BIRMINGHAM (AFP) - Leading scorer Danny Ings brought what is likely to be the final curtain down on his career with Burnley on Sunday in the best way possible by scoring the only goal for the relegated side in a farewell 1-0 win over FA Cup finalists Aston Villa.
Ings, widely believed to be due for a move to a club remaining in the Premier League club in the close season, struck early in the first half with his 11th goal of the campaign to give Burnley only their seventh win of the season, all by one-goal margins.
For Villa, it was a second disappointing result ahead of their daunting FA Cup final meeting with holders Arsenal after being thrashed 6-1 by Southampton last weekend.
Ings opened the scoring in the sixth minute as Villa failed to clear the ball on several occasions.
They were put out of their misery as Ings rose above Nathan Baker to head Ashley Barnes' headed pass past Jed Steer - who has enjoyed a rollercoaster season having been loaned out to lower league Yeovil.
Villa pressed for an equaliser throughout the rest of the half, Christian Benteke having an effort saved and Ashley Westwood going close twice in the final five minutes before the break, a rising shot going just over the bar and then his second effort being saved by Tom Heaton.
An entertaining game carried on in high-spirited fashion in the second half with both sides having chances.
It was Villa, though, who were the most persistent with former Leeds United star Fabian Delph, who has boosted the club by agreeing a long-term deal, and the infuriatingly inconsistent Charles N'Zogbia unable to get the better of the admirable Heaton, whose form earned him a call-up to the England set-up last week.
Dutch international central defender Ron Vlaar, whom manager Tim Sherwood wants to sign a new contract, also sent a header flashing over the bar but there was to be no spoiling Burnley's farewell party.