Aston Villa left it late to beat Brighton 2-1 on Saturday with Matt Targett grabbing the three points for his side in dramatic fashion.
Dean Smith’s side were 1-0 down and being outplayed for most of the first half, but Aaron Mooy’s sending off near the break changed the game.
Before the referee could blow for the half-time whistle, Conor Hourihane had a goal disallowed by VAR before Jack Grealish levelled up for his team.
Matt Targett then nabbed a winner right at the death to the delight of the home supporters, as Villa have now made it two wins on the bounce in the Premier League.
Here we take a look at three things we learned from Villa’s dramatic win against Brighton:
England calling for Grealish
This was arguably the best Grealish has played and if it wasn’t for him then Villa might have ended the game empty-handed. For a number of games now, he has been playing on the left-hand side, and that change in tactic has done him the world of good.
He is having more of an impact in the final third, as his goal and beautifully weighted pass for Targett’s goal showcased the talent he has in his locker. England manager Gareth Southgate was in the stands and he would have no doubt enjoyed Grealish’s performance. England’s final set of games for the year will be played next month and a senior international call might be in the offing for Villa’s captain.
Villa can play against 10 men
As mentioned above, Brighton were down to 10 men just before the break when Mooy was given an early bath for two yellows – first for descent and then for a very rash foul on Grealish at the edge of the area. Villa should be used to playing with 10 men this season given that they did that against West Ham and Arsenal. The only problem is they only picked up one point from those games and put on abject showings when they had the extra man for those matches.
But against Brighton, they showed that they can make that extra man count as they walked away with all three points, and if it wasn’t for VAR’s controversial disallowed goal then they might have won in a more comfortable fashion. It’s a positive sign from Smith’s perspective because it shows that his players are learning.
Wesley still needs time
It was another questionable performance from Wesley, who was taken off by Smith in the second-half for Keinan Davis when the scores were level. For the second home game running, he has struggled to have any impact on the game as Brighton defender Lewis Dunk kept him at bay this time around.
Wesley has scored four goals this season, and if he is in a situation where he is going to have on an off performances, it helps that he does it with some goals to his name and when his team are winning. He simply needs time to add consistency to his game because if he nets four in nine when he’s nowhere near his best then imagine what he’ll do when he is producing the goods.