Brighton holds on, beats Aston Villa after tempestuous ending
Aston Villa - Brighton: Danny Welbeck and Solly March scored on either side of halftime as Brighton and Hove Albion beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park on Saturday.
There was a wild ending that saw a non-red card to Trezeguet for an elbow to the throat of Joel Veltmann, then a controversial second yellow card to Tariq Lamptey for a foul on Jack Grealish and a Trezeguet-embellished penalty win that referee Michael Oliver took away after VAR told him to look at the pitchside monitor.
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The Seagulls improve to 2W-3D-4L on the season, good for six points ahead of the drop zone, while Villa is on 15 points and fails to join leaders Chelsea on 18 points.
Ezri Konsa scored for Villa in its third-straight home loss.
Brighton and Villa first met in 1910 and haven’t met too often in their long histories, but this was the Seagulls first away win over the Villans.
Three things we learned from Aston Villa - Brighton
1. Veteran drive Seagulls: Snakebit Brighton got its goals through the old guys.
Brighton opened the scoring against the run of play when new teammates linked up. Adam Lallana snuck a terrific through-ball past a sleeping Tyrone Mings to give Danny Welbeck a half-field of grass between him and Emiliano Martinez. Welbeck carried close to the keeper before dinking over the sliding Martinez for 1-0. It was Welbeck’s 45th Premier League goal, those spread across five clubs.
The Seagulls took their second lead when Gross’ hopeful ball through the 18 came all the way through to March for a rocket of a winner. Throw in some solid goalkeeper from Mathew Ryan, and there were a lot of years between the difference makers.
2. The Lamptey - Grealish battle was a show: Two players with electric pace, skill, and trickery showed that but also a tempestuous scrap with fouls and shots whenever the Brighton wingback and Villa playmaker wound up closer than a social distance. It started within five minutes of other opening kick and went deep into the second half, where Lamptey saw a yellow card for a foul on Grealish’s calf.
Grealish then took offense to Veltman hitting the deck after Trezeguet’s elbow to his throat, grabbing a hold of Veltman’s jersey and trying to rip him off the turf. Grealish then rolled around after Lamptey’s foul and got the Brighton man sent off.
3. Barkley, Lallana injury concerns: Given the chaotic ending, it will be easy to gloss over injuries that cost Ross Barkley all but five minutes and Adam Lallana the entire second half. Barkley’s replacement Bertrand Traore assisted Villa’s goal but also had to come off. Villa fans will hope that’s just fitness-related, but both sets of fans will have their eyes on injury updates for their playmakers.Ch
Man of the Match: Solly March
The author of an awesome match-winner also contributed a number of nice long passes to go with four tackles and four clearances from the left side of the midfield. It would’ve been unfair to his performance if thelate penalty stood.
Aston Villa - Brighton recap
Villa was lively out of the gates but a big mistake allowed Brighton to go in front.
Welbeck had a long solo run to goal off Lallana’s feed as Tyrone Mings and the Villa defense fell asleep.
Tariq Lamptey then found Welbeck with a great square pass through a sea of bodies but the Englishman’s touch was too heavy.
It could’ve been 1-1 in the 19th minute when Trezeguet was denied by a goal mouth block and rebound shot wide, and again when Mathew Ryan made a leaping leg clearance of a looping Mings’ flick.
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Grealish’s seeing-eye pass to the doorstep never got to Ollie Watkins thanks to a sliding Ben White.
There could’ve been a half-dozen goals in the extremely entertaining first half but it finished 1-0. What would the second half bring?
Villa leveled the score within 90 seconds of restart, Traore’s sweeping left-footed free kick into the channel slid home by Konsa.
Chances came for both teams before Brighton reclaimed the lead in the 56th, as Pascal Gross’ cross walked through the 18 for March to smash into the upper 90.
Trezeguet could’ve been sent off for Villa for a 90th-mintue elbow to the throat of Joel Veltman, while Brighton went down a man for a pair of quickfire yellows to Lamptey moments later.