Matt Targett
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Matt Targett of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park on October 19, 2019 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Aston Villa notched a third win of the season with a dramatic late winner against Brighton & Hove Albion. A first Villa goal for Matt Targett deep into stoppage time completed the comeback after Brighton had initially taken the lead through Adam Webster’s header. But, Brighton were soon reduced to 10 men when Aaron Mooy received two very quick yellow cards. Jack Grealish scored a Premier League goal at Villa Park for the first time in his career to level the contest.

Matt Targett Winner Helps Aston Villa to Third Win of the Season

Match Details

Dean Smith’s team collected a crucial win after a sluggish first 35 minutes in which Brighton fully deserved their advantage. However, Aaron Mooy’s red card completely change the game and Villa began to push. VAR continues to frustrate Villa with yet another decision going against them. Conor Hourihane was denied back-to-back Premier League goals for an alleged foul on Brighton keeper Mathew Ryan. However, persistence eventually paid off for the improving Villains with Grealish sliding the ball into the net level the scores.

A second-half followed which lacked quality with Villa’s frustrations becoming all too clear. Villa’s movement and passing was far too slow, leaving them unable to break down Brighton’s backline. A determined Seagulls side stayed in the game and had a few half-chances to win the game but, ultimately, they suffered the heartache of a stoppage-time goal. The industrious Grealish played a sumptuous through ball for the onrushing Matt Targett, who finished brilliantly to send Villa Park crazy.

It was the first time Aston Villa have come from behind to win a Premier League game in 51 matches. Villa also crucially collected a win when playing against ten men having lost to Arsenal and drawn to West Ham United. The same struggles were evident against Brighton but their resilient attitude eventually brought them the reward.

Jack Grealish is Beginning to Blossom in the Premier League

Jack Grealish is blossoming into a quality Premier League midfield. The Villa captain single-handily dragged Villa up the pitch and his persistence eventually saw Villa take all three points.

He has already improved his Premier League stats from his previous season in 2015/16. He is maturing with every game and Dean Smith is unlocking the potential all Villa fans knew he had. Grealish glistened against Brighton under the watchful eyes of England manager Gareth Southgate. It feels as though it is only a matter of time before the Villa captain dons the three lions of England.

Aston Villa are Gearing Up for a Difficult Run of Matches

Yesterday’s success against Brighton sets them up nicely for a crucial run of matches against the Premier League’s top two and a doubleheader with Midland rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. Dean Smith will be hoping his side can cause a few surprises against the best two teams in England. Manchester City are vulnerable defensively so Villa will look to exploit that. However, they let Brighton have far too much possession in their half and if they allow City to do the same, it could be a long afternoon.

Despite this, Aston Villa will head to the Etihad Stadium full of confidence having registered back to back Premier League wins for the first time since May 2015. With the likes of Grealish and John McGinn, Villa will fancy they can cause an upset. Despite conceding a lorry load of shots, Aston Villa’s defence has been very good, led by Tyrone Mings. Bjorn Engels and Mings have formed a brilliant partnership at the back but will have to be at their ultimate best to keep Manchester City quiet.

Dean Smith’s resilient Lions face an important couple of weeks, and it could show how far they have come. The shackles should certainly come off with Villa not expected to get a result but, they do possess real quality that can upset the big boys.

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