Matt Targett scored a stoppage-time stunner to complete a breathless Aston Villa comeback as they beat Brighton 2-1 at Villa Park.
Adam Webster's first Brighton goal handed the visitors the lead (12), but their hopes of victory took a blow when Aaron Mooy was sent off after two quickfire yellow cards (35).
Conor Hourihane's thumping effort minutes before the break was then ruled out by VAR, but Jack Grealish restored parity when he bundled home a cross from close range (45+3).
Aston Villa: Heaton (6), Guilbert (6), Engels (6), Mings (6), Targett (7), McGinn (6), Nakamba (6), Hourihane (7), El Ghazi (6), Grealish (8), Wesley (6)
Subs: Trezeguet (5), Douglas Luiz (5), Davis (5)
Brighton: Ryan (6), Montoya (7), Webster (7), Dunk (7), Burn (7), Gross (6), Propper (6), Stephens (6), Mooy (4), Connolly (5), Maupay (6)
Subs: March (6), Duffy (5), Alzate (n/a)
Man of the match: Jack Grealish
The clash between the two sides produced a remarkable 43 goal attempts, but it took until the final 10 seconds of second-half stoppage time for either side to force a winner and it was Villa who did so, with Targett lashing Grealish's lay-off into the back of the net (90+4)
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Dean Smith's Villa sit 11th in the Premier League standings after the draw, with Brighton just a point clear of the relegation zone in 16th.
How resilient Villa triumphed in the end
Having entered the international break with convincing victories under their belts, both Villa and Brighton were keen to get off to an enterprising start in the Midlands, but it was the visitors who took the game by the scruff of the neck early on.
Aaron Connolly - the hero of the Seagulls' 3-0 win over Tottenham last time out - spooned over the bar after Tyrone Mings' skewed clearance, but when Pascal Gross delivered a free-kick to the far post, Webster was on hand to angle a powerful header into the back of the net.
But the visitors' momentum slowed in the final 10 minutes of the half, firstly when Mooy was dismissed for a second bookable offence and then when Hourihane arrowed a typically powerful effort beyond Mat Ryan after the stopper had fumbled a cross.
The awarding of the goal was reviewed and ruled by VAR; Wesley's aerial duel with the Australian 'keeper deemed an infringement. They did not have to wait long to get back on level terms, however, as Grealish bundled Frederic Guilbert's cross in to score his first Premier League goal at Villa Park.
- Aston Villa boss Dean Smith stuck with the side that thrashed Norwich 5-1 last time out.
- Brighton's Graham Potter made just one tweak, Davy Propper replacing Steven Alzate in midfield.
Despite their disadvantage in personnel, Brighton rallied after the restart against a relatively lethargic Villa with Neal Maupay presented with a number of chances to test Tom Heaton, but their efforts proved to be in vain.
With just seconds remaining on the clock, Grealish cut the ball back to left-back Targett, who hit an unstoppable angled shot over the line to secure victory for the hosts.
Man of the match: Jack Grealish
The days when Grealish is not at the heart of everything Aston Villa do are few and far between. He managed to bundle home the deserved equaliser on the stroke of half-time and then provided the assist for Targett to score the dramatic late winner that sent Villa Park into raptures.
But, as ever, Grealish just looked at ease. His title as the most fouled player in the division saw him earn numerous set-pieces and his 63 passes throughout the 90 minutes was second only to Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens.
- Matt Targett's strike in the 94th minute was Aston Villa's first winning goal scored in the 90th minute or later of a Premier League game since Christian Benteke against West Brom in March 2015.
- Aston Villa came from behind to win a Premier League game for the first time since December 2014 against Leicester (2-1), ending a run of 50 winless games in the competition when falling behind at any stage.
- Brighton have never won away at Aston Villa in any competition, with today their 12th such visit (D3 L9).
- Pascal Gross has assisted 12 goals for Brighton in the Premier League - at least five more than any other Seagulls player - and has 22 goal involvements in the competition (10 goals, 12 assists); only Glenn Murray (26) has more.
What the managers said
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "A last-minute winner is very good for the team and very good for the morale, but our performance has to be better. I'm scratching my head with some of the decisions, the goal for them, for starters.
"The referee gives a foul against Matt Targett and I can accept it, but he doesn't - he gives it against Conor Hourihane and a yellow card for what can only be described as a great tackle. We've got to defend the free-kick better but it shouldn't even come to that.
"Then we've had a goal disallowed by VAR. I've obviously missed the memo for when they got together during the international period and decided that they could now give subjective decisions and start refereeing from Stockley Park. I see nothing wrong with the goal. It takes too long and you can't even celebrate now. It's getting ridiculous and I don't think it's working, personally."
Brighton boss Graham Potter: "We're obviously very, very disappointed with the end result. I think we started the game really well, took the lead and deservedly so. I thought we were in real good control of the game, were the better team. The sending off changes the complexion of the match, the crowd get involved, it gets messy.
"In the second half I thought it was a really good performance from us. We tried to play, we created chances, we were organised defensively so there's a lot to be proud of with the performance, but just disappointed with the last kick of the game."
Aston Villa travel to Manchester City for a lunchtime kick-off on Saturday October 26, while Brighton host Everton on the same day at 3pm.