Villa boosts push for Champions League qualification with 3-1 win over Bournemouth

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Aston Villa’s push to secure Champions League qualification was boosted with a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday.

Trailing to Dominic Solanke’s 31st-minute penalty, Villa turned things around with Morgan Rogers equalizing in first-half stoppage time, Moussa Diaby putting the hosts ahead just before the hour mark and Leon Bailey adding a third in the 78th minute.

Ollie Watkins set up the finishes from Diaby and Bailey as he became the Premier League’s outright leading assist-maker this season with 12, to go with his 19 goals that sees him lie only one behind joint leaders Erling Haaland and Cole Palmer in the race for the Golden Boot.

The result strengthens Villa’s grip on fourth place, the final Champions League qualification spot. Villa is six points ahead of fifth-place Tottenham, which has two games in hand.

It also capped an excellent few days for Villa after last weekend's 2-0 win at Arsenal and Thursday’s penalty shootout triumph at Lille that took the team into the Europa Conference League semifinals.

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The Associated Press