Kick off was delayed by 30 minutes as Aston Villa were stuck in traffic, but Steven Gerrard’s side rolled up late and won with ease at Brighton.
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Matty Cash struck in the first half and Ollie Watkins in the second, as Brighton had plenty of the ball but barely threatened.
Four of Steven Gerrard’s six wins as Aston Villa manager have come away from home as they’ve done the double over Brighton this season.
The win moves Villa on to 30 points for the season, three points behind Brighton as both teams sit comfortably in midtable.
Brighton vs Aston Villa final score, stats
Brighton 0-2 Aston Villa
Goals scored: Cash 17′, Watkins 68′
Shots: Brighton 12, Aston Villa 9
Shots on target: Brighton 1, Aston Villa 4
Possession: Brighton 66, Aston Villa 34
Three things we learned from Brighton vs Aston Villa
1. Clinical Villa continue fine away form: They are very much an away team and Gerrard has them set up to soak up pressure and hit teams on the counter. That is how they got both of their goals with direct play out wide and getting players forward quickly. Villa have a style of play which works better when the onus isn’t on them to dictate the tempo of games.
2. Feisty midtable battle: Brighton against Aston Villa is not a game you would think of as being feisty. But it was. Nasty challenges flew in throughout and there was bad blood between these two teams in a seemingly innocuous midtable clash. That shows just how badly these teams want to finish in the top 10 this season and give themselves a platform to kick on and push for European qualification next season.
3. Seagulls running out of steam: That is now three defeats in a row for Brighton, who have failed to score in any of those losses and had just one shot on goal against Villa. Graham Potter’s side are still having a fine season but the goals have dried up and so too has their creativity. There is a lack of energy about their play and they never looked like getting in-behind Villa.
Man of the Match: John McGinn – Bossed midfield and did some incredible defensive work as well as keeping things ticking over.
Seagulls caught cold
Brighton started well and Villa couldn’t get out of their own half, but the first time they did so, they scored.
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Matty Cash drilled home a low shot from outside the box which hit the post and went in to give Villa the lead.
The Poland international then revealed a message of support for his international teammate Tomasz Kedziora, who plays for Dynamo Kyiv and is stuck in Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion.
GOALLL! Matty Cash smashes home a beauty of a low shot to give Aston Villa the lead at Brighton.
Cash, a Poland international, then lifts up his shirt and sends this message to Poland's Tomasz Kedziora, who plays for Dynamo Kyiv and is stuck there.#BHAFC 0-1 #AVFC #BHAAVL pic.twitter.com/HAPVk7OApB
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) February 26, 2022
Villa buoyed by opener
Brighton should have equalized soon after as they broke free but somehow Alexis Mac Allister blazed a great chance way over.
Then Jacob Ramsey bundled his way through the Brighton defense but Joel Veltman blocked superbly just as it looked like Villa would double their lead. Soon after John McGinn couldn’t get a shot away as Villa were flying as half time arrived.
In the second half Philippe Coutinho’s free kick was denied superbly by Robert Sanchez, while Cash then drilled a shot wide of the far post as it was all Villa.
Watkins the clincher
Watkins then sealed the win as a ball was played down the left and over the top, and the England international raced clear and slotted home to make it 2-0.
Danny Welbeck missed a great header at the back post late on as Brighton tried their best to get back in the game, with Neal Maupay denied by Emiliano Martinez, but in the end Villa sealed the win with ease.