The Warm Down: Villa take a point from Brighton
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Jack Grealish's seventh strike of the Premier League season chalked off Leandro Trossard's opener at The Amex.

Villa's talisman now has 15 goal contributions in all competitions this season - more than any other English midfielder. Whilst Grealish hasn't been called up to the national team this season, his performances for his club have kept Villa intact with the struggling sides also in the relegation picture.

Manchester City were the latest team to get the better of Villa before Dean Smith's side travelled to Brighton. So after losing 6-1 at home, Smith made three changes.

Including a debut for Pepe Reina, Marvelous Nakamba, Matt TargettFrederic Guilbert and Trezeguet all came into the starting side that were second best for most of the first half at Brighton.

 

Trossard eventually broke the deadlock on the 37th minute when Neal Maupay slipped the Belgian in on goal. At a tight angle, the winger struck across Reina's far post to hand the Seagulls a slender advantage before half time.

Villa then stepped it up a gear, but without a recognised striker for the third game running, Villa failed to make their dominance show up until Indianna Vassilev made his Premier League debut.

The youngster's enthusiasm and willingness to run in behind a sturdy Brighton backline served Villa well, as Grealish went in search of his second goal in his last four games.

Douglas Luiz initiated an aggressive press, and in doing so won the ball before picking out Grealish in space outside the Brighton box. Villa's captain took the Brazilian's pass in his stride and without a second though lashed it passed Mathew Ryan with his left foot.

Reina was later called into action to preserve a well earned point on the road as the Spaniard acrobatically palmed Maupay's scissor kick away from danger.

Here's what we learnt...

Grealish needs support

 

Being carried by a single individual's ability in a relegation scrap is a dangerous game for Villa and Dean Smith. Grealish is by far Villa's best player and such is the quality of their captain, he can give them a fighting chance of staying in the league. 

However, without a recognised forward for three games, creativity and goalscoring chances have been seriously limited. The clinical nature of Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet is too rather inadequate, so when Mbwana Samatta can join the Villa squad the better. 

The Tanzania captain has scored 74 goals in his last four seasons at KRC Genk, but as an unknown quantity, Villa may need another striker to share the load lost through Wesley's knee injury last month.

Brighton complacent

 

Villa's defensive facilities away from home are for all to see. They remain the only club to not have kept a clean sheet on the road this season, and hold the worst defensive record away from home since losing 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur on the Premier League's opening weekend.

Maupay's goals have dried up in the past month or so, and his frustrations were clear at the final whistle. He and former Brentford teammate Ezri Konsa came to blows at the game's end.

Additions needed for Villa

 

Drinkwater, Reina and soon Samatta will be the three players Villa have brought in to save the season so far.

Whilst Drinkwater's match fitness needs improving in the coming weeks, Villa still look the unfinished article. According to reports, Steven Nzonzi has caught the eye of Smith, whose side have conceded the most shots on goal at this point in a season since Reading in 2012-13.

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