HomeFootball NewsDe Zerbi hails Aston Villa as 'one of the best teams in...

De Zerbi hails Aston Villa as ‘one of the best teams in the Premier League’

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Roberto De Zerbi says his Brighton side beat “one of the best teams in the Premier League” on Sunday.

The Seagulls took all three points thanks to a late goal from Joao Pedro, who followed up his penalty miss and headed past the formidable Robin Olsen in goal.

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Villa’s stand-in for the injured Emiliano Martinez made a catalogue of stunning saves to keep his side in the contest, but could not secure a clean sheet in the process.

Unai Emery’s men looked tired after their brutal 4-2 loss to Olympiacos in the Europa Conference League on Thursday and Brighton took full advantage.

De Zerbi’s side dominated most of the proceedings and Simon Adingra in particular was a constant threat.

Both teams had goals ruled out through VAR – Brighton through Pascal Gross and Villa through John McGinn – but it would be the home side who struck the winner.

The Seagulls head coach had sympathy for his opponents following the win and admits he did not watch Aston Villa at their best.

He said: “I am proud because we played a great game against one of the best teams in the Premier League.

“They are fourth on the table and playing against the teams of Emery is still very tough.

“We played a good game, we deserved to win, we could score more goals. But to be honest Villa were not the true Villa today, maybe they were tired.

“Olsen was the best player for Villa and you can imagine how many chances we had to score.

“When you are making this bad result [at Bournemouth], you have to show the attitude. I think we showed that today.

“We didn’t play an amazing game in terms of quality of football but we showed pride and a big reaction.”

Villa have all but secured Champions League football next season with Tottenham’s loss at Liverpool but can confirm it with a win against the Reds next season.

Brighton are eying a top-half finish but must still face Newcastle, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Mitch Fretton
Mitch Fretton
Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.

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