Brighton snap winless run, make Villa wait for UCL qualification


Is the long season starting to take its toll on Aston Villa?

Luis Miguel Echegaray tells Mark Donaldson that Aston Villa are starting to feel the effects of a European campaign after a 1-0 defeat to Brighton.

Brighton snapped a six-match winless run in the Premier League when they beat Aston Villa 1-0 at home on Sunday after Joao Pedro scored an 87th-minute winner in a scrappy affair.

With time running out, Brighton's Simon Adingra won the decisive penalty that allowed Joao Pedro to score his 20th goal of the season in all competitions and give the home side a much-needed boost amid a drastic downturn in domestic form.

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The result moved Brighton up to 11th place with 47 points while Villa are fourth with 67 points as they continue to wait to seal a spot in next season's Champions League with fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur still in the hunt.

"I've missed this feeling, it's been a long time. We've not been good enough but it's nice to get back to winning ways," Brighton captain Lewis Dunk told Sky Sports.

"We've have a different week this week, away from the training ground and doing a lot of team building. And we've got the three points thankfully."

Adingra had been Brighton's busiest player throughout the game, testing the keeper and creating plenty of chances, but Villa's stand-in custodian Robin Olsen made several saves to keep his side in the game.

Olsen's best save came when he denied Pascal Gross late in the first half after he was put through by Adingra while the Germán midfielder also had a goal chalked off by VAR in the 68th minute for a marginal offside.

But Adingra's persistence finally paid off and the Ivorian winger, who had constantly tormented Villa's Ezri Konsa, finally got the better of the full back when he was tripped as the referee pointed to the spot.

Although Olsen saved Joao Pedro's spot kick, he could do nothing when the Brazilian headed home the rebound to spark celebrations at the American Express Stadium.