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Barkley banks a late winner as valiant Villa keep up their perfect start

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It was only 223 days ago when Aston Villa were thrashed here by an upwardly mobile Leicester City, with Dean Smith's squad appearing doomed for a swift return to the Championship.

Two weeks after destroying champions Liverpool with seven goals, Villa displayed a different side with a solid defensive performance against a Leicester team missing the injured Jamie Vardy.

Barkley's second goal since signing on loan from Chelsea was late, coming in added time, but lifted Villa into second place and the feel-good factor under Smith is tangible.

Times have certainly changed, and this was further evidence of Villa's progress since that dreadful March evening as Ross Barkley secured their fourth successive Premier League victory.

Without the 33-year-old forward, Leicester can often be predictable and devoid of a cutting edge.

It was a moment of magic from Barkley which settled a bad-tempered contest, and Smith's squad have won their first four league games for the first time since the 1930-31 season.

Leicester have now lost two games in a row at the King Power Stadium, ahead of their first Europa League outing on Thursday evening against Zorya, which Vardy will also miss.
For more news relating to Liverpool, visit our sister site LFC Live.
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