ASTON VILLA vs BRIGHTON MATCH REPORT

There was late drama at Villa Park as Aston Villa were handed a third home defeat in a row, in a 2-1 loss to Brighton.

Aston Villa thought they had been awarded a penalty in the closing stages, but once again VAR had the last say as Brighton held on to take all three points.

Goals from Welbeck and March were enough to cancel out Konsa’s equaliser, ending a run of nine league meetings without a win for Albion in this fixture.   

Villa went with an unchanged starting 11 to the side that ran riot at the Emirates less than a fortnight ago, with the only change to the squad seeing Bertrand Traore return to the bench.

Traore was introduced to the game earlier than expected as the Villans were forced into a change within the opening minutes after loanee, Ross Barkley, was replaced after pulling his hamstring whilst taking a free kick.  

The substitute then created the game’s first chance. His dangerous ball in from a free kick narrowly evaded both centre half’s before falling to Trezeguet at the back-post. His powerful shot lacked accuracy and was blocked behind for a corner.  

Villa started the more confident but fell behind when a threaded ball in behind an incredibly high defensive line set Welbeck on his way. The striker was able to run free from halfway, before calmly chipping the ball over Martinez to score his first for the club.

The Villans thought had levelled shortly after when a sequence of defensive errors by Albion resulted in a misplaced clearance falling at the feet of Trezeguet. The winger was first denied on the line by Webster before firing wide from the rebound in front of goal.

Brighton nearly, and perhaps, should have doubled their lead when their top scorer, Maupay, found himself through on goal. Villa were rescued by Martinez who was alert in denying the fellow Spaniard with a fine save outside the box.

Villa weren’t looking as comfortable defensively as they had in north London, and were once again let off the hook by rash finishing. Lallana, with acres of time and space dragged his shot wide after an attack down Villas left.  

If Villa were to get a goal the source looked to be from a set piece. An inviting free kick saw Mings stab a looping effort towards goal, forcing Ryan into a last ditch save with his foot on the line to deny the England international.  

Not long after, fellow Three Lion, Jack Grealish, broke clear down the right before squaring the ball into the path of Watkins. The striker looked likely to score his seventh of the league campaign but a recovering sliding tackle from White, deflected the ball out of his path and onto the post.

Despite being behind at the break, it took the hosts just over a minute to draw level at the start of the second half. Traore whipped a fantastic free kick into the box which was met by a sliding Konsa who fired home his second goal of the season.

Brighton boss, Potter, had started his playing career at Villa Park and his afternoon return was put back on the right tracks curtesy of a stunning finish from March. The south coast side worked the ball around well, ending in a drag back which found the winger whose curling effort found the top corner.

Grealish’s heart was in his mouth momentarily when an error in his own box almost resulted in a third for Brighton. The Villa captains attempted back heeled clearance deflected into the path of Welbeck who was inches away from finishing his second.

The final 10 minutes consisted of Villa trying to break the side in blues defensive wall down, but the introduction of another defender made the task harder. The ever-lively Trezeguet found himself on the edge of the box after a one-two with Watkins, although the Egyptian couldn’t keep his shot below the bar.

As the game entered added time, Brighton were reduced to 10-men when youngster Lamptey was shown his second yellow card in three minutes for a challenge on Grealish.

Villa thought they were handed a lifeline deep into injury time after what seemed like an ill-timed challenge on Trezeguet, resulted in referee, Oliver, pointing to the spot. After a quick review at the pitch side monitor, the incident was overturned much to the frustration of Villa manager, Smith.

Dean Smith takes his side once again to the capital, where they will be looking to continue their 100% away record against West Ham and bounce back from what has been their third home defeat in a row.

Aston Villa starting line up
Brighton starting line up

Aston Villa manager, Dean Smith said: “I did want to see the officials after they said to come in and ask them but they scarpered before I got there. I don’t think anybody understands what goes on in penalty boxes, what’s a penalty and what’s not now. I’m left scratching my head.”

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