Matty Cash scored twice as Aston Villa picked apart Burnley, who remain without a point since their Premier League return.
Villa suffered a 5-1 thumping at Newcastle in their opening game but have recovered in fine fashion with three consecutive victories in all competitions.
Full-back Cash was the unlikely hero at Turf Moor, scoring two fine goals as Unai Emery’s men showcased why they will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
It took just seven minutes for the visitors to prise open the Clarets backline as Ollie Watkins ran through and chipped the ball to the back post for Cash to finish.
The second was a fine team move volleyed in by Poland international Cash following a cutback from summer signing Moussa Diaby, who impressed once again.
But Vincent Kompany’s hosts hit back immediately after the break as Lyle Foster swivelled and struck a calm finish for his first top-flight goal.
Burnley were much improved in the second period and exerted real pressure on Villa, but the visitors scored a brilliant goal on the counter-attack as Diaby rolled home to seal a deserved victory.
Marvellous Moussa shines again
There may have been some eyebrows raised when Villa were pumped at Newcastle in their opening game, but the side have shown it was merely an early blip.
Emery’s men have since shown their true prowess, winning the next three games comfortably, scoring 12 goals and conceding just one.
“It was really amazing because we know before the match it is very difficult to win here,” said boss Emery. “They are so excited to play in the Premier League.
“We respect them a lot and we were very focused and tried to correct the mistakes we made at Newcastle. Those three points for us are very important.”
Villa looked dangerous every time they came forward and their strong start saw Cash’s double come in the opening 20 minutes, having last scored for Villa in May 2022.
But it was Diaby – a club-record buy from Bayer Leverkusen – who was the standout player again. A constant threat in the final third, the French winger scored one goal and set up another.
Diaby could have had a further assist when he laid the ball on for Watkins inside the six-yard box, but the England striker fired his effort straight at James Trafford.
On-loan midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo came off the bench and should have scored on his debut, but saw his shot deflect wide when running through on goal and Watkins unmarked in support. The glaring miss, though, did not prove costly on this occasion.
‘Learning comes at a price’ – Kompany
Burnley followed up their opening-day defeat by champions Manchester City with another home loss – already more than they suffered in the entirety of their Championship-winning run last season.
They have also lost back-to-back games at the start of a campaign for the third consecutive season and will need to improve in both defence and attack if they are to avoid an immediate return to the second tier.
Conceding early goals is proving to be a problem for Kompany’s side and, although they did pull a goal back through South African frontman Foster, they were mostly disjointed in the final third.
Summer signing Zeki Amdouni fired an effort over and debutant defender Hannes Delcroix’s header forced Villa stand-in keeper Robin Olsen into a decent stop, but the home side were outplayed for large periods.
Kompany said: “Learning comes at a price in the Premier League. You can see the quality of the Aston Villa team when they took their chances, credit to them.
“We didn’t start the game badly at all, but didn’t manage to get a real grip on the game. Villa were always a threat on the counter, we created moments and chances and but momentum in the second half and the goal helped us for that.
“We conceded a goal at the height of the momentum, a very good side who are very well coached. We are there in parts but we will have to learn from it when you get punished.
“You play against a very good side and everything happens a bit faster. It is a tough league, the jump from Championship to Premier League is the highest in world football, the negative is the result.
“I have not seen anything that, with a bit of time and experience, we won’t be able to fix.”