Brighton 1-2 Aston Villa: Premier League – as it happened

But we don’t! Villa win and rise from 15th to 12th! What a start they’ve made under Emery; Brighton stay seventh.

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Villa maintain pressure and, in a role-reversal of Brighton’s opener, Luiz robs Mac Allister high, the ball squirts out to Ings who sends Dunk off to the beach, twisting away from him as he slides in, then with Sanchez expecting a far-post finish, snaps gently through Colwill’s legs and a deflection takes it inside the near!

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That was a splendid half of Premier League FootballTM, Brighton taking the lead in the first minute and Villa doing really well to fight their way back into it.

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Ings goes middle-left and Sanchez dives left-left, thrusting up a hand … but one that can only prang ball into net! This is shaping up!

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We could see Villa were coming and here they are! Buendia slides a fine pass in behind for the onrushing McGinn and though he’s running away from goal, Dunk panics, sliding in ad taking none of the ball but plenty of the man! That’s your 4-2-2-2s of this world for you, and here comes Ings….

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And it’s cost them a goal inside a minute! They got into all sorts playing out from the back in midweek, mainly the fault of Robin Olsen, but this time Martinez plays through the middle to Luiz, putting him under pressure, Mac Allister marches through him with a the kind of tackle of which he’d have approved himself, then does the keeper with the eyes, sweeping into the far corner!

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Brighton 1-0 Aston Villa (Mac Allister 1)”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Sun 13 Nov 2022 11.29 EST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Sun 13 Nov 2022 08.00 EST”},{“id”:”6370eaf98f08416f7753ef76″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Brighton & Hove Albion (a flexible 4-2-3-1): Sanchez; Gross, Colwill, Dunk, Estupinan; Caicedo, Mac Allister’; March, Lallana, Welbeck, Trossard. Subs: Steele, Lamptey, Enciso, Undav, Gilmour, Veltman, Turns, Van-Hecke, Ferguson.


Aston Villa (a curious 4-2-2-2): Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Luiz, Kamara; Ramsey, McGinn; Buendia, Ings. Subs: Olsen, Sanson, Chambers, Augustinsson, Young, Bednarek, Dendoncker, Bailey, Archer.


Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Ashton-Under-Lyne)

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There’ve never been as many brilliant footballers in the world as there are now, so it therefore follows that there’ve never been as many brilliant footballers in England’s top division as there are now. Factor into that the Premier League’s financial dominance, and what, at first glance, makes no sense, actually makes perfect sense: a game between Brighton, seventh in the table, and Aston Villa, 15th in the table, should be an absolute belter.


Brighton are a perfect example of what can be achieved with the simple, judicious application of a billionaire’s wealth. They appoint quality staff throughout the club to milk whatever advantages there are to be found, then buy low and sell high – easy, right? Well actually not – earning that kind of money is extremely difficult. But more seriously, it’s also extremely difficult to pick the right manager just as it is to coach well, scout well and plan well.


And they come into this game in decent nick, a mix of first and second-choices having binned Arsenal from the Littlewoods in midweek, to back up the wins over Wolves and Chelsea which preceded it. Which is to say that Roberto di Zerbi – another ideal managerial appointment – has settled beautifully. His players understand the fast, attacking football he demands, and are doing it very well indeed.


Villa are a slightly different affair. They too have the benefit of a billionaire owner – football is the winner! – but the deployment of those funds has been more haphazard. Until now. Though there’s something not quite right about a manager leaving a club he led to the Europa League and Champions League semi-finals for one in the bottom half of the Prem, Unai Emery is a fine manager who is already showing the ability to fashion a team from the collection of excellent individuals assembled by Dean Smith and Steven Gerrard.


Most particularly – and where he differs from predecessors who kept fiddling – he has the confidence and patience to pick a formation, coach the players to play it, and stick with them. In last weekend, 3-1 win over Manchester United, his side were electric in the first quarter, their opponent’s failings cannily identified then mercilessly assaulted, and though a near-second XI were beaten in midweek, there was still plenty to like about Villa’s enterprise in attack.


So, stick with me, because this should be a lot of fun.


Kick-off: 2pm GMT

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Key events

Which means we’re done here. Thanks for your company and comments – enjoy the rest of the weekend and see you for the World Cup!

Aha, here’s Sam Dalling’s match report.

I guess one advantage of Villa’s formation is that they’re unlikely to be outnumbered in central areas. It’s one thing to offer a team the flanks, but quite another for that team to get the ball to them, then back into central areas in order to make and taker a goalscoring opportunity.

Also for your pleasure:

With Brighton, it seems like to score, they have to do too many things perfectly too much of the time. And that’s not just because they don’t have the money to buy Robert Lewandowski, or whoever – it’s a facility of their style, which is based on intricate passing. Perhaps they need to tweak things so they’ve a bit more edge and speed out wide, wingers who play more in the style of Caicedo and Mac Allister – and they also need to get Tariq Lamptey into the starting XI, as one of them if necessary.

The thing about Villa is how many options they have. That means that Emery will be able to pick particular players for particular opponents – for so accomplished a tactician, that’s very helpful – and also that, when things aren’t going well, he’ll be able to change games from the bench. The more I think about it, the more he’s an ideal fit for the job.

Also for your delectation:

We have, of course, got more football for you this afternoon, and it should be another decent game. Join Alex Hess here:

That is, by the way, Villa’s first away league win of the season. The way the players celebrated at the end showed how much it meant to them, and they’ll be gutted that their momentum stops here.

“Parts of the edge of the box are closer to the penalty spot than 10 yards,” emails Like Nicholas, “hence the D on that part of the box. It’s simple geometry really.”

Ha, yes – I’ve grasped the radius of a circle aspect, I’m just wondering what difference it makes when no player can enter the box until the ball’s been struck (in theory).

“I look forward to seeing Danny Ings lift the Europa League trophy,” emails Blair Enns. “He deserves it.”

That was, as expected, a proper quantity of fun. Villa are going to get better quickly, while Brighton’s search for a goalscorer … goes on.

Full-time: Brighton 1-2 Aston Villa

But we don’t! Villa win and rise from 15th to 12th! What a start they’ve made under Emery; Brighton stay seventh.

90+8 min Matinez and Dunk go brow-to-brow and Martinez is booked; there’s now a pleasing tetch suffusing every second, and I’d not be shocked to see scuffles at full-time. We should also get more than eight minutes added time.

90+7 min McGinn is now down with cramp, which alters me to the shortness of his shorts. An old-skool footballer in the truest sense – I bet Barry Bannan wears them too.

96 min Young’s done well since coming on – that was a smart change from Emery – and after Gross and Trossard exchange passes, he zooms back to get in a telling tackle.

90+5 min You get the feeling Brighton know they’re not going to score. McGinn wins a free-kick halfway inside their half on the left, manages to delay its taking by shouting about who knows what, and there goes another minute.

90+4 min “Six-yard box,” beigs colin Young. “I think that’s for where the goalie can take a goal kick from? The D is to make sure players don’t encroach on penalties, closer than 10 yards.”

Aha, I did not know that. But I don’t know if i get the penalty aspect, as they can’t do anything until the ball is kicked, or is that with rebounds in mind?

90+2 min “Kavanagh really does have his very own way of interpreting the rules,” emails Peter Littley. A” picture of inconsistency, Mings gets one yellow after two identical tackles, penalty given for dragging a leg into a defenders leg then no penalty for a defender missing his tackle and the ball but taking out the forward. Yellow card for the same time-wasting that has been going on for the entire game. Is it only time-wasting after a certain point in a game? No wonder Premier League referee’s aren’t regarded as top quality.”

It’s not just the refs, I don’t think – the laws are poorly drafted, and the game is very fast. But what baffles me is the time-keeping, as I keep saying, and the calls made when we can clearly see evidence to the contrary.

90+1 min Brighton have won loads of corners and here comes another, from the right … which Cash, who’s played well today, stoops to head clear.

90 min I take it back – we will apparently, have eight minutes of injury-time. Good.

88 min Lamptey has added some zip to Brighton – I’m not certain why he didn’t start – and after he wins a corner that’a only partial cleared, Gross whips in a terrific cross and Colwill’s underneath it!, alone! But he doesn’t quite judge the flight, getting up too early so forced to contort body to try and head home, only to prang wide instead.

87 min Bailey wins Villa a corner, McGinn goes short to him, and he streaks along the line and cuts back for Young, who drills wide of the near post.

86 min “On your 73rd minute suggestion,” emails Ric Arthur, “if that were enacted, what would be the point of the penalty area? It would be redundant.”

I can cope with that, but it’d still be useful for distance purpose. On which point, what does the six-yard box do, or the D?

85 min Kamara races in, leaps, and introduces studs to Mac Allister’s boot. He’s booked, and actually, does rather well to avoid anything more. Villa have disappeared the time here with a great deal of cynicism and wildness; we should get about an hour of added time here, but stand by four the usual four.

84 min This is getting fractious, Lamptey doing really well to dash across Young, who hacks him down, back gardern-style.

83 min Triple change for Villa, Ings, Digne ad Luiz departing with Archer, Augustinsson and Dendoncker arriving.

82 min Gross is booked for something or other, mouth I think, then De Zerbi is as well. Brighton are already peeved about the penalty that wasn’t and now the timewasting is absolutely doing their collective swede.

81 min Another change for Brighton, the explosive Lamptey replacing Estupinan.

80 min Bailey is booked then Brighton get it forward and Trossard, 23 yards out, ducks onto his right foot and laces a drive for which Martinez has to dive, but not very far, and he hangs on easily enough.

79 min Cash is booked for timewasting at a throw, on which point, the single thing we could do to improve the game would be to stop the clock when the ball goes dead and show the time on the scoreboard for everyone to follow. Mucking about would still halt momentum, but at least we’d get our 90 minutes; currently, how those are administered is a total mystery.

76 min “How is that not a penalty?” wonders Gary Brown. “Solly March absolutely clattered, no wonder people espouse theories of bias against their teams. I have no favourites in this game but it was a clear error by the referee. The system is broken.”

No one is biased, I don’t think – though it seems unlikely there are no preconceived ideas lurking in officials’ mind, people being people – but yup, it can be impossible to fathom certain calls and that’s one of them. It reminded me of the penalty Man United didn’t get against Newcastle when Longstaff fouled Sancho – tame and missable at first glance, but when seen again, absolutely obvious. We have to be allowed to hear the conversations between officials, as we do in rugby union and cricket.

74 min Another change for Villa, Bailey for Buendia.

73 min I’ve said before that part of the problem with the game is the kind of offence for which a penalty – so a goal roughly 80% of the time – is awarded. It should be given for any offence, anywhere on the pitch, that stops a proper goalscoring opportunity, and for an infringement in the box which does not, a direct free-kick is plenty. But another problem is not being able to hear the deliberations when VAR is involved – for the crowd in the ground, for us at home, and to make sure we understand why things are happening.

71 min Eesh, we see a challenge from a second again which Digne tried to clear as March came in to tackle. VAR is investigating, but it’s not totally clear whether March got to the ball before Digne … but from the angle we’re looking at now, from behind the defender, March gets a foot on it, then Digne whacks through him! That’s a penalty all day long, apart from on Sunday 13 November. VAR says no! i’ve no idea why!

69 min Yup, Young is now at right-back with Cash shuffling along which makes sense – Brighton have been good down the left. But in the meantime, Gross makes ground down the other flank and clips back, but Caicedo, arriving with decent timing, can’t quite take the ball in stride and Villa clear.

68 min Emery is nothing if not practical and pragmatic; he sends on Young for Ramsey, so might be changing to a back five.

67 min Since going behind, Brighton have had 78% possession. That doesn’t tell us loads – Villa are sitting a little deeper – but the home side are passing it nicely; has anyone ever wondered how good they might get if they had a reliable goalscorer?

66 min Lovely from Brighton, Colwill easing out with the ball and sliding a fine pass inside McGinn for Estupinan, whose cross is sent behind by Mings. That’s good defending, and the corner is then cleared easily enough.

64 min I’ve been really impressed with Villa’s mentality this last week. They started so quickly against Man United then conceded a fluke on the stroke of half-time after which United started to move the ball with tempo. So Villa won it off them, broke in devastating style, and scored a lovely clincher, while today, they’ve ridden the concession of a soul-crushing goal to roar back.

63 min Eeesh, Cash stretches into a tackle with Caicedo, misses the ball, and leaves studs on Caicedo. It’s a right sair yin, but I think he’ll be fine.

60 min I’m sure Ings is pretty happy with life at the moment, but I do wonder how his career might’ve gone had he had better luck with injuries. At his best, he has that rare ability to occupy a defence on his own, and I doubt there’s any centre-back pairing or triumvirate that’d look forward to facing him and Watkins in tandem. I’m sure that’s part of the thinking behind Emery’s 4-2-2-2 formation – the question is balancing the team in that context. Perhaps if Ings drops off he can make an extra man in midfield, because those two with wingers spells goals.

59 min Bunedia is hurt, so while he’s treated Brighton make a double change, Veltman and Undav replacing Welbeck and Enciso, himself on as sub.

57 min Buendia gets away from Caicedo, who crunches him like so many Frosties, as Raymond Chandler didn’t write, and is booked.

GOAL! Brighton 1-2 Aston Villa (Ings 55)

Villa maintain pressure and, in a role-reversal of Brighton’s opener, Luiz robs Mac Allister high, the ball squirts out to Ings who sends Dunk off to the beach, twisting away from him as he slides in, then with Sanchez expecting a far-post finish, snaps gently through Colwill’s legs and a deflection takes it inside the near!

Danny Ings of Aston Villa scores his side’s second goal. Photograph: James Marsh/REX/Shutterstock

54 min Anyway, there’s some football going on, and it’s good football! Cash nashes down the right, clips back and Buendia dives into a fine header – think the body-shape of Van Persie v Spain – that clatters the post!

52 min Brighton look much more assured playing out from the back, which makes sense – the team has been put together with that in mind, and they’ve been doing it for longer. They work it nicely on this occasion too, the ball ending up with Sanchez again but with space created so that he can punch a pass down the middle ad into Mac Allister. Increasingly, top-level football seems to be about that, forcing opponents into areas to then exploit the space. And no, I’m not saying this is a new invention, rather that it’s a more fundamental part of the game than before.

50 min Trossard shoves Cash rather than contest a high ball, before spinning to thunk a tremendous finish from outside the box, left-hand side, in off the underside of the bar. He’s another who does, I think, have very serious and significant potential.

48 min This time next week, Moises Caicedo will be getting ready to play for Ecuador in the opening game of the World Cup. That is, of course, both odd and wrong, but I really like the look of him, and if looks to have all the ability to develop into an all-round midfielder in both old and new-skool tradition.

47 min It’s a strange thing, given the openness of the game, but we’ve not actually seen that many chances. I wonder if, as the teams tire, we see more of them but less quality, but in the meantime there’s a game going on, March nipping around the side of Villa to cross; Villa get the ball away.

46 min The ball goes back to Martinez, who dwells on it, but under pressure from Trossard, he lashes clear.

46 min We go again!

Our teams rejoin us…

Half-time email: “Pretty sure Paul Draper of Mansun once said that the song Wide Open Space was inspired while watching football on ITV and Brian Moore commentating on a game,” says Paul Jeary.

My sulphuric-addled brain isn’t totally certain whether this is said for our information or ironically, but I’d love for it to be the former. Though were that so, I’d have expected the track to be called “And it’s it in there!”

Little bit of half-time World Cup news, and it is, I’m afraid, an absolute sickener. It’s almost as if sticking the competition in the middle of the season is a horrendous piece of behaviour.

BREAKING: Ghana's first choice goalkeeper JoJo Wollacott has been ruled out of the World Cup after he fractured his finger before Charlton's game yesterday.#GhanaSoccerNet #WorldCup2022

— (@Ghanasoccernet) November 13, 2022


I’ve not a clue what’s going to happen after the break. Both sides have shown enterprise in attack, intensity in midfield and fallibility at the back, so there’s pretty much no outcome – result or winning margin, if indeed we get a winner – that would be surprising. I’m off to clear my head of sulphuric acid, but see you in 10 for more fun.

#Brighton #Aston #Villa #Premier #League #happened

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