Villa’s second successive defeat was not what boss Sherwood nor the 40,000 home fans wanted a week before the Villans take on Arsenal in the FA Cup final.
“We didn’t show enough imagination today. The boys tried hard enough. We were just lacking a bit of quality,” said a disappointed Sherwood.
Villa started the game positively with the huge crowd singing loudly about their forthcoming trip to Wembley but the buoyant atmosphere changed in the fifth minute when Ashley Barnes headed the ball into the Villa box and Ings was on hand to plant a pinpoint header into the top left corner of the net.
The goal shocked the home team and silenced the fans and as a result the Villa players struggled to find any momentum. The best chance of the first half fell to Ron Vlaar but the big centre back smashed the ball past the left hand post.
Ashley Westwood had two good chances, the first after some good work on the left hand side by Charles N’Zogbia who fed the ball back to the edge of the area but Westwood fired over from 18 yards. Minutes later, the midfielder had a scissor kick attempt tipped over the crossbar by Burnley ‘keeper Tom Heaton.
The second half was poor fayre with Villa dominating the ball but they couldn’t convert possession into chances due to a very well organised and stubborn Burnley defence. The visitors should have doubled their lead following a determined run from Ings which saw him slip the ball in behind the Villa defence for the advancing George Boyd but his close range shot was smothered by stand in ‘keeper Jed Steer.
Christian Benteke and Charles N’Zogbia went close late in the game but Burnley held on to grab a final three points before they drop to the Championship for next season.
After the match, Burnley boss Sean Dyche reflected on a ‘frustrating’ season in which his team had kept 10 clean sheets but failed to convert important goal-scoring opportunities.
“It’s about margins and although we have done well over the season we have not taken the key moments,” he said. “It is frustrating but overall I am very proud of the players and everyone at the club.”
The final table saw Villa finish 17th, three points clear of relegation and boss Tim Sherwood said he was eager to change what he described as a ‘losing mentality' at the club.
“It [the table] tells no lies. Wherever you finish in the league is where you deserve to finish,” he said. “Our mentality needs to change. This club is used to losing which is not good.”