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Brighton 1-0 Aston Villa: Seagulls claim all three points through late Pedro strike

Amex Stadium, Brighton

Brighton dented Aston Villa’s Champions League qualification hopes with a late goal in the 1-0 Premier League win on Sunday.

Villa headed to the South Coast knowing a win and Tottenham loss to Liverpool would guarantee them a spot in the next season’s elite competition but suffered a setback at the hands of Brazilian Joao Pedro.

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Both sides had a goal ruled out by VAR at the Amex Stadium, Brighton first through Pascal Gross, who was marginally offside before turning in a cross from Simon Adingra on the left-hand side.

The Villans then thought they took the lead through John McGinn but the Scotsman was also coming back from an offside position and it was correctly ruled out.

Eventually, Brighton opened the scoring with less than 10 minutes to go after Ezri Konsa shoved Adingra over in the box, prompting the referee to point to the penalty spot.

Pedro stepped up and saw his initial effort saved by Robin Olsen, but he followed up and headed home the rebound.

The result means Brighton move up to 11th in the table, overtaking Wolves and putting them within two points of ninth-placed West Ham, who got thrashed 5-0 by Chelsea.

Unai Emery and Villa must wait to celebrate their likely Champions League qualification and will instead turn their attentions to the return leg trip to Olympiacos in the Europa Conference League semi-final.

Brighton had been in poor form coming into the match, failing to win in their last six under Roberto De Zerbi.

But the Seagulls dominated most of the match and started brightly, with Adingra looking the most dangerous man on the pitch by far.

His end product was letting the team down in the final third and on the times he did deliver a quality cross, the finishing touch in the box was nowhere to be seen.

Villa looked most dangerous on the counter-attack and their performance was perhaps a reflection of a tough match in midweek.

Ollie Watkins broke free of  Lewis Dunk on a few occasions but never had a clear-cut opportunity, which was not the case for the hosts.

Olsen was the sole reason for keeping the scores level for so long and he made several terrific saves from Adingra and substitute Julio Enciso.

In the end, it was the penalty that was the difference and unsurprisingly it was Adingra who was the man to win it.

His pace proved to be a problem for Konsa all afternoon and he got goalside of the England international at the right moment before falling to the floor inside the area.

Pedro will have breathed a sigh of relief after putting the ball away despite Olsen’s initial effort to keep the penalty out.

Villa rallied for the 10 minutes added on at the end of the game but could not salvage anything and will head back to the Midlands empty-handed.

 

 

Picture of Mitch Fretton

Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.

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