Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish scored with a fine late volley as his side came from behind to reach round three of of the Carabao Cup by knocking out League One side Burton Albion.
Home defender Colin Daniel stung Villa with his first goal for the club after just 64 seconds to create hopes of another upset, like two seasons ago.
But £28m record signing Ollie Watkins levelled on 37 minutes, on his debut.
Then, after Grealish’s strike, striker Keinan Davis got an injury-time third.
Burton, who beat Villa 1-0 at the Pirelli Stadium at the same stage of the EFL Cup two seasons ago, made four changes from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Fleetwood. And it was one of them, defender Daniel, who got the evening off to such a dramatic start.
Villa failed to clear their lines in Burton’s first attack and Daniel arrived on the left corner of the box to rocket a superb finish into the top corner.
Watkins equalised when Grealish’s neat reverse ball freed Neil Taylor to cross from the left.
But, on the day the boyhood Villa fan marked his long-term commitment to the club by signing a five-year contract, new England midfielder Grealish saved his best bit until last.
On 88 minutes, he finally put his side ahead for the first time, lashing a low left-foot volley into the bottom right corner to end the threat of a penalty shootout.
Villa, who had been camped in the Burton box for the majority of the second half, then added a third two minutes into injury time when two of their second-half substitutes combined.
Douglas Luiz, who had come on for young midfielder Jack Ramsey on his first start, set up Davis, a 71st-minute replacement for Watkins.
Last season;s beaten finalists Villa must travel again in the third round to meet the winners of Wednesday’s tie between Dean Holden’s Championship side Bristol City and Keith Curle’s promoted League One outfit Northampton Town.
But, before then, Villa will be more concerned with next Monday’s Premier League campaign opener at home to Sheffield United.
Burton’s first home league game of the season is this Saturday against Accrington Stanley.
Burton Albion boss Jake Buxton:
“We made a great start. We’ve had a tradition for that for many years here, going after teams from the start.
“There was a lot of effort and hard work and our organisation without the ball was tremendous, and we tried to play when we could.
“Ultimately, after the work we had to put in, there’s tired legs and tired minds at the end and we switched off from a set-play, and that little bit of quality has hurt us.”
Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith:
“Jsck Grealish has been courted and speculated on but we didn’t receive a bid for him. It’s a big boost that he is staying and a massive statement of intent from the football club and the owners.
“Jack is talismanic. We know what a tremendous talent he is. We are only too pleased he has agreed to stay.”the new season panned out.
“The start didn’t help but we controlled possession really well. Our competitive edge wasn’t quite there but their goal gave us a quick reminder that we were in a match.”
- 5BostwickSubstituted forGallacherat 25′minutes
- 4EdwardsSubstituted forPowellat 66′minutes
- 7QuinnBooked at 89mins
- 10AkinsBooked at 62mins
- 11LawlessSubstituted forGilliganat 66′minutes
- 27El Mohamady
- 41RamseyBooked at 69minsSubstituted forDouglas Luizat 71′minutes
- 21El GhaziSubstituted forJotaat 80′minutes
- 11WatkinsSubstituted forDavisat 71′minutes
- 6Douglas Luiz
Match ends, Burton Albion 1, Aston Villa 3.
Second Half ends, Burton Albion 1, Aston Villa 3.
Jota (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Stephen Quinn (Burton Albion).
Ahmed El Mohamady (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Owen Gallacher (Burton Albion).
Goal! Burton Albion 1, Aston Villa 3. Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Douglas Luiz with a through ball.
Offside, Aston Villa. Henri Lansbury tries a through ball, but Jota is caught offside.
Stephen Quinn (Burton Albion) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Jota (Aston Villa).
Kieran Wallace (Burton Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Burton Albion 1, Aston Villa 2. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Henri Lansbury following a corner.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Teddy Sharman-Lowe.
Attempt saved. Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Tyrone Mings.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Ciaran Gilligan.
Attempt missed. Jota (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jack Grealish.
Foul by Ahmed El Mohamady (Aston Villa).
Stephen Quinn (Burton Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Jota replaces Anwar El Ghazi.
Neil Taylor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.