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Aston Villa v Brighton & Hove Albion Live Commentary, 20/11/21

FT
2 - 0
AVL
BHA
O. Watkins (84)
T. Mings (89)
Villa Park

Commentary

That's all from us, we'll see you for the next Premier League fixture. For now though, it's goodbye.
A first win in six sees Villa rise on place to 15th in the table, but that's a massive lift of pressure off the shoulders of Steven Gerrard and his players. Brighton drop to eighth, and should they remain unable to convert scoring chances like they were in this match, then they're destined to slip further as the season hots up.
Watkins and Mings will deservedly grab the headlines for their goals, but the work of Matt Targett in that game cannot be understated. Three key passes, as well as leading the way in terms of good crosses, tackles and touches, meant that the reliable Villa left-back was able to play a key role in creating opportunities for his side, and did very well to handle Tariq Lamptey down the right for Brighton.
Well, how about that for an end to the game? Nip and tuck for the vast majority of the first 80 minutes, the game exploded into life as Watkins fired in the opener for Villa! If that wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back for Brighton, then the quick-fire second from Mings, coming only five minutes later, certainly was!!! Brighton will be disappointed that they didn't capitalise on the chances they created in the earlier periods of the game, but Villa will be delighted with a first win in six games, as the Gerrard era gets underway with three points!
FULL-TIME: ASTON VILLA 2-0 BRIGHTON.
M. Cash
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
90' + 4' Cash scythes down March and is booked, in what will likely be the last action of this match.
90' + 4' SAVED!!!! A Targett ball forward from deep is met spectacularly by Bailey, who's first-time volley across goal is well saved by the diving Steele! That would've been a brilliant third goal in just ten minutes at the end of this game!
E. Konsa
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
90' + 3' Konsa is also booked for his part in the argument, but Villa won't care as they close in on three all-important points.
A. Mac Allister
Yellow Card
Brighton & Hove Albion
90' + 3' Mac Allister cuts inside and has two shots blocked, but on the second his shooting leg follows through and hits Young in the knee. He's booked for the incident, and it's clear to tell how frustrated Brighton are with how this game has turned against them.
90' + 1' We're into four minutes of injury time, as Villa are now in total control of this game.
T. Mings
Goal
Aston Villa
89' GOOOALLLL!!!! IT'S TWOOOOO!!!!!! Utter chaos in the Brighton box at the corner sees a McGinn cross back in from the byline dealt with by Webster. His sideward clearance only falls to Mings though, who smashes a fantastic first-time finish into the top corner to double Villa's lead and seal the three points here!!! What a finish to this game!!!
A. Mac Allister
P. Groß
Brighton & Hove Albion
88' Groß has impressed for Brighton, but Alexis Mac Allister's on in his place for the last few minutes of this match.
88' Targett crosses for the incoming Bailey, and Dunk gets all tangled up trying to deal with the threat and concedes a corner!
86' He's been involved in a team-high 19 duels in this game, Watkins, and that run for the goal saw him beat two players at once to potentially get the winner for his side!
A. Young
Assist
Aston Villa
84' Young gets the assist, but that goal was all about the skill of Ollie Watkins. Villa have threatened on the break all game, and they finally get their reward with one hell of a goal here!!!
O. Watkins
Goal
Aston Villa
84' GOOOOOOOOAALLLLLLLL!!!!!!!! WHAT. A. FINISH!!!!!!!!!!! Villa fly forward on the break once again, and Young finds Watkins on the run. He cuts inside Duffy, and Bissouma, and unleashes a firecracker of a shot right into the top corner!!!! What a goal, and potentially what a start to Steven Gerrard's tenure in charge at Villa Park!!!!
A. El Ghazi
J. Ramsey
Aston Villa
84' Ramsey is the next to be withdrawn by Steven Gerrard, and Anwar El Ghazi come on for him.
83' The jeers begin to ring out at Villa Park as the home side look nothing like scoring, and new boss Steven Gerrard won't have much to be encouraged about on his side's showing thus far.
81' Villa come forward on the break through Watkins and Bailey, but the latter's ball for the oncoming Young is far too heavy and ends up in the arms of Steele.
N. Maupay
T. Lamptey
Brighton & Hove Albion
79' Lamptey is the next to come off for Brighton, and Neal Maupay comes on in a clear showing of attacking intent from Graham Potter.
78' Steele spills a Bailey cross and is left exposed, but McGinn takes too long to shoot and is ultimately dispossessed and the home side again see an attack come to nothing!
77' Young slips a throughball on for Ramsey to chase, and upon collecting the ball he is scythed down by Bissouma, who somehow avoids a booking.
76' Targett crosses from the left, towards Watkins in the box, but he's beaten to the ball by Duffy! It falls to Cash, but once again Brighton snuff out the opportunity and clear!! Unless it's been from set-pieces, Brighton's back-three has looked impenetrable so far in this match.
A. Young
E. Buendía
Aston Villa
74' Buendia's been frustrated by his attacking performance in this game, and Ashley Young comes on in his place.
72' After the half started at the more frantic pace we saw towards the end of the first period, the game has slowed right down once again. Neither side seems confident enough to try and win this game, but here's hoping that they can find a goal from somewhere!
70' Despite completing only one of his eight crosses so far, it's been a more successful passing display from Gross in the final third for Brighton. He's had one whot blocked off the line, and has completed a game-high two key passes.
68' The free-kick is cleared as far as Cash, who links up with Bailey down the right. The substitute's throughball for Cash is well weighted, but he can't control the pass and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
A. Webster
Yellow Card
Brighton & Hove Albion
67' Webster's the next to be booked, this time for a late foul on Targett in quite a dangerous position for Brighton.
L. Bailey
D. Ings
Aston Villa
66' Ings comes off for Villa, and Leon Bailey replaces him on the left wing.
65' Cash races onto a long ball forward, getting around March, and he goes down in the box under pressure from the substitute!!! No penalty given though, and Villa Park erupts in protest!!!
S. March
Cucurella
Brighton & Hove Albion
64' Cucurella's been busy all game down the left for Brighton, and he's replaced by Solly March.
63' Gross picks out Trossard with an inch-perfect low cross, but the Belgian's shot on the turn is deflected by Mings and the chance dissipates.
62' Watkins leads a break forward for Villa, but takes too long to pass to the waiting Ramsey and Bissouma dispossesses him, quashing the opportunity.
61' A Brighton attacking free-kick breaks down and Villa look to counter, but there's blue and white shirts everywhere in a flash as at least six Seagulls players get back in the blink of an eye. It's that hard-working attitude that has Graham Potter's side as high as they are in the table.
M. Nakamba
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
59' Nakamba shoves Lamptey over and catches the Brighton man on the way down, and the not-so-marvelous challenge sees the Villa midfielder put into the book.
58' Webster very nearly squeezes through a fantastic throughball for Gross to latch onto, but the German midfielder can't quite control the ball, whihc goes out for a goal kick.
56' It's been a busy match for Mings so far for Villa, who not only has completed a team-high six clearances and five tackles respectively, but also leads the way for Villa's shooting stats, with two on target.
54' Targett's long ball forward sees Steele and Webster caught in a mix-up for the ball. With Watkins bearing down on him, Steele punches the ball away for a throw and is subsequently clattered by the Villa striker.
52' Lamptey, Gross and Bissouma all link up down the right to create a crossing opportunity for Brighton, and the former finally gets around Targett. The Villa left-back overstretches himself deflecting the ball behind for a corner, and is down injured.
50' Cash gets around the outside of Duffy after great work from Buendia, but Lallana is back to cut out the Villa full-back's cross and the away side clear once more.
Cucurella
Yellow Card
Brighton & Hove Albion
49' Buendia cuts inside looking to create an opportunity, before he's tugged from behind and brought down by Cucurella. The Spanish wing-back receives the game's first booking as a result.
47' CHANCE!!! A free-kick into the box meets the head of Mings, whose header across goal forces a diving save from Steele to keep it out, and the ball is cleared!!! Better already from Villa in the second half!
46' And we're back underway for the second half of this game, as Trossard gets Brighton going again!
1' GOOOALLLL!!!! IT'S TWOOOOO!!!!!! Utter chaos in the Brighton box at the corner sees a McGinn cross back in from the byline dealt with by Webster. His sideward clearance only falls to Mings though, who smashes a fantastic first-time finish into the top corner to double Villa's lead and seal the three points here!!! What a finish to this game!!!
1' GOOOOOOOOAALLLLLLLL!!!!!!!! WHAT. A. FINISH!!!!!!!!!!! Villa fly forward on the break once again, and Young finds Watkins on the run. He cuts inside Duffy, and Bissouma, and unleashes a firecracker of a shot right into the top corner!!!! What a goal, and potentially what a start to Steven Gerrard's tenure in charge at Villa Park!!!!
It's almost time for the second half, and both sets of fansd will be hoping for an up-tick in the quality of this match!
It's been a mixed half for Brighton's Webster so far, who has made a team-high 20 passes into the Villa half. But, despite having been involved in a team-high 13 duels, eight of which were in the air, he's also lost the ball 15 times, more than any other player on the pitch.
A slow-burner that only really got going towards the last 15 minutes, that first half wasn't a memorable one to say the least. Villa have offered virtually nothing, other than a close-range header from Cash, but Brighton grew into the game and finished stronger, with several attempts on goal that could have seen the scoreline change at least once. For now though, there's still everything to play for in the second half.
45' + 2' HALF-TIME: ASTON VILLA 0-0 BRIGHTON.
45' + 1' SAVED!!!! Moder nips in behind cash and crosses into the box. After being deflected off Trossard, Lamptey arrives late at the back post to shoot and the goalbound shoot meets the outstretched arm of Martinez!!! There's a further scramble in the box as the ball is eventually cleared from Gross's rebound, but that's by far the best save of the game so far!
45' We'll play two more minutes of stoppage time at the end of this first half.
43' Villa break once again as Cash finds Buendia. He looks to get around Bissouma, but the Brighton midfielder backs the Villa forward into a corner and forces a loose pass which allows the Seagulls to re-gain possession.
41' McGinn's floating cross picks out Targett on the run, and he ghosts in behind Brighton's defenders to latch onto the ball. It's a difficult one to take, though, and he can't control the ball as it flies over for a goal kick.
39' Cash's cross from the right is cleared by Dunk, and Cucurella, under pressure from the Villa right-back, can't prevent the ball going out for a throw-in in a dangerous position.
38' Villa spring forward on the counter once more, but McGinn's ball, looking to pick out Buendia, is woeful and flies straight over the heads of both Buendia and Cucurella for a Brighton throw-in.
36' Bissouma is dispossessed in a dangerous position by Nakamba, but gets back to win the ball from Watkins as the Villa striker shaped to shoot. Cries for a foul ring out across Villa Park, but the referee isn't convinced and the Brighton midfielder plays on.
35' A Brighton corner is headed away, but Trossard is laying in wait and looks to carve open a shooting opportunity. He can't get past Buendia though, who sends Ings away on the counter attack.
33' Trossard came close there, and he's looking to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time. The Belgian has already netted as many away league goals this season, two, as he did in his first two Brighton campaigns put together.
31' BLOCKED!!!!! It's a frenzy in the Villa box as Cucurella's low cross finds Moder. His shot's deflected out to Trossard, and his half-volley is saved by Martinez before Mings clears!!! After half an hour, Brighton are finally starting to hit their straps!!!
30' A loose ball opens up a wonderful opportunity for Moder to shoot, but he instead looks to find Cucurella, who is crowded out by the Villa defence!! Moder could've easily shot there, and tested Martinez for the first time in this match!
29' CLOSE!!! Ings latches onto a throughball from Ramsey, but Steele's already racing out of his goal to gather the ball before the Villa striker can set himself for a shot.
28' Webster's taken another knock and is receiving treatment. As if this game needed slowing down anymore, he is strapped up to continue but still needs to go off to be assessed further!
26' A Villa corner finds Mings, whose header from range is headed clear as far as McGinn. His attempt though, is even weaker and the ball is but out for a throw-in by Dunk.
25' Duffy's simple ball to Webster is abysmal and misses him altogether, rolling slowly out for a throw-in well inside Brighton's half.
23' It's risky play from Villa as Mings floats a ball across his own box to Konsa, but his centre-back partner shows the composure to evade the incoming pressure of Trossard.
21' Better from Brighton as every member of their midfield links up to feed an unmarked Cucurella down the left. He whips in a cross that flashes across the face of goal, but there's no one to be seen as it rolls behind for a goal kick.
20' Lamptey and Mings engage in a foot-race to latch onto a long ball forward, but from the resultant throw-in, Webster hits an awful cross that flies behind the goal and doesn't threaten whatsoever.
18' Brighton haven’t won in six Premier League games, although five of these have been draws. Away from home, however, the Seagulls are, along with Chelsea and West Ham United, one of three teams still unbeaten in this season’s Premier League.
16' It's a cagey affair so far, and neither side have really threatened much in front of goal. The scrappy battle in midfield has been the key aspect of this game in the first quater of an hour.
14' Another loss in this match would make it six on the bounce for Villa in the Premier League, their longest losing run since a streak of 11 in the 2015-16 campaign. 
12' SAVED!!!! A first real chance of the game as Targett's byline cross flies over the box. It's Cash arriving at the far post, whose downward header forces Steele into a good save from close range!
11' Steven Gerrard’s managerial bow marks the beginning of his stint as the 13th different manager of Aston Villa in the Premier League era. A win for the ex-Rangers boss in this match will make him only the third of those 13 managers to get a debut victory.
9' Villa's first corner, from the boot of Targett, quickly fizzles out, but McGinn does very well to recover and cross back into the box, forcing another set-piece from the corner flag.
7' On closer inspection, it's just a coming together between Webster and Konsa from the original corner, and play continues.
6' From a Brighton corner, Moder's cross is deflected away but Webster is down in the box, and it's looking like a controversially-caused injury.
5' Brighton have only won one of their last 12 matches against Villa in all competitions, losing six. But, that victory did come last season, in a 2-1 away win last season in the Premier League, their first ever away win over Villa.
3' Ings capitalises on a loose ball and drives forward. He looks to tee up Watkins, but Lamptey's raced back to cover for the away side and dispossesses the Villa striker.
2' Watkins floats a great cross-field ball Cash's way, but McGinn's cross from the inside ball is well dealt with by Webster. Villa come forward again, but the eventual ball to Buendia is wayward and goes out for a goal kick.
1' Ings kicks off for Villa, and their new era starts now!
Villa Park welcomes Steven Gerrard and his players with one hell of a roar, and the two teams take to the field ahead of kick-off!
The notable absentee for Brighton is their Spanish international goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who is suspended after his red card in the Seagulls’ last match against Newcastle. In his place comes Jason Steele, who, after being at Brighton since 2018, finaly makes his Premier League debut for the away side.
Top-scorer Danny Ings returns for the home side, and flanks central striker Ollie Watkins from the left as Steven Gerrard’s Villa side hope to get their first Premier League win in six games.
BRIGHTON SUBS: Kjell Scherpen, Neal Maupay, Alexis Mac Allister, Solly March, Jurgen Locadia, Taylor Richards, Dan Burn, Joel Veltman, Jeremy Sarmiento.
BRIGHTON (3-5-2): Jason Steele; Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy; Tariq Lamptey, Pascal Gross, Yves Bissouma, Adam Lallana, Marc Cucurella; Jakub Moder, Leandro Trossard.
ASTON VILLA SUBS: Jed Steer, Morgan Sanson, Axel Tuanzebe, Ashley Young, Anwar El Ghazi, Kortney Hause, Leon Bailey, Carney Chukwuemeka, Keanan Davis.
ASTON VILLA (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Matt Targett; John McGinn, Marvelous Nakamba, Jacob Ramsey; Emiliano Buendia, Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings.
For all the talk surrounding Villa though, it’s visitors Brighton who are sitting pretty in seventh, and a win today could see them rise as high as fifth, whilst other results could simultaneously dump the home side into the relegation zone.
It’s the day of Steven Gerrard’s Premier League debut, in the dugout at least, as the newly-appointed Aston Villa manager takes charge of the side for the first time, after leaving Scottish champions Rangers.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this Premier League fixture, between Aston Villa and Brighton at Villa Park.