Well, this game certainly was end to end. Before we get to the late controversy, let’s start by going through the two starting eleven teams for this latest Premier League contest:
Aston Villa XI:
Brighton & Hove Albion XI:
The first few minutes of the contest didn’t work out well for Dean Smith’s team as Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley was forced off after seemingly pulling a hamstring when taking a free-kick. An early blow for Villa. Bertrand Traore came on for the midfielder.
After playing reasonably well for the first ten minutes of the match, naive defending by Villa meant that the ball broke for Danny Welbeck who had the freedom of Villa Park when he was running in on goal and he was able to convert the opportunity to give the Seagulls the lead. 12 minutes in, one-nil down – there was plenty of time to restore parity!
Speaking of chances to restore parity, Trezeguet had an excellent chance to do just that less than ten minutes later following a couple of blocked shots the ball landed at the feet of the Egyptian, who could only lift his shot over the crossbar and the golden chance went begging for Aston Villa. Traore then had a decent chance a few minutes later, but his effort went straight into the hands of Matt Ryan. Another great chance came in the 38th minute of the contest, but Villa’s efforts were denied, most notably from a goal-line clearance. Watkins was then able to fashion another opportunity but his effort went just wide of the post via a deflection. Brighton’s lead remained.
Half time came with Villa behind – but a one-goal margin meant that the Villans had forty-five minutes to try and turn this contest around in their favour.
Parity was finally restored just minutes into the second half when a great ball in from a free-kick landed at the boots of Ezri Konsa, with the defender managing to place the ball past Matt Ryan and into the back of the net! Villa had their equaliser and there was optimism going into the rest of the second half with Villa now having a great chance to find a goal to obtain the lead and complete the turnaround.
Parity was not restored in the game for long, as a short time later the ball came to the feet of Solly March – who was able to curl his volley into the back of Martinez’s net and restore the lead for Graham Potter’s team. 1-2 Brighton. Still enough time for another Villa equaliser.
There was a double substitution three-quarter of the way through the second half as Hourihane and El Ghazi came on for Douglas Luiz and Bertrand Traore respectively in a bid to find that equaliser and salvage at least a point from this contest.
Now the drama went to the next level in this game. First, Brighton right back Tariq Lamptey was sent off following a second yellow card for a challenge on Grealish – this was now a golden opportunity to level the game with the Seagulls now down to ten men.
The biggest controversy of the game came minutes later when the referee (initially) gave a penalty for the Villa for a foul from March on Trezeguet. VAR then invited the referee to go to the monitor and the final decision was no penalty, no chance for Villa to equalise and no points for the team in claret and blue.
This was a disappointing result, but we move onto the next game away against West Ham. UTV!
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