Brighton and Hove Albion 0-2 Aston Villa–Match Report
Words by Ciaran Coyle
Goals from Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins give Aston Villa a much-needed three points on the road as Brighton are left frustrated at the Amex Stadium.
Cash opened the scoring with 17 minutes on the clock when Lucas Digne’s cross was headed clear by Alexis Mac Allister only as far as the Villa fullback, whose right-footed half volley found the back of Rob Sanchez’ net.
The Polish international claimed his third goal of the season, but was booked for his celebration moments later for removing his shirt to display a message of support to Poland teammate, Tomasz Kedziora, who has been stuck in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country last week.
After the game, Gerrard said that he had to take responsibility for the yellow card saying “I should’ve identified it before the game.”
“No blame towards Matty, everyone has different views on the situation but this yellow is on us, no finger pointing.”
Watkins doubled the visitor’s advantage midway through the second half as a long ball into the channel by Tyrone Mings was misjudged in the air by Joel Veltman which allowed Villa’s number 11 to have a clear run at goal and slot past Sanchez to seal the points.
The 26 year-old Englishman claimed his seventh league goal of the season to help his side move up into 12th place, level on points with Crystal Palace in 11th.
Steven Gerrard’s first league win since January 22 sees his side complete a league double over the hosts for the first time in 40 years.
Graham Potter’s men remain in tenth despite suffering a fourth defeat in their last five games in all competitions, with the Seagulls failing to score in their last three league outings.
The game kicked off 30 minutes later than scheduled with the Aston Villa team bus arriving late to the ground, due to an accident on the A23 causing delays.
Referee, John Brooks, showed nine yellow cards in total in what became a feisty encounter between two sides in desperate need of a win.
Potter said he had “no problems” with the physical nature of the game.
“Both teams were competitive, both wanted to win, both teams had lost their last games so there was a desire to win.”
The Brighton boss went on to say he felt “disappointed with the result but not as disappointed with the performance.”
Following the result, Gerrard spoke glowingly about his side’s performance.
“The most pleasing thing was how we controlled the game out of possession today. The players all bought into it. That gave us the base to win a tough match away from home.”
This result means Brighton have won just one of their last nine home Premier League games, with their last home victory coming against Brentford on Boxing Day.