Martinez’s masterclass denies Brighton at every turn to rescue slow Villa

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A commanding goalkeeper performance by Emiliano Martínez frustrated Brighton from start to finish to ensure Aston Villa escaped with a draw.

Brighton he started the brighter of the two sides and could have taken the lead in 10 minutes.

A precise cross from Joel Veltman picked up Alexis Mac Allister making a late run from deep. The Argentine rose high to receive the ball unopposed, but drove his header over the crossbar.

Aston Villa they lacked their usual attacking verve. But for a few moments of Jack Grealish magic, the visitors were largely anonymous in the last third.

Emiliano Martinez was in good shape, however, making superb acrobatic stops by Leandro Trossard and then Dan Burn to preserve the standoff before halftime.

The second half started the same way the first ended, with Martinez again denying Brighton’s attackers with crucial saves.

Veltman was the next to test Villa’s stopper, but once again the former Arsenal goalkeeper answered the call with another one-handed save.

Then Grealish had green grass in front of him when a rare opportunity to fight back opened up.

However, Villa’s talisman dribbled unusually into traffic, as Brighton was able to back off and drag the ball to safety.

A late free kick by Trossard gave Brighton the last chance to score a winner. However, the Belgian’s effort crashed directly into the wall, with his rebound a docile effort that Martinez again sucked in comfortably.

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