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Aston Villa 1-2 Brighton: Seagulls secure first ever win at Villa Park

Solly March scores

Brighton won at Villa Park for the first time in their history, deservedly edging out Aston Villa in a dramatic and entertaining encounter.

Solly March's delightful curling finish settled it after Ezri Konsa's sliding equaliser cancelled out Danny Welbeck's solo run and chip.

All of that preceded a frantic period of stoppage time that saw Tariq Lamptey sent off for a second yellow card and a decision to award Villa a penalty for a foul by March overturned after referee Michael Oliver consulted the pitchside monitor.

The defeat is Villa's third in succession at home in the league and also comes at the cost of a hamstring injury to Ross Barkley, who pulled up inside the first two minutes.

They stay sixth, but at risk of slipping down the table with the majority of the weekend's fixtures still to be played.

Brighton's first victory in two months does not improve their position of 16th, but they at least move six points clear of the relegation zone.

Styles make matches

This was made so enjoyable by a relentless back and forth, a consequence of contrasting styles. Whereas Villa pressed high, Brighton sat back, looking to break with pace and exploit an occasionally shaky home defence.

Bertrand Traore, Barkley's replacement, and Jack Grealish pulled the strings for Villa, the latter routinely surrounded by a swarm of blue shirts.

Welbeck's pace made Brighton's first goal, yet he was outshone by the electric Lamptey, who was a constant nuisance down the the Seagulls' right.

In the end, Brighton were simply more clinical, with Villa's threat diminishing after they went behind for the second time.

Brighton find cutting edge

Brighton had managed only three goals in their previous four league matches, but despite often having to gather men behind the ball, they kept their attacking threat through Welbeck and his strike partner Neal Maupay.

Welbeck's first goal for the club and fifth in as many games against Villa came against the run of play. With the Villa defence caught too high up the field, Welbeck latched on to Adam Lallana's poke and ran unchallenged from inside his own half before cleverly lifting the ball over Emiliano Martinez.

Although Brighton lost the creativity of Lallana to a groin injury at half-time and found themselves pegged back soon after, they did not shrink.

And, nine minutes after the Villa equaliser, Pascal Gross rolled the ball across the face of the 18-yard box for March to add the delicious finish.

Villa rue wasted chances - and VAR

Villa can point to the misfortune of the Barkley injury and the overturning of the penalty decision, but they also engineered their own downfall through a number of missed chances.

Trezeguet and Ollie Watkins were the biggest culprits, with both guilty of wastefulness in the first half. The Brighton defence also proved resolute, with Ben White's timely interception denying Watkins inside the six-yard box and Mat Ryan making a number of saves, including an unorthodox volley from a Tyrone Mings header.

Villa's incision deserted them after Brighton's second goal, yet they still seemed to have won a golden opportunity to snatch a point.

Oliver pointed to the spot when March caught Trezeguet but, despite the contact on the man being clear, March also got some of the ball, and that was enough to convince Oliver to change his mind, leaving Villa bewildered.

What's next?

Brighton host champions Liverpool next Saturday (12:30 GMT), while Villa must wait until Monday, 30 November before travelling to West Ham (20:00).

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Aston Villa

Starting XI

  1. Squad number26Player nameMartínez

    Average rating

    5.35

  2. Squad number2Player nameCash

    Average rating

    4.85

  3. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

    Average rating

    5.25

  4. Squad number5Player nameMings

    Average rating

    4.54

  5. Squad number18Player nameTargett

    Average rating

    4.42

  6. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

    Average rating

    4.53

  7. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

    Average rating

    4.70

  8. Squad number17Player nameTrézéguet

    Average rating

    4.77

  9. Squad number20Player nameBarkley

    Average rating

    3.88

  10. Squad number10Player nameGrealish

    Average rating

    4.85

  11. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

    Average rating

    4.76

Substitutes

  1. Squad number14Player nameHourihane

    Average rating

    4.25

  2. Squad number15Player nameTraoré

    Average rating

    4.51

  3. Squad number21Player nameEl Ghazi

    Average rating

    4.24

Brighton & Hove Albion

Starting XI

  1. Squad number1Player nameRyan

    Average rating

    7.26

  2. Squad number3Player nameWhite

    Average rating

    7.11

  3. Squad number5Player nameDunk

    Average rating

    6.82

  4. Squad number4Player nameWebster

    Average rating

    6.60

  5. Squad number2Player nameLamptey

    Average rating

    7.58

  6. Squad number8Player nameBissouma

    Average rating

    6.98

  7. Squad number13Player nameGroß

    Average rating

    6.90

  8. Squad number20Player nameMarch

    Average rating

    7.55

  9. Squad number14Player nameLallana

    Average rating

    7.59

  10. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck

    Average rating

    7.54

  11. Squad number9Player nameMaupay

    Average rating

    6.84

Substitutes

  1. Squad number33Player nameBurn

    Average rating

    6.55

  2. Squad number34Player nameVeltman

    Average rating

    6.75

  3. Squad number49Player nameMolumby

    Average rating

    6.48

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 26Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 4Konsa
  • 5Mings
  • 18TargettBooked at 44mins
  • 6Douglas LuizSubstituted forHourihaneat 75'minutes
  • 7McGinn
  • 17Trézéguet
  • 20BarkleySubstituted forTraoréat 5'minutesSubstituted forEl Ghaziat 74'minutes
  • 10GrealishBooked at 90mins
  • 11Watkins

Substitutes

  • 3Taylor
  • 12Steer
  • 14Hourihane
  • 15Traoré
  • 19Nakamba
  • 21El Ghazi
  • 27El Mohamady

Brighton

  • 1Ryan
  • 3White
  • 5Dunk
  • 4Webster
  • 2LampteyBooked at 90mins
  • 8BissoumaBooked at 69mins
  • 13GroßSubstituted forMolumbyat 90+6'minutes
  • 20March
  • 14LallanaSubstituted forVeltmanat 45'minutes
  • 18Welbeck
  • 9MaupaySubstituted forBurnat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Connolly
  • 16Jahanbakhsh
  • 17Alzate
  • 23Steele
  • 33Burn
  • 34Veltman
  • 49Molumby

Referee:
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Aston Villa 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

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