Aston Villa fended off a comeback from a young Brighton side to set up a fourth-round draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Carabao Cup.

Jack Grealish scored his first of the campaign as made an appearance off the bench. He added to goals from Jota and Conor Hourihane, as Villa won 3-1 at The Amex.

Dean Smith made nine changes to the team that suffered defeat at the Emirates on Sunday. Only Trezeguet and John McGinn kept their places in the team.

Villa take an early lead

Jota opened the scoring against BrightonVilla took early control through Jota after Hourihane latched onto a neat Matt Targett through ball on the left flank. Cutting back for the Spaniard, Jota finished with aplomb to register his first competitive goal for Villa.

Young Irish forward Aaron Conolly was probably Brighton’s biggest threat. Following the 19-year-old causing Villa’s backline problems at one end, Kienan Davis caused issues at the other end.

Shane Duffy was the victim of Davis’ brute strength. The youngster held off pressure from Duffy before laying the ball back across the goal. The ball found Hourihane to get a goal of his own on the half-hour mark.

Connolly came close just before the interval but the woodwork prevented him from pulling a goal back.

Second-half fightback?

Brighton did eventually half the deficit on 60 minutes through Hayden Roberts.

The young defender was unchallenged in the box, as he headed home from a Peter Gwargis corner kick.

McGinn was later replaced by Villa’s talisman Grealish twenty minutes from time. Only ten minutes into his cameo though, and Grealish put his stamp on the game, restoring Villa’s two-goal lead.

He struck a half volley past David Button to seal the win for Villa – a third competitive victory of the season.

The draw for the fourth round was made after the game and Villa drew a home tie against local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Villa are back in Premier League action this Saturday as they welcome Sean Dyche’s Burnley to Villa Park.


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