Villa (v) Brighton Reflection: Dominant display, still unbeaten & long overdue positivity.

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What is this strange, elusive feeling of positivity?

After years of scrabbling around the lower echelons of the Premier League and an inevitable humiliating relegation, we appear finally [FINALLY], to have stirred life into the old girl.

Brighton are undoubtedly one of the better teams in the division, perennially threatening to get promoted, and [with respect] I thought that we made them look distinctly average.

Yes, we only left with a point after a fine strike from Glenn Murray, but this was a 1-1 mauling by anyone’s standards.  

The dominance, over-running of the opposition and relentless desire to try and make the win happen was greatly encouraging.  It doesn’t need this site to remind you of the weak, insipid and spiritless displays we’ve endured on repeat for countless years.

For this upturn, Bruce must take great credit.  

He is trying everything, even Agbonlahor, to breathe life into a season that could easily have become a total write off just a matter of weeks ago.

The first half saw Villa steadily grow into the game, riding early possession from the hosts before seizing upon a freekick to take the lead.

Albert Adomah, an absolute terror all night for Brighton, curled in a straightforward free kick which Nathan Baker headed in for his first goal for the club.  Not bad for someone who’s only been with us since he was 13.

Villa looked comfortable and threatened to extend the lead.

Sidwell fashioned a headed clearance when Jedinak seemed destined to score.

Gabby wasted a run on goal after a loose pass.

It was disappointing, albeit arguably typical, that Villa should go in at half time level.

The Villa midfield was bypassed, the centre halves exposed and Glenn Murray hammered home a powerful strike beyond Gollini to equalise.  

Preventable, annoying, but a worthy strike.

The second period saw some stagnation in the opening minutes before Villa tried to turn the screw.

When was the last time we did that?

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It was a barrage, a siege against Brighton who weathered a torrent of shots, crosses and half chances.  They were camped in their own half by default.

However, we just could not make the breakthrough.

The sub-par Gabby was withdrawn for Ayew and Grealish rejuvenated us in place of Gardner.

We found the woodwork twice, Adomah forced a clever save and The Seaguls found themselves over-run time and time again.

Grealish probed, Ayew laboured and Kodjia found Stockdale when easier to score.

It was one of those nights where it just wouldn’t go in.

For good measure there was an obligatory scare, with the shot stopping prowess of Pierluigi Gollini demonstrated once again.

What the Italian may lack in composure with the ball at his feet, or consistency against crosses, he produced a superb save to deny the hosts a shock win.  

Unsighted, he parried away a strong, low strike which would have been a bitter pill to swallow had it burst the net.

At the whistle, it felt like one that got away.  However, the signs are encouraging, the unbeaten run under Bruce continues and figures whom question marks lay against, suddenly look the business.

We take the point, the performance and the positivity into a tasty tie with Cardiff this Saturday.


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