Inspired Emiliano Martinez saves a point for Aston Villa at Brighton

Premier League round-up: Burnley compound Crystal Palace’s woes

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez makes a save during the Premier League draw against Brighton at the AMEX Stadium. Photo: Andrew Couldridge/PA Wire

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez makes a save during the Premier League draw against Brighton at the AMEX Stadium. Photo: Andrew Couldridge/PA Wire

 

Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Aston Villa 0

Aston Villa climbed above Tottenham in the Premier League table after being held to a 0-0 draw at Brighton.

Emiliano Martinez made a number of crucial saves for the visitors, including an outstretched palm to deny Dan Burn’s header, to ensure Villa left with a clean sheet and a point.

Brighton dominated both possession and chances, having 24 shots on the Aston Villa goal — including nine on target — while Dean Smith’s men had just four attempts of which just one was on the home’s side goal.

Jack Grealish, who has seven goals to his name, was unable to make a significant impact on the game as Villa struggled to find their feet and force goalkeeper Robert Sanchez into making any significant saves.

The result leaves the Seagulls in 15th place and 11 points clear of Fulham, who occupy the third relegation spot, although they have two games in hand over Graham Potter’s men, while Villa moved up to eighth — three points behind fifth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand.

Brighton started brightly, forcing Aston Villa back into their own half, and had a chance to take the lead in the 10th minute when Alexis Mac Allister was found in space in the centre of the box, but his header went narrowly over the crossbar.

Martinez was forced into his first save of the game in the 13th minute to deny Joel Veltman’s low drive from crossing the line.

Mac Allister had another chance from a free-kick just outside the area midway through the first half, but his curled effort again went over Martinez’s goal.

Just before half-time, Martinez made two last-ditch saves to deny first Leandro Trossard’s angled drive and then just managed to palm a Burn header behind, with the defender just inches away from his first club goal.

Brighton started the second half in almost identical fashion to the first with Mac Allister again testing Martinez with a shot and the goalkeeper was able to make the low save with his legs following a deflection.

With the home side still looking the more likely to break the deadlock, Trossard had two more chances, with his second fired into the side-netting in the 60th minute.

Martinez was called upon again with just under 10 minutes left in the match, stopping Danny Welbeck from turning home Adam Lallana’s cross at the near post to keep the scores level and ensure Villa leave with a point.

Crystal Palace 0 Burnley 3

Burnley returned to winning ways in style after a quick start proved key to a 3-0 win away at Crystal Palace.

Burnley’s Matt Lowton celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s third goal during the Premier League win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Photo: Justin Setterfield/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Burnley’s Matt Lowton celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s third goal during the Premier League win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Photo: Justin Setterfield/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jay Rodriguez netted inside 10 minutes at Selhurst Park and Matt Lowton added a brilliant third after the break to end a four-match run without a victory for Sean Dyche’s team.

It moved the Clarets to 26 points and 11 clear of the relegation zone but the Eagles’ woes without talisman Wilfried Zaha continued. In his absence, Palace have lost 18 of their last 20 top-flight games and the latest spoiled Roy Hodgson’s 350th Premier League game in management.

Without their top goalscorer due to a hamstring injury, Christian Benteke and Michy Batshuayi started together up front for only the second time this season but for a third consecutive game the hosts conceded early.

It was largely down to their own doing too with Scott Dann and Patrick Van Aanholt failing to clear Erik Pieters’ cross from deep and Gudmundsson teed himself up before he fired into the corner after five minutes.

The Iceland midfielder ended a lengthy goal drought in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at home to Brighton and this latest effort made it two in two league games for the ex-Charlton player.

Burnley should have doubled their advantage four minutes later when Ashley Barnes’ shot was deflected behind for a corner by Dann but they did not have to wait long for a second.

From the resulting set-piece, Dwight McNeil’s inswinging delivery was not dealt with by home goalkeeper Vicente Guaita and Rodriguez had the easy task of heading home from inside the six-yard area.

It was more poor defending by the Eagles, but Rodriguez did not complain after bringing his 20-match wait for a top-flight goal to its conclusion.

A couple of efforts from Benteke signalled the hosts’ eagerness to get back into the contest yet both were comfortable for Nick Pope.

In Zaha’s absence, the onus was on Ebere Eze to create for Palace and he curled wide following good work by Jordan Ayew from the opposite flank.

With the deficit at the break still two goals, Hodgson’s men had to start strongly after half-time and the opposite happened.

Full-back Lowton had not scored in the Premier League since April 2013 and he became the most recent player to break a duck at Selhurst Park.

The defender produced a marauding run on the right, dribbling past Eze and Luka Milivojevic with ease before he bounced past Van Aanholt.

After he played a one-two with Rodriguez on the edge of the area, Lowton applied the desired finish when he brilliantly volleyed home to make it 3-0 after 47 minutes.

Palace summoned Andros Townsend and Jean-Philippe Mateta but the race was run for the home side.

Burnley’s day did end on a sour note though when captain Bee Mee left the pitch on a stretcher after an innocuous coming together with Ayew.

The centre-back was put in a neck brace following a five-minute delay and Pieters was also forced off late on with an injury.

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