Game | #5553 | 

Season | 2019-20 |

Matchday | #11 |
League Game | #9 |
Manager Game | #49 |
Saturday, 19 October 2019
Premier League | Home | Brighton & Hove Albion | Villa Park | 41,826 | 

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Game Summary |

Manager | Dean Smith | 

KO | 15.00 |
Referee | Andy Madley |

 HT Score | 1-1 | 

 FT Score | 2-1 | 
 FT Result | Won | 

Last 5 Games | LWDWW | 

Scorers | Jack Grealish | 45'+2 | Matt Targett | 90'+4 |

Assists | Frédéric Guilbert | 45'+2 | Jack Grealish | 90'+4 |

 League Position | 11th | +3 | 

Team News |

Villa named an unchanged 1st XI for the 3rd consecutive league game with the only change being Henri Lansbury replacing the injured Jota on the bench.

Line Up |

GK Tom Heaton |
LB Matt Targett |
 GOAL 90'+4 |
CB Björn Engels |
CB Tyrone Mings |
RB Frédéric Guilbert |
 ASSIST 45'+2 |
M Marvelous Nakamba |
M Conor Hourihane |
 BOOKED 19' | SUB OFF 63' |
M John McGinn |
M Jack Grealish | GOAL 45'+2 | ASSIST 90'+4 | 
W Anwar El Ghazi | SUB OFF 76' |
CF Wesley | SUB OFF 76' |


Substitutes |

W Trézéguet | for M Conor Hourihane | 63' | 

CF Keinan Davis | for CF Wesley | 76' |

 M Douglas Luiz | for W Anwar El Ghazi | 76' |

Unused Substitutes |

M Henri Lansbury |

GK Jed Steer |

LB Neil Taylor |

CB Ezri Konsa |

Cards |

 Yellow | Conor Hourihane | 19' | 

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.93 | 

Substitute Average Age | 22.74 | 

Oldest Player | GK Tom Heaton | 33.53 |

Oldest Outfield Player | M Conor Hourihane | 28.73 |

Youngest Player (Starter) | CF Wesley | 22.91 |

Youngest Player (Substitute) | M Douglas Luiz | 21.46 |

Not selected |

GK Ørjan Nyland |

RB Ahmed Elmohamady |

GK Lovre Kalinić |

M Jacob Ramsey |

CF Cameron Archer |


Unavailable | 

Injury | 4 |

CB James Chester | 10 Aug - Mid Oct |

CF Jonathan Kodjia | 17 Aug - Mid Oct |

W Jota | 19 Oct - Early Nov |

CB Kortney Hause | 28 Sep - Mid Oct |

Loaned Out | 6 |
GK Matija Šarkić | Livingston | 1 July 2019 - 31 May 2020 |
CM Jake Doyle-Hayes | Cheltenham Town | 1 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 
CF Rushian Hepburn-Murphy | Tranmere Rovers | 2 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 
CF Scott Hogan | Stoke City | 7 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 
RB James Bree | Luton Town | 8 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 
CF Callum O’Hare | Coventry City | 22 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 

Match Stats |

Possession F | 49
Possession A | 51 
Shots F | 24
Shots A | 19
Shots on Target F | 8
Shots on Target A | 5
Corners F | 7
Corners A | 5
Fouls F | 9
Fouls A | 17

Match Report

*BBC Sport*

*Saturday, 19 October 2019*

Matt Targett scored a dramatic winner with Aston Villa coming from behind to beat 10-man Brighton as Dean Smith celebrated his one-year anniversary in charge.


The result lifts Villa, who were mid-table in the Championship when Smith took over, up to 11th in the Premier League.

Brighton, who last won consecutive Premier League games in March, had started brightly and carved out several goalscoring opportunities before going ahead - with Adam Webster heading Pascal's Gros' free-kick into the bottom right corner from close range.


But Villa, who had a Conor Hourihane goal ruled out after VAR deemed forward Wesley had fouled Seagulls goalkeeper Mat Ryan in the build-up, levelled after Aaron Mooy was sent off for the Seagulls.


The Australia midfielder carelessly collected two yellow cards in the space of five minutes - the second for a foul on Jack Grealish - to hand Villa the initiative.


And that allowed Grealish to play a central role in Villa's comeback - as he tapped in Frederic Guilbert's cross from close range to equalise.


The midfielder then laid on Targett's late winner, his pass releasing the full-back on the left of the Brighton penalty area. Targett's shot found the bottom right corner to secure Villa's first back-to-back Premier League wins since May 2015 and leave Brighton 16th in the table.


Grealish integral as Villa rewarded for perseverance

While Dean Smith's Aston Villa side were initially outplayed and outmanoeuvred by the visitors in their first top-flight meeting for 26 years, they persevered and were also aided by the first-half dismissal of Mooy.

Mooy's departure not only deprived Brighton of one of their better performers, it also released Grealish, who had until then been largely restricted to defensive work.


Though Grealish worked diligently to track back down the left to try and stem the flow of Brighton attacks, his contributions at the other end of the pitch swung the outcome in the hosts' favour.


Driving Villa forward at every opportunity, his equalising goal, coming as he slid in Guilbert's cross at the Holte End of the ground, represented his second consecutive Premier League goal and his fourth of the season.


"It was a captain's performance," said Villa manager Dean Smith.


"For the other side of the game people don't see, Jack ran 60 yards to back dispossess players [at times]. He was integral to everything, he got the goal and provided an assist. All in all he was really good."


Though Ryan repelled two zinging efforts from the 24-year-old after the break, Grealish's influence never waned.

With Villa slowly taking control, Anwar El Ghazi wastefully blasted a right-foot shot over the bar from eight yards after following up Conor Hourihane's shot.


That appeared to have been Villa's best chance to claim all three points, until Grealish's late intervention, showing quick feet and intelligence to flick the ball between Brighton defenders for Targett's late goal.

Brighton punished for late lapse

The afternoon had started serenely for Brighton who picked up where they left off in their 3-0 win over Tottenham prior to the international break.


Initially controlling proceedings, midfield trio Dale Stephens, Aaron Mooy and Davy Propper set the tone as the Seagulls swept forward and fed Neal Maupay and Aaron Connolly at every opportunity.


And their goal, which arrived when Webster headed back across goal from Gros' right-footed delivery, was just reward for their efforts.


Only a superb Tom Heaton save from Connolly, after the forward had been sent clear on goal by Maupay, prevented a richly-deserved second goal.


Mooy's dismissal though four minutes later shifted the momentum back in favour of the hosts and allowed Grealish and John McGinn more time and space to direct Villa's attacks.


At times Brighton made light of that, with Webster, Dunk and Duffy all impressive in defence as they restricted the hosts, largely to half chances and just seven shot on target until Targett's late strike.


"In the context of the game the sending off has an impact," said Brighton boss Graham Potter, "We were the better team and in control until then."


But despite still causing the hosts problems on the counter-attack and with a point in sight, Brighton were punished for a defensive lapse with two defenders being drawn to Grealish and Targett allowed to run beyond them in the penalty area.


"It's a painful one that is for sure," Potter added. "When it happens with the last kick, it's a heart-wrenching one."


Man of the match - Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)

Jack Grealish has scored in back-to-back Premier League games (two goals) - this after having scored just once in his first 41 appearances in the competition beforehand.

*The Guardian*

*Saturday, 19 October 2019*

"Matt Targett scores late winner for Aston Villa against 10-man Brighton"

Seldom can a manager have greeted a last-gasp winning goal for his team so angrily. After Matt Targett struck in the fourth minute of stoppage time for Aston Villa, Dean Smith had an expression like thunder. He was still dismayed, he explained, by two things: his team’s all-round performance and what he considered to be the most outrageous intervention yet by VAR against Aston Villa, who had a goal contentiously disallowed for the third time this season.

“I couldn’t even celebrate at the end,” said Smith. Nearly everyone else supporting Villa went wild, as Targett’s first goal for the club secured three points from a match in which Brighton had been dominant until Aaron Mooy got himself sent off in the 35th minute.


The visitors had been leading thanks to Adam Webster, and although the excellent Jack Grealish equalised before the break, Brighton looked good value for a point until Grealish set up Targett for the decisive breakthrough. “We probably didn’t deserve to win,” said Smith.

Brighton are a team transformed under Graham Potter, nothing like the side who trudged to Premier League survival under Chris Hughton last term. For the first half hour here they attacked with such fluency they made Villa look like dunces at a Mensa meeting. Less than a minute had elapsed when Neal Maupay fired off the visitors first shot, which whizzed just wide.


Although it was not one-way traffic, Brighton’s superiority made one wonder how they had not scored in their previous three road trips. They soon put that right here, although, given their impressive movement, it felt wrong that their breakthrough came from a set piece. Pascal Gross curled over a free-kick from the left with a precision that Villa’s markers lacked, and Webster was free to guide a downward header into the far corner.


Maupay, who continually found space between midfield and attack, forced Tom Heaton into a save in the 32nd minute and then, moments later, threaded a pass through to Connolly, who would have made the score 2-0 if not for Heaton’s rapid reaction.

It took uncharacteristic clumsiness from Mooy to turn things in Villa’s favour. The midfielder was already on a yellow card when he committed himself unwisely to a tackle on Grealish, knee-sliding into his opponent’s ankle in the 32nd minute. Fresh optimism swept through Villa Park when he was ordered off.


A mighty roar went up in the 42nd minute when Conor Hourihane rammed the ball into the net from 16 yards but the goal was wiped off following a review by VAR, Wesley having been judged to have fouled the goalkeeper in the buildup. It was true that Wesley’s elbow caught Matthew Ryan as the pair jumped for the ball but contact does not necessarily equate to a foul and Smith was adamant there had been no clear and obvious reason to reverse the on-field decision.


It was the third time this season that Villa have had disallowed a goal ruled out after a review by VAR but Smith found this decision even more difficult to accept than the ones against Burnley and Crystal Palace.


“For the first time, I believe, VAR has got involved in a subjective decision,” said Smith. “I must have missed the memo where they said that’s what it is for.”


Good thing, then, that Grealish struck a legitimate equaliser moments later. Struck is a generous word, as the midfielder did not meet Frédéric Guilbert’s low cross cleanly. But he was in the right place at the time to bundle the ball into the net from close range, finishing a move he had started.

Being cut to 10 men and pegged back on the scoreboard barely dulled Brighton’s ambition. They continued to attack when they could in the second half and defended defiantly when they had to. They were on course for a point until Grealish skilfully teed up Targett for an emphatic finish.

*Sky Sports*

*Saturday, 19 October 2019*

Matt Targett stunner completes Villa comeback. Matt Targett scored a stoppage-time stunner to complete a breathless Aston Villa comeback as they beat Brighton 2-1 at Villa Park. Adam Webster's first Brighton goal handed the visitors the lead (12), but their hopes of victory took a blow when Aaron Mooy was sent off after two quickfire yellow cards (35).

Conor Hourihane's thumping effort minutes before the break was then ruled out by VAR, but Jack Grealish restored parity when he bundled home a cross from close range (45+3). Dean Smith's Villa sit 11th in the Premier League standings after the draw, with Brighton just a point clear of the relegation zone in 16th.

How resilient Villa triumphed in the end

Having entered the international break with convincing victories under their belts, both Villa and Brighton were keen to get off to an enterprising start in the Midlands, but it was the visitors who took the game by the scruff of the neck early on.

Aaron Connolly - the hero of the Seagulls' 3-0 win over Tottenham last time out - spooned over the bar after Tyrone Mings' skewed clearance, but when Pascal Gross delivered a free-kick to the far post, Webster was on hand to angle a powerful header into the back of the net.

But the visitors' momentum slowed in the final 10 minutes of the half, firstly when Mooy was dismissed for a second bookable offence and then when Hourihane arrowed a typically powerful effort beyond Mat Ryan after the stopper had fumbled a cross.

The awarding of the goal was reviewed and ruled by VAR; Wesley's aerial duel with the Australian 'keeper deemed an infringement. They did not have to wait long to get back on level terms, however, as Grealish bundled Frederic Guilbert's cross in to score his first Premier League goal at Villa Park.

Despite their disadvantage in personnel, Brighton rallied after the restart against a relatively lethargic Villa with Neal Maupay presented with a number of chances to test Tom Heaton, but their efforts proved to be in vain.

With just seconds remaining on the clock, Grealish cut the ball back to left-back Targett, who hit an unstoppable angled shot over the line to secure victory for the hosts.

Man of the match: Jack Grealish

The days when Grealish is not at the heart of everything Aston Villa do are few and far between. He managed to bundle home the deserved equaliser on the stroke of half-time and then provided the assist for Targett to score the dramatic late winner that sent Villa Park into raptures.

But, as ever, Grealish just looked at ease. His title as the most fouled player in the division saw him earn numerous set-pieces and his 63 passes throughout the 90 minutes was second only to Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "A last-minute winner is very good for the team and very good for the morale, but our performance has to be better. I'm scratching my head with some of the decisions, the goal for them, for starters.

"The referee gives a foul against Matt Targett and I can accept it, but he doesn't - he gives it against Conor Hourihane and a yellow card for what can only be described as a great tackle. We've got to defend the free-kick better but it shouldn't even come to that.

"Then we've had a goal disallowed by VAR. I've obviously missed the memo for when they got together during the international period and decided that they could now give subjective decisions and start refereeing from Stockley Park. I see nothing wrong with the goal. It takes too long and you can't even celebrate now. It's getting ridiculous and I don't think it's working, personally."