Aston Villa 2-1 Brighton: Villa make it back-to-back wins after late drama at Villa Park
 (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Matt Targett scored his first goal for Aston Villa as they came back from a goal down to beat Graham Potter's Brighton 2-1.

In the opposite dugout, Dean Smith watched his Villa side labour to their second home win of the campaign having been dominated by Brighton until a key turning point ten minutes before half time.

Aaron Mooy’s second yellow card meant Villa would contest three points with a numerical advantage for the third time this season.

Story of the match

Mooy’s midfield partner Pascal Gross was the architect for the afternoon's opener as he floated a free-kick towards the far post. Arriving on the scene was Adam Webster to head home his first goal for the Seagulls.

Conor Hourihane’s gesticulations at David Coote’s decision to award the free-kick were irrelevant as the away side got their deserved goal.

More controversy followed in the first half as VAR ruled out Hourihane’s second goal in as many starts. Wesley was adjudged to have impeded Matt Ryan in the build-up as he jumped to claim Fredric Guilbert’s cross. No goal was the decision.

 

The disgruntled home crowd wouldn’t have to wait long to restore parity for good when Jack Grealish scored his first-ever Premier League home goal in first-half additional time. Guilbert’s driven ball across the face of goal was converted by Grealish who doubled his tally for the season. It was all eyes on referee Coote as Villa fans breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Solly March replaced Aaron Connolly at the start of the second period  after he missed two key chances for the away side to double their lead. The young Irish international was, however, a thorn in Villa's backline.

Ultimately, the man of the match Grealish was the linchpin in every home attack all afternoon. Persistent in his efforts to breakdown the opposition, his balance and decisive end product opened up the left flank for Targett to slam past Ryan at the near post on the fourth minute of additional time.

Takeaways

 

Grealish for England

Gareth Southgate was in attendance as Grealish bagged a goal and assist to make an eighth goal contribution this season. England boss Southgate has made it clear to Villa's talisman that he must perform in the top flight to earn a place in the England side. It only seems a matter of time.

Brighton were very unlucky

Dominating possession in triangles and moving the ball through Villa's lines - on the eye it was a very pleasing performance from Potter's Brighton. Whilst they couldn't hold onto a vital point, a loss at Villa Park was unjust. They are now 12 without a win at Villa Park.

Trezeguet needs a chance

After replacing Hourihane on the hour mark, Trezeguet was Villa's outlet as they pursued a breakthrough late on. He made it a torrid final ten minutes for Adam Webster who was brought out wide as Shane Duffy entered for Martin Montoya.

Man of the Match

 

Jack Grealish was once again the difference. He was rather elusive for opening stages of the match as Brighton made a quick start, but the attacking midfielder took the game by the scruff of the neck as he moved into a more familiar central position.

What's next for these two?

 

Aston Villa will travel to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday for a 12:30 kick off in Manchester. Villa haven't won there in the Premier League since 2007.

Brighton will look to make it two wins in three when they host Everton at the Amex Stadium next Saturday at 15:00.

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