Where's the striker, seven without a win and Jason Steele? - Five things from Brighton's loss at Aston Villa

Graham Potter's Brighton and Hove Albion sit in eighth place in the Premier League after losing 2-0 away at Aston Villa

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 9:50 am
Updated Sunday, 21st November 2021, 9:54 am
Aston Villa beat Brighton 2-0 at Villa Park thanks to goals from Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings

It was a relatively even contest up until the 83rd minute when Ollie Watkins effectively scored the winner.

Villa sprung a counterattack which saw Watkins finish off the move with a superb curling effort into the corner of Jason Steele's net.

And moments later, in the 89th minute, Tyrone Mings put the game to bed with a well-taken strike to hand Steven Gerrard his first win as Villa boss in his opening game.

But what did we learn from this Albion performance? Here are five things we learnt from Brighton's 2-0 loss away at Aston Villa on Saturday

Brighton lack firepower up top

A running theme from last season that still persists: possession based football with no cutting edge.

Brighton had 63 per cent possession but failed to ever really use that to create clear cut chances.

Trossard looked like a world beater up front against Liverpool before the international break, but failed to find any of that inspiration at Villa Park.

In short, Albion need to recruit another striker.

Maupay and Trossard are good up front in certain situations, but would probably benefit from a more clinical strike partner alongside them.

What Albion lacked against Villa was someone desperate for a goal, who could win 50/50s in the air, be a target man and hold the play up.

However, Graham Potter must continue to use the men he has at his disposal until he is backed in the transfer market.

Jason Steele is a decent number two

Made his Premier League debut this weekend at the age of 31 after coming in for the suspended Robert Sanchez. As far as debuts go, that was a good one.

In terms of traditional goalkeeping, he made excellent saves in the first half to deny Matty Cash and Danny Ings two very good opportunities.

But being a shot stopper isn't enough to be a Brighton keeper, you need to be good with your feet, and Steele excelled in that department too.

His distribution and choice of pass was pretty much perfect, beating the Villa press a few times and getting Albion on the front foot.

It must be said, there was little he could have done to stop either of Villa's goals.

He would have been a nomination for man of the match if it stayed at 0-0.

Winless in seven

Albion haven't won a game since September 19, which was against Swansea in the EFL cup. Their last league win was against Leicester on September 19. That's quite a while ago now.

That's not good enough for a team with ambitions to finish in the top 10 of the Premier League.

Granted, they have had some good draws against Liverpool and Palace, but also some bad ones against Newcastle and Arsenal.

With results the way they went this weekend - United and Arsenal both losing - Brighton could have gone into fifth with victory at Villa. Even just a point would have meant they jump up a place into seventh.

If Albion are serious about breaking into the top 10 they must start beating teams around them, or at least not lose.

Albion need to get a win on the board as soon as possible to break the habit.

Lamptey and Cucurella were kept quiet

Hate to say it but Matt Targett and Matty Cash kept Cucurella and Lamptey in their back pockets. And when that happens, Albion are always going to find it tough going forward.

Cash and Targett just kept chipping away at the young wing-backs, putting them off their stride and disrupting their rhythm.

By nullifying Brighton's two biggest flair players, Cash and Targett energised the Villa crowd and dampened Albion's spirit.