Aston Villa had very little to play for today, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t an exciting day of football nevertheless! The first half of the match saw Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion play some pretty boring stuff that was marred by huge stretches of injury time. Scott Hogan was brought down to the pitch twice, and the second was too much for him as he came out of the game with what seemed to be an ankle injury. At the half it was 0-0.
Elsewhere, Blackburn and Nottingham Forest were leading at the half, but so, too, were Birmingham City. All that was needed for Blues to see the drop was a single goal from Bristol. Meanwhile, Newcastle had a lead over Barnsley and the league title in hand.
The second half saw Villa come out looking a bit better. There was an absolutely clear penalty shout when Keinan Davis was tackled in the box while Lewis Dunk came nowhere near the ball, but the penalty wasn’t given.
In the 63rd minute, though, Nathan Baker raced after Sam Baldock to try and stop a goal. Baldock slowed down and Baker couldn’t adjust quickly enough and ran into the Brighton players back. It could have been a foul, but it was nowhere near as bad as what had happened to Davis. So of course Baker was given a red card and Brighton were awarded a penalty, which Glen Murray buried. Brighton had the title back in their grasp and their 3,000 traveling fans went wild.
Just when it seemed that Villa’s incompetence would ensure that Newcastle didn’t get the title, Jack Grealish managed to claw back a point with an 89th-minute goal. The shot was well-taken by Grealish, but really it was the atrocious keeping from David Stockdale that made it possible. It made sure that Brighton still haven’t beaten Aston Villa since 1980, and it also gave Newcastle the title.
Meanwhile, the results in the relegation scrap stayed the same, and Blues have survived.
At the end of it all, Villa had an awfully up and down season. But after the unabashed disaster of last year, a 16-14-16 record and 13th place doesn’t feel too bad. There need to be changes over the summer, and a promotion push must be a priority, but this season stabilized things.