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Five things we learned from the Aston Villa game

Leandro Trossard and Bernardo impress as Albion have to settle for a point

By Ciaran Wiseman • 19 January 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Aaron Connolly tussles for possession with Tyrone Mings.

There were plenty of talking points at the Amex on Saturday, when Leandro Trossard's third goal on home soil was cancelled out by Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish in the second half.

1. Trossard in the goals

Leandro Trossard now has three goals and four assists to his name in 17 appearances for the Seagulls since joining from Genk in the summer. Despite missing several games because of injury early in his Albion career, the 25-year-old has shown resilience and produced great awareness and composure to find the net for the third time at the Amex, and score his first goal since November's 2-0 win over Norwich City.

2. First-half dominance

Against Chelsea on New Year’s Day, Graham Potter’s side grew into the game as it progressed before showing their quality after the interval. Against Villa, however, the hosts attacked their opponents from the off, enjoying considerable possession deep in the visitors’ half. This pressure and dominance led to several openings and it would not have flattered the Seagulls had they have gone in more than a goal to the good at the break.

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Extended highlights: Albion 1 Villa 1

3. Bernardo at his best

Having impressed against both Tottenham and Chelsea over the festive period, full-back Bernardo put it another eye-catching display on the left of the back four. The Brazilian’s marauding runs down the flank were complemented by some determined defensive work, which saw him win the ball on a number of occasions in one on one situations.

4. Resilient after Villa resurgence

Following Jack Grealish’s equaliser, Dean Smith’s men applied pressure as they pushed for a winner late on. But the hosts weathered the storm and then came close to snatching a second goal of their own in the dying minutes. In a game when neither goalkeeper had many saves to make, Pepe Reina marked his Villa debut with a brilliant late stop to deny Neal Maupay as Albion once again showed their resilience after suffering a setback.

5. Grealish at it again

If anyone was going to score for Villa it was always likely to be Jack Grealish. The visitors played with one up front and Grealish was employed as one of two players in support. He produced great control with his right foot and a better finish with his left to score for the fourth time against Albion, three of which have come this season. The Villa captain has scored more goals against the Seagulls than any other club.

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