Premier League
Aston VillaAston Villa1BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion2

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

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport
Solly March scores
Solly March's second goal of the season gave Brighton victory at Aston Villa

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.

"I don't know what a penalty is now. We could all hear the contact inside the ground," said Villa boss Dean Smith.

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.

"Our second was a really good team goal and a great finish by Solly March," said Brighton manager Graham Potter. "I'm pleased for him because he influences games.

"We've had a few penalties against us this season so I'm not sure what is and what isn't a penalty these days. I know Solly touched the ball so we're just happy it went our way this time."

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 and defensive errors.

Aston Villa 1-2 Brighton: Dean Smith says nobody knows what a penalty is at the moment

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.

"If VAR thinks it's not a penalty then just tell the referee it's not a penalty," said Smith. "It wasn't given so we have to take it on the chin.

"I don't think we were bad. We missed chances and we've made big mistakes for their goals. We have to defend much better. Brighton were a threat on the counter but I wasn't overly concerned.

"I thought we had control of the game and if we had taken our chances we would have won."

Brighton manager Graham Potter says he is 'delighted' Danny Welbeck scored his first goal

Welback's happy hunting ground - stats

  • Brighton registered only their fifth Premier League win in their past 27 matches, with four of the five wins in this time coming away from home.
  • Aston Villa lost just their third game in their past 12 Premier League matches (W7 D2), though those defeats have come in each of their past three at Villa Park.
  • No team has conceded more home Premier League goals than Aston Villa this season (11, level with Newcastle United).
  • Brighton's Danny Welbeck has scored five Premier League goals against Aston Villa, more than against any other side.
  • Only Robbie Fowler (5) has scored more away Premier League goals at Villa Park than Danny Welbeck (4).
  • Brighton and Hove Albion have conceded nine Premier League goals from set-pieces this season, more than any other side.
  • Pascal Gross has been directly involved in 29 goals for Brighton in the Premier League (12 goals, 17 assists), more than any other player.
  • Aston Villa's Jack Grealish won seven fouls in this match and has won more than any other Premier League player this season (36). Grealish has won at least one foul in the last 102 league (and play-off) matches he has started, a run stretching back to April 2017.

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).

Player of the match

WelbeckDanny Welbeck

with an average of 7.81

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number26Player nameMartínez
    Average rating

    5.43

  2. Squad number4Player nameKonsa
    Average rating

    5.32

  3. Squad number2Player nameCash
    Average rating

    4.95

  4. Squad number10Player nameGrealish
    Average rating

    4.89

  5. Squad number17Player nameTrézéguet
    Average rating

    4.78

  6. Squad number11Player nameWatkins
    Average rating

    4.75

  7. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating

    4.59

  8. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz
    Average rating

    4.58

  9. Squad number15Player nameTraoré
    Average rating

    4.51

  10. Squad number5Player nameMings
    Average rating

    4.47

  11. Squad number18Player nameTargett
    Average rating

    4.45

  12. Squad number14Player nameHourihane
    Average rating

    4.33

  13. Squad number21Player nameEl Ghazi
    Average rating

    4.27

  14. Squad number20Player nameBarkley
    Average rating

    3.62

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck
    Average rating

    7.81

  2. Squad number2Player nameLamptey
    Average rating

    7.66

  3. Squad number20Player nameMarch
    Average rating

    7.63

  4. Squad number14Player nameLallana
    Average rating

    7.43

  5. Squad number1Player nameRyan
    Average rating

    7.16

  6. Squad number3Player nameWhite
    Average rating

    7.15

  7. Squad number8Player nameBissouma
    Average rating

    7.02

  8. Squad number13Player nameGroß
    Average rating

    6.86

  9. Squad number5Player nameDunk
    Average rating

    6.81

  10. Squad number34Player nameVeltman
    Average rating

    6.72

  11. Squad number9Player nameMaupay
    Average rating

    6.64

  12. Squad number33Player nameBurn
    Average rating

    6.47

  13. Squad number4Player nameWebster
    Average rating

    6.47

  14. Squad number49Player nameMolumby
    Average rating

    6.40

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+5'minutes
  • 20March
  • 14LallanaSubstituted forVeltmanat 45'minutes
  • 18Welbeck
  • 9MaupaySubstituted forBurnat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Connolly
  • 16Jahanbakhsh
  • 17Alzate
  • 23Steele
  • 33Burn
  • 34Veltman
  • 49Molumby
Referee:
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home15
Away7
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home12
Away3
Fouls
Home5
Away18

Live Text

  1. Post update

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

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Jayson Molumby replaces Pascal Groß.

  4. Post update

    VAR Decision: No Penalty Aston Villa.

  5. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion) for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  8. Booking

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  11. Booking

    Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    John McGinn (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Trézéguet (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Ollie Watkins.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ben White (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  16. Post update

    John McGinn (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  18. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Dan Burn replaces Neal Maupay.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Neal Maupay (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Pascal Groß following a fast break.

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