Solly March

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Grealish leads Villa past 10-man Brighton

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Jack Grealish‘s star turn helped Aston Villa take advantage of 10-man Brighton and Hove Albion in a 2-1 comeback win at Villa Park on Saturday.

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Adam Webster‘s early goal gave Brighton a lead but Aaron Mooy‘s twin first half yellow cards put them under the knife.

Aston Villa moves 11th with 11 points. Brighton’s nine points seat them 16th.


Three things we learned

1. Touchy red helps undo Brighton:¬†Aaron Mooy’s first yellow card was silly, so he know there was a need to play careful the rest of the way. He didn’t, and a soft yellow doomed the Seagulls to more than a half without the full complement of players.

2. Villa finally catching breaks: Dean Smith‘s men have had their fair share of bad luck come from good performances, so it was nice for them to follow up a blowout defeat of Norwich City with a little nudge from the Seagulls. Matty Targett’s winner came after plenty of time playing 11v10, and Villa’s standing of 11th now reflects its performances.

3. Grealish a monster: A sliding finish to make it 1-0 and clever feed to Targett for the winner. The Peaky Blinders’ haired man turned in a performance worthy of a BAFTA, with five dribbles and plenty of good moments in keeping possession moving for the victors.

Man of the Match:


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Brighton was knocking on the door early, but you’d be forgiven if you failed to predict the man to break it down.

Promising center back Webster’s stock continues to rise as he did to nod Pascal Gross‘ free kick into the goal.

A silly first yellow card for Mooy’s blocking of a free kick became egregious when he was shown another for knocking down Grealish, who would then score a sliding goal — they all count — to bring Villa level before halftime.

Solly March saw a shot through traffic go wide in the 51st as the Seagulls worked to overcome their disadvantage.

But Villa got the win through Targett at the death, a deserved-enough win although Brighton will feel hard done by.

Premier League preview: Chelsea v. Brighton

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  • Chelsea have won all eight meetings with Brighton and Hove Albion¬†
  • Frank Lampard has yet to win a league match at Stamford¬†Bridge¬†this¬†season
  • Chelsea have eight points after six¬†matchweeks, lowest in the last 18¬†campaigns¬†

Following a formidable victory against Grimsby Town midweek, Frank Lampard looks for his first league win at Stamford Bridge at the helm of Chelsea, who host struggling Brighton and Hove Albion at 10:00 p.m. ET live on NBCS or live online at NBCSports.com.

Lampard’s return to Chelsea has been far from ideal. The Blues, who picked up their first win of the campaign at home in cup play midweek, are suffering their slowest start in the last 18 years. A league win, however, has yet to experienced under the legendary midfielder. The worry only worsens as the matchweeks go by, and Chelsea – currently 11th with eight points – dips further down the table. However, in theory, there is a sense of hope coming their way: Brighton.

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Depleted with a myriad of injuries, Graham Potter‘s side are desperately looking for ways out of their own hole. The Seagulls are winless since their dazzling 3-0 win against Watford, losing points in five consecutive matches. With a cloudy offense and shaky defensive posture, Brighton, now more than ever, are looking for any positives. A match against a reenergized Chelsea away from Falmer Stadium, though, might not be the ideal scenario for happy times for Potter and Co.

Injuries/suspensions

Chelsea:¬†OUT ‚Äď Emerson (thigh), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (achilles), Antonio R√ľdiger (groin);¬†QUESTIONABLE –¬†Andreas Christensen (knee), Olivier Giroud (ill)

Brighton:¬†OUT ‚Äď Leandro¬†Trossard (groin), Ezequiel Schelotto (knee), Leon Balogun (match fitness), Shane Duffy (calf), Solly March (thigh), Jose Izquierdo (knee);QUESTIONABLE –¬† Neal¬†Maupay (knee)


Projected lineups

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Alonso, Tamori, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Kovacic, Jorginho, Kante; Mount, Abraham, Willian.

Brighton: Ryan; Burn, Dunk, Webster; Alzate, Pröpper, Stephens, Montoya; Mooy, Maupay, Gross.


What they’re saying

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard on¬†getting first league win at home: “The fact we haven’t won at home [in the league] is something we want to correct. We need a similar performance to Liverpool. If we get that level then I expect we can do okay. We have had a run of home games, but we have to respect Brighton.”

Brighton’s Potter on turning their season around: “We are creating chances and are about where I expect us to be after six [Premier League] matches.¬†But you get what you get and there is no point in feeling sorry for yourself. I am confident with the quality we have that it will turn around.”


Prediction

Slowly but surely, Chelsea are morphing into the team most expected them to be under Lampard – energetic and reliable. The supporters made that clear following their 2-1 loss at the hands of Liverpool in their last league match. Midweek, the 7-1 routing of Grimsby Town justified this. With Brighton in the pits due to a lack of answers, the Blues will hit the ground running and not look back. 4-0, Chelsea.

Burnley steals point from Brighton at death

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Neal Maupay‘s early second half goal looked enough to score Brighton and Hove Albion a win over sleepy Burnley on Saturday at the Amex Stadium, but Jeff Hendrick had other ideas.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The 27-year-old Irishman was making his 100th Burnley appearance and scored in stoppage time to let the Clarets snare a point despite being out-classed on the day in a 1-1 draw.

Brighton and Burnley now both have five points, with the Clarets sitting two places higher in 12th.


Three things we learned

  1. Maupay delivers — The 23-year-old Frenchman’s chances of success in the Premier League look better by the day, and Maupay’s second top flight goal gave Graham Potter‘s men a 51st minute lead.
  2. Potter’s passers — At the hour mark, the Seagulls had 62 percent possession, and were passing at 79 percent compared to Burnley’s 63. No surprise they led 1-0.
  3. Clarets are never dead — Chris Wood came close to getting a point out of nothing, as Sean Dyche‘s men again proved they can look out-of-it all day only to produce a gilt-edged chance. They produced another late, as 50-times capped Republic of Ireland midfielder Hendrick delivered the goods.

Man of the Match: Solly March — The good-crossing wide man delivered again.


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Burnley started the match well, but the second stanza was all about the Seagulls finding a way past Nick Pope.

Maupay nearly scored at the start of the second half, with Pope saving for a corner, and later got on the board for the first time since Opening Day at Watford.

Solly March loves a good cross, and his pass to Maupay at the penalty spot provided a deserved opener.

Credit Pope for keeping Burnley in the match, and Wood probably should’ve had it 1-1 with a redirect and a surprising point for the Clarets. The ex-Brighton striker hit his effort wide of the goal.

Republic of Ireland youth Aaron Connolly, 19, came on late for Maupay to make his Premier League debut.

A fellow Irishman stole his thunder, though, as 50-times capped Hendrick scored on Burnley’s first shot on target.

Brighton shines on three-star Opening Day at Watford

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The Graham Potter era at Brighton and Hove Albion is off to a flier, as the Seagulls dispatched Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

An Abdoulaye Doucoure own goal started the scoring for Brighton, with Florin Andone and Neal Maupay scoring second-half markers in the win.


Three things we learned

1. Graham Potter has the same initials as Pep Guardiola and is the next tactical wizard of world football (Obviously we’re kidding, but Brighton scored 35 goals last season. They’re at three after Opening Day).

[ MORE: Potter, Maupay react to win ]

2. Watford had less than half of the possession despite their status as hosts, and would’ve felt it wasn’t their day from the moment star of last season Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a nutmegging own goal.

3. Brighton record signing Neal Maupay made a strong first impression. The ex-Brentford man will be one to watch as finds comfort in his new digs.

Man of the Match: Lewis Dunk –¬†Despite a late yellow card, the captain and interventionist was spectacular at the back


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The opening goal was a cluster of problems for Watford, who couldn’t get muster on a clearing attempt before Doucoure flicked the ball through his keeper’s legs for a 1-0 setback at the half-hour mark.

Solly March is a lucky man. The Seagulls’ playmaker gave away the ball early in the second half but Lewis Dunk made a saving block on Andre Gray‘s rip.

Andone then banged in a Davy Propper cross to put the Hornets in further trouble.

Maupay zipped onto a through ball to finish Brighton’s scoring, an excellent exclamation point for the start of a new era.

Arsenal’s top-four dreams crushed in Brighton draw (video)

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  • Arsenal 3 points back of Spurs with inferior GD
  • Aubameyang scores 20th PL goal this season (9′)
  • Murray nets career goal 200 to draw level (61′)

Arsenal, much like Manchester United before them, couldn’t hold onto an early lead and ultimately dealt their own top-four dreams a fatal blow by drawing a bottom-four side on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

1-0 up on 17th-place Brighton & Hove Albion after nine minutes, Unai Emery‘s Gunners failed to put the game away with a second goal and let the Seagulls back into the game. As such, Arsenal (67 points) trail fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur by three points with just one game left to play. The problem for Arsenal: their goal differential (+20) is eight goals worse than that of Tottenham.

For all intents and purposes, they’re set for another season in the Europa League, unless the can win Europe’s “other” competition later this month.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan went inches from firing the Gunners into the lead after 73 seconds, but the Armenian’s shot from the edge of the penalty area smashed the front side of the post and squirted across the face of goal in agonizing fashion.

It didn’t take much longer for Arsenal to jump out in front, though. Nacho Monreal was tripped inside Brighton’s 18-yard box, which sent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the penalty spot where he bagged his 20th PL goal of the season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Shkodran Mustafi very nearly made it 2-0 with a diving header in the 36th minute, but Mathew Ryan leapt into action, and across his goal, to make a spectacular save at a full-stretch. Ryan made an even better stop to deny Aubameyang two minutes later. A cross came in front the left side and found Aubameyang near the penalty spot. He swept his left foot through the ball and sent it toward Ryan’s right-hand post, but the goalkeeper sprang to life once again and pushed the ball just around the post.

Brighton drew level hugely against the run of play. Granit Xhaka needlessly dragged down Solly March who had made a dangerous, but containable, run inside the box. Glenn Murray stepped up and converted to reach the 200-goal mark in his 15-year professional career.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Arsenal’s best chance to win it saw Aubameyang smash the ball just inches wide of the post in the 74th minute. With much of the left side of the goal at his mercy, the Gabonese goalscorer couldn’t keep the ball on frame when he leapt into the air struck a volley with great power.

Brighton had two chances to steal all three points in the 84th minute, but March’s header was saved by Bernd Leno at point-blank range, then Pascal Gross wasn’t able to put his follow-up effort on target. The near post was wide open and required just a bit of composure to touch the ball home.

Arsenal will visit Burnley on the final day of the season, next Sunday, while Spurs will host Everton.