Aston Villa looked poor at the Amex this evening, but still picked up a point with a dogged defensive display.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa travelled to the south coast this evening for a late Premier League game against Brighton & Hove Albion, where Dean Smith’s side were hoping to make amends for their loss to Graham Potter’s men at Villa Park earlier in the season.
Brighton started the brighter of the two sides, and enjoyed a spell of dominance in the early period of the game as Aston Villa struggled to retain possession.
Emiliano Martinez’ first test of the game came as fill-in wingback Joel Veltman raced into a central position from the right before firing a stinging shot down low, which the Argentinian was wise to.
Aston Villa found themselves growing in influence as the game progressed, but Brighton’s rigid approach was proving tough to break down as the Villans attempted to work the ball into the box.
Steven Alzate was booked for a late challenge on Jack Grealish on the by-line as the Villa captain looked to break past him. Grealish himself was booked for a cynical pull back on Veltman after a poor touch.
Both sides lulled into poor touches and misplaced passes, but Brighton’s defence looked strong as the game headed towards half-time, whereas Aston Villa’s defence looked vulnerable and they were the side making many of the mistakes.
Dan Burn headed towards the far post from a corner for Brighton, but Emiliano Martinez was able to palm the attempt wide of goal.
The game stopped at half-time with both sides level, but Brighton were the much stronger team it seemed with a poor performance in the first 45 from Dean Smith’s men.
Aston Villa were the side who looked to get an attempt on goal first in the second half, but Brighton’s MacAllister was the player to come closest in the opening period. The midfielder struck the ball on the half-volley, before Martinez saved with his legs after a significant deflection.
As the game headed towards the hour mark, it fell into somewhat of a lull once more.
Once the 60th minute arrived, Matty Cash was substituted as he looked to have picked up a hamstring injury, and was replaced by Ahmed Elmohamady. Brighton also made a change, replacing Steven Alzate with Adam Lallana.
Emiliano Martinez made another exceptional save in the 65th minute, denying Veltman’s deflected effort. Just a minute later, and Trezeguet arrived on the pitch, replacing Bertrand Traore.
Douglas Luiz was booked in the 70th minute for his third foul of the evening.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Morgan Sanson was readied to come on – with Ross Barkley going the other way. Leandro Trossard was booked just seconds later for a foul on Trezeguet.
Shortly after, and Danny Welbeck came onto the pitch for Neal Maupay. The forward was denied by Martinez at the near post in the 83rd minute.
Morgan Sanson was booked for a challenge on Trossard in the 88th minute.
The game ended goalless, and Aston Villa will be glad to have picked up a point from a poor performance.