix-up between Derrick Williams and Benjamin Siegrist to fire into an empty net.

It proved to be the only blemish in an otherwise faultless Villa display.

Callum Robinson steered a volley just wide in the early stages after meeting Courtney Cameron's low cross.

The away team's goalkeeper Alexander Hovdevik made key saves from a Gardner header and a close-range Robinson shot.

The pressure finally paid off for Kevin MacDonald's team a minute before the break when Burke raced on to a loose ball which came as a result of Lewis Kinsella's well-time challenge.

Burke managed to shrug off a defender and slot past Hovdevik from a tight angle.

Siegrist made up for his earlier error by thwarting Fredrik Midtsjo on the stroke of half time.

But the hosts emerged for the second-half in dominant mood and captain Gardner exquisitely put them in front on the hour mark.

It came via more terrific work from Burke on the left. The Irishman showed impeccable vision to feed Daniel Johnson on the edge of the box and the midfielder squared to Gardner who stroked home a low shot from the edge of the box.

The England U21 international almost helped himself to a second moment later when he curled an effort just wide.

Rosenborg looked to hit back in the final quarter of the match - Siegrist making an acrobatic one-handed save to keep out Daniel Bernsten's 30-yard drive while Bakenga headed off target from Christoffer Aasbak's corner.

The introduction of exciting winger Jack Grealish injected further impetus in Villa's play and the 16-year-old played a pivotal role in the two decisive late goals.

Firstly, Grealish fizzed a ball across goal which Burke expertly controlled at the back post and hammered home to make it 3-1 on 84 minutes.

And three minutes in to stoppage time his sublime dribble down the left paved the way for another substitute, striker Michael Drennan, to convert a left-foot strike.

VILLA: Siegrist, Webb, Williams, Donacien, Kinsella, Carruthers, Johnson, Gardner, Cameron, Burke, Robinson. Subs: Nelson-Addy [for Webb, 83], Barrett, Drennan [for Robinson, 74], Bryan, Taylor, Grealish [for Cameron, 78], Graham.

Get well soon Petrov
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