2020-21 English Premier League
  • Ezri Konsa (47')
  • Danny Welbeck (12')
  • Solly March (56')
  • Tariq Lamptey (90'+1')

VAR saves Brighton as Aston Villa denied injury-time penalty

Brighton & Hove Albion celebrated their first Premier League victory since September after Danny Welbeck helped them to a 2-1 win at Aston Villa on Saturday with his first goal for the club.

Solly March also netted a fine goal for the visitors to cancel out Ezri Konsa's equaliser, as Brighton moved clear of the relegation zone with nine points from as many games.

The pulsating clash had a dramatic climax as Brighton's Tariq Lamptey was sent off in stoppage time moments before referee Michael Oliver rescinded a penalty he awarded to Villa after a VAR check.

- ESPN Insider Notebook: Liverpool demand VAR answers

Sixth-placed Villa's patchy form continued as they suffered their third successive home defeat, the setback against Brighton coming after a 3-0 win at Arsenal following losses to Leeds and Southampton.

Welbeck, who endured a difficult year at relegated Watford last season with only two league goals in 18 appearances, was delighted after opening his account at Brighton.

"It's a very important three points," the former Arsenal and Manchester United striker told the BBC.

"We've had some good performances but today we got the result as well. I'm obviously happy to get off the mark with the goal. I just kept my cool and slotted it over the keeper."

Villa missed a string of chances in the first half and were punished as Welbeck raced clear from inside his own half in the 12th minute and beat goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez with a deliciously dinked finish.

Konsa equalised shortly after the break when he slid in at the far post to turn in Bertrand Traore's free kick and Villa looked set to complete their comeback as they kept laying siege to the Brighton goal.

But they were stunned again in the 56th minute when March capped a flowing move with a sublime first-time shot from 18 metres into the top corner, leaving Martinez rooted to his line.

March, whose tackle on Trezeguet was initially seen by Oliver as a penalty, was relieved the referee changed his mind after reviewing the replay of the incident on a monitor.

"For a moment I had my heart in my mouth but I got a bit of the ball," he said to the BBC. "I haven't seen it back but sometimes with the follow-through you cannot avoid making contact."

English Premier League Standings

1 Manchester United 19 +11 40
2 Manchester City 18 +18 38
3 Leicester City 19 +14 38
4 Liverpool 19 +15 34
5 Tottenham Hotspur 18 +16 33
6 Everton 17 +7 32
7 West Ham United 19 +5 32
8 Aston Villa 17 +13 29
9 Chelsea 19 +10 29
10 Southampton 18 +5 29
11 Arsenal 19 +4 27
12 Leeds United 18 -4 23
13 Crystal Palace 19 -11 23
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 -8 22
15 Burnley 18 -12 19
16 Newcastle United 19 -14 19
17 Brighton & Hove Albion 19 -7 17
18 Fulham 18 -12 12
19 West Bromwich Albion 19 -28 11
20 Sheffield United 19 -22 5