Brighton 1-2 Aston Villa
The Seagulls were left frustrated at the Amex Stadium after Danny Ings hit a brace to cancel out Alexis Mac Allister’s first-minute opener.
Brighton pushed for a leveller and eight minutes of stoppage time were added on, but De Zerbi was booked for remonstrating about Villa’s slow play with goalkeeper Emi Martinez at one stage throwing the ball out due to an apparent injury only to make a recovery seconds later.
Matty Cash and John McGinn received cautions for time-wasting with Kavanagh dishing out seven yellow cards to the visitors and also lecturing De Zerbi after the Italian’s frustration boiled over.
‘It is not a big problem to lose but I would like to play normal time,’ said the Brighton manager.
‘Yes, a lot of wasting time. Too much wasting time. I think the referee had to control the game. This work is his work. Not my work, not my players’ work, not our fans work. For this situation I was angry and frustrated.’ De Zerbi was also left bemused by the decision not to give his side a spot-kick in the 70th minute when Solly March was kicked by Lucas Digne but even though VAR reviewed the incident, no penalty was awarded.
After Mac Allister had rifled Brighton ahead with only a minute on the clock, Villa regrouped and levelled when Ings fired home from the spot after 20 minutes.
McGinn won the penalty converted by Ings after being brought down by Lewis Dunk. The Seagulls centre-half was then at fault for the winner with Ings beating him too easily before giving Villa a first Premier League win on the road at the eighth time of asking.
New Villa manager Unai Emery now has two victories from his first two league games and said: ‘Everyone was so focused on set-pieces, corners. We had some players out but really, I think the job was fantastic.’
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