A superb goal from Jack Grealish earns Aston Villa a necessary point towards their goal of Premier League survival.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa travelled down south for the reverse fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion, after beating them at Villa Park thanks to a late Matt Targett goal earlier this season.
Both sides had a chance within the first ten minutes, but neither was anything to write home about.
Danny Drinkwater picked up a yellow card in the 14th minute for a late challenge on Neal Maupay.
Brighton had a number of opportunities to get shots on target in the first half an hour or so, but couldn’t quite get their attempts away in Aston Villa’s crowded box.
Jack Grealish had an opportunity after working hard on the counter – but his shot was just wide.
Shortly after, in the 38th, Maupay broke forward into space before playing a well-paced pass to Leandro Trossard who cut the ball across the goal – and it settled in the far corner and past Pepe Reina.
Anwar El Ghazi headed just wide on the brink of the half time whistle as he met the end of a Matt Targett free-kick.
In the opening four minutes of the second half, a low cross from Trezeguet forced Mat Ryan into a spill, with the ball coming back out into his box but straight to Bernardo in a Brighton shirt.
Not much of note had happened in the first seventeen or so minutes of the second half, with Brighton looking to protect their lead and Aston Villa attempting to equalise. The Aston Villa faithful were, in fact, the louder of the two sets of fans despite the damp performance.
The 67th minute saw Indiana Vassilev and Douglas Luiz enter the fray for Aston Villa, replacing Trezeguet and Danny Drinkwater respectively. Montoya replaced Connolly for Brighton – swapping a forward for a fullback.
It was the captain, Jack Grealish who levelled the two sides – but the praise should go to not only the scorer – but Douglas Luiz with the assist too. The Brazilian stole the ball well, stopped, before playing a tempting, curling ball between the Brighton defence, where Jack was able to move onto the ball and strike it on the half volley past Ryan. Credit to Indiana Vassilev for pulling the Brighton defenders apart too.
Marvelous Nakamba was booked for a late challenge on Davy Propper with ten minutes to go, before Pascal Groß and Glenn Murray made their way onto the pitch – replacing Aaron Mooy and goalscorer Leandro Trossard.
With five minutes to go, Conor Hourihane replaced Marvelous Nakamba.
Pepe Reina offered his first taste of what Aston Villa fans can expect from him with three minutes left of normal time as the ball fell to Neal Maupay in the box – and the veteran keeper dived superbly to his right to get a palm to the goal-bound ball.
Conor Hourihane was booked in the final minute of the four added minutes for a professional foul on Davy Propper to stop a counter-attack.
An important point. But we’ll wish it was three.