Match ends, Aston Villa 2, Bournemouth 1.
- Gil scores first Villa goal on full debut
- Bournemouth made eight changes
- Cherries top of Championship
- Only five places separate two sides in league ladder
Carles Gil's stunning goal helped Aston Villa avoid another FA Cup fourth-round giant-killing and see off the challenge of Championship leaders Bournemouth at Villa Park.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe reduced their chances of following in the footsteps of Bradford City and Middlesbrough - who won at Chelsea and Manchester City respectively - by making wholesale changes to his side.
Villa's abysmal goal record has seen them score only once since drawing with Manchester United at Villa Park on 20 December, but the shackles were lifted by a brilliant long-range finish from new signing Gil early in the second half.
And with the rising tension around Villa Park eased following a sequence that also included five scoreless Premier League games, Andreas Weimann added the second to secure their place in the fifth round.
Bournemouth substitute Callum Wilson offered them a moment of hope when he pulled a goal back in stoppage time but Villa survived without further alarms.
The result will come as a huge relief to Villa manager Paul Lambert, who was also lifted by the news that coveted England midfield man Fabian Delph signed a new four-and-a-half year deal before kick-off.
After a weekend that saw the tally of Premier League casualties in the FA Cup rise to 10, Villa's meeting with the Cherries carried all the appearance of another potential upset - but once Gil had broken through it was a relatively comfortable win for Lambert's side.
Despite making eight changes from the line-up that lost at Leeds United, Bournemouth showed quality and were the better side before the break but after this defeat manager Howe can concentrate all his efforts on his aim to take them into the top flight.
Villa went quickly in search of that elusive goal and almost claimed it inside the first 10 minutes when Weimann met Alan Hutton's cross with a firm header, only to direct it inches wide with Bournemouth keeper Lee Camp struggling.
Bournemouth were playing with composure, despite the unfamiliar appearance of their team, and it needed a scrambling goal-line clearance from Kieran Richardson to stop them taking the lead after Shaun MacDonald rounded Villa keeper Shay Given.
And as Bournemouth established a measure of control, the veteran Given needed to dive sharply to his left to save from Eunan O'Kane, who was heavily bandaged to protect a head wound sustained earlier.
Villa needed a touch of class to exert some superiority and Gil - already a crowd favourite - provided it after 51 minutes, showing clever sleight of foot before curling a magnificent 25-yard finish high past Camp. It was their first goal for 233 minutes, the last coming with Christian Benteke's 88th minute winner here in the FA Cup third round against Blackpool on 4 January.
The second came 19 minutes before the end, Leandro Bacuna releasing Hutton in the area, the Scot's pass finding Weimann, who swept a low side-footed effort past Camp.
Wilson was on target for Bournemouth deep into stoppage time - but there was to be no late Villa Park drama to add to what had already gone before in this FA Cup fourth round.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:
"We needed to try to get through. All credit to the team. I thought we deserved the win.
"Gil is lighting the place up and it was a world class goal. Being a foreign player you can take time to adapt or hit the ground running and he has done the latter. He does the same in training. In training you can't get the ball from him as he has a low centre of gravity. I'm delighted to get through. It is a big win.
"The supporters went through a hard time just like the players. The win today will certainly help us. We took a lot of knocks but all credit to the lad they never let their heads down, even in training."
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe:
"I don't enjoy losing but the experience of the day was a special one and I thought we did ourselves proud. It was an entertaining and tight game.
"It was a fantastic goal by Gil. That is the quality of the Premier League, they had two moments of the highest class, otherwise our keeper had nothing to do.
"We had a good first-half performance, we maybe did not reach those heights in the second half but we will certainly grow from this experience."
- 21HuttonBooked at 62mins
- 5OkoreBooked at 62mins
- 7BacunaBooked at 83minsSubstituted forGrealishat 90+5'minutes
- 25GilSubstituted forWestwoodat 87'minutes
- 24C Sánchez
- 15A Smith
- 3S Cook
- 14HarteSubstituted forFrancisat 60'minutes
- 19StanislasSubstituted forRitchieat 79'minutes
- 18KermorgantSubstituted forWilsonat 60'minutes
- Mike Dean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Aston Villa 2, Bournemouth 1.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Steve Cook.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Jack Grealish replaces Leandro Bacuna because of an injury.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Lee Camp.
Attempt saved. Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Christian Benteke with a through ball.
Goal! Aston Villa 2, Bournemouth 1. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Adam Smith with a cross.
Attempt missed. Simon Francis (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ryan Fraser.
Attempt blocked. Tom Cleverley (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Ashley Westwood replaces Carles Gil.
Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Callum Wilson (Bournemouth).
Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.
Offside, Bournemouth. Ryan Fraser tries a through ball, but Callum Wilson is caught offside.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Eunan O'Kane.
Offside, Bournemouth. Harry Arter tries a through ball, but Ryan Fraser is caught offside.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Matt Ritchie replaces Junior Stanislas.
Jores Okore (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Callum Wilson (Bournemouth).
Goal! Aston Villa 2, Bournemouth 0. Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Alan Hutton with a cross.