Brighton 1-3 Aston Villa: Jack Grealish scores third against young Seagulls
Report and highlights as Aston Villa progress to the fourth round
Last Updated: 25/09/19 10:48pm
Aston Villa cruised into the Carabao Cup fourth round, with substitute Jack Grealish sealing a comfortable 3-1 win over a young Brighton side.
First-half goals from Jota and Conor Hourihane saw Villa seize control of the all-Premier League clash at the Amex Stadium.
A header from 17-year-old defender Haydon Roberts gave the inexperienced hosts hope of forcing a penalty shootout, before Grealish slammed home a powerful half-volley to put the result beyond doubt.
22 - With an average age of 22 years and 35 days, Brighton's starting XI against Aston Villa tonight is the youngest of any Premier League side this season in any competition, with six players born after the year 2000 featuring. Hogwarts. pic.twitter.com/Tk0EtMNF5o— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 25, 2019
Seagulls boss Graham Potter opted to hand senior debuts to seven academy players from the start, including goalscorer Roberts, while substitutes Ryan Longman, Romaric Yapi and Jack Spong eventually took that total to 10.
But Villa, who made nine changes on the south coast following the weekend loss at Arsenal, quickly asserted their authority on the contest and went ahead with 22 minutes played.
Creative Spaniard Jota claimed the opener - his first goal since a summer switch from city rivals Birmingham - by firing home a first-time finish after Albion goalkeeper David Button pushed away Hourihane's fizzing cross from the left.
Republic of Ireland midfielder Hourihane then applied the emphatic finishing touch, registering his first goal since last season's Championship play-off semi-final by dispatching Keinan Davis' pull back from the left.
Albion almost pulled one back three minutes before the break when Irishman Connolly, who scored his first senior goal in the previous round at Bristol Rovers and had earlier seen an effort deflected over, rattled the woodwork.
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But Number 58 Roberts reignited the game for Brighton by nodding home Gwargis' right-wing corner in the 61st minute, before 18-year-old forward Longman stung the palms of Jed Steer two minutes later.
However, the hosts suffered a setback and lost momentum when centre-back Shane Duffy, one of only four players in their squad to have previously played a senior game, limped off injured.
And substitute Grealish, on for the final 24 minutes in place of John McGinn, settled the contest 13 minutes from time, smashing in from the edge of the box.