By Score More
Unai Emery’s team secured their third consecutive victory, maintaining their winning streak, while Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton suffered their most significant defeat since he took charge in September of the previous year. This defeat denied Brighton the opportunity to climb to the top of the league table alongside their rivals.
Brighton had an excellent early chance to take the lead, with Billy Gilmour delivering a precise pass to Estupinan. However, Emiliano Martinez made a crucial save, denying Brighton the lead.
Unfortunately for Brighton, this missed opportunity proved costly, as Villa opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Ollie Watkins found the net from close range after a brilliant pass from John McGinn set up Matty Cash’s run down the right flank.
Villa extended their lead after 21 minutes when Watkins managed to slip the ball past Jason Steele at the near post, capitalizing on Moussa Diaby’s through-ball from the left side of the area.
Shortly thereafter, Villa came close to scoring again, but Diaby’s drilled cross from the left was cleared by a timely intervention from Steele’s boot.
The hosts continued to press forward and appeared to seal the victory after 26 minutes when Diaby’s shot deflected off Estupinan as the defender retreated toward his own goal. Steele had previously denied Diaby moments earlier.
Following a disappointing first-half performance, Brighton manager De Zerbi made a triple substitution at halftime, introducing Fati, Joao Pedro, and Tariq Lamptey.
The Albion boss’s decision quickly paid off, as Barcelona loanee Fati reduced the deficit in the 50th minute with a close-range finish. Pedro’s skill in keeping the ball in play was evident, and after a lengthy VAR review for offside, the goal was awarded.
However, Villa dashed any hopes of a Brighton comeback in the 65th minute. McGinn’s pass found Watkins on the edge of the area, and the striker’s shot deflected off Adam Webster, looping over Seagulls keeper Steele.
Brighton came close to scoring their second goal in the final 10 minutes when substitute Simon Adingra’s dipping shot was magnificently tipped over the crossbar by Martinez.
Nonetheless, Villa secured their fifth goal in the 85th minute when substitute Ramsey expertly curled the ball into the net off the right-hand post from the edge of the area, following Watkins’ pass.
To add to Brighton’s misery, Luiz rolled the ball into an empty net seven minutes into added time after Steele had denied Watkins in a one-on-one situation, completing a superb performance by Emery’s team.