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Three things we learned from Brighton 1 - 1 Aston Villa

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Aston Villa came away from the south coast feeling unlucky not to have beaten an in-form Brighton side lying second in the Championship. There was a lot to take away from a positive performance but here's three highlights:

Villa finally looked decent over a whole 90 minutes

While during the first-half Brighton may have been on top in terms of possession and there were a few testing moments for the Villa defence, Steve Bruce's team looked solid enough. After Nathan Baker's delightful headed goal Villa actually seemed to be edging it, before Glenn Murray scored an admittedly excellent strike.

However, whereas under Roberto Di Matteo the second-half may well have become a long slog at the end of which Villa would concede, on Friday they came out brightly and absolutely dominated the last half an hour. The subs, Jack Grealish and Jordan Ayew, added attacking edge while Mile Jedinak was on hand to win the ball back when it did come into the Villa half.

If there were a few signs of tired legs in claret and blue at the end of the match, it was only because they'd exhausted themselves trying to get the win. And that's a lot better than using tiredness as an excuse for losing.

Grealish looks on-form again - but Adomah may outdo him

Jack Grealish came on as a sub in the second-half and as he so often can, looked like the classiest player on the pitch. His touch and passing were exquisite and he was willing to have a shot in the right positions. He always looks like he enjoys being alongside Ayew and the two pinned back the Brighton defence in the last half an hour. Bruce has a tough decision to make about whether the pair will be back in the starting line-up next match.

However, the man whose hard work set up that last spell of pressure was Albert Adomah. In the first 20 minutes when Villa might have been in trouble, the winger was a bright spark, several times bursting through on the right wing. It was his free-kick delivery for Baker to score and afterwards he was unlucky not to be able to turn in a lovely cross from Jordan Amavi just before Brighton's equaliser.

Adomah faded just a little in the second-half but then when Grealish and Ayew began to work their magic he livened up and was very unlucky that his left-footed cross to Jonathan Kodjia didn't result in a goal after an excellent save. With Kodjia and Rudy Gestede in the team, Adomah will be a key player in Villa's season.

Sorry, but Gabby's time is over

Before the match all the talk was about the surprise inclusion of Gabby Agbonlahor in the starting line-up. It's telling that after the match he was barely mentioned.

Bruce seemed to feel that Gabby's energy in the Blackburn match merited another go as a lone striker, to offer an option to get in behind Brighton. But the one chance he was presented with from a Brighton backpass, he was hesitant, couldn't get past a defender and his shot was easily blocked. Elsewhere he didn't connect well with Kodjia and Adomah, rarely giving them an option or making use of the space they created with their runs.

We have a quality attack that thrives on passing and movement rather than Gabby's blind pace - which itself is declining. Gabby doesn't really have the footballing intelligence to reinvent himself as a player now and with Gestede, and Ross McCormack both out of the side today, it would be odd for Bruce to persist with playing him.

There's plenty more to discuss - Jordan Amavi putting in a fine performance, the midfield three which could still improve, Pierluigi Gollini's improvement, Alan Hutton being Alan Hutton for better or worse. But I'll throw that open to you guys in the comments. Let me know what you think about the match!