Brighton halt Aston Villa's charge for Champions League

Joao Pedro netted a late winner to halt Aston Villa’s charge to qualify for the Champions League as Brighton deservedly claimed a 1-0 victory at the Amex Stadium.

Villa had the chance to move 10 points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham with a win, knowing a defeat for their top-four rivals to Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, live on Sky Sports, would see them secure fourth.

But Unai Emery’s side looked jaded after their midweek defeat to Olympiakos with the out-of-form hosts denied the opening goal during the second half by VAR when Pascal Gross was ruled offside.

Villa’s John McGinn then found the net but he too was offside before Brighton deservedly claimed the points, Pedro heading in the rebound from his penalty which the brilliant Robin Olsen had saved.

Villa remain in fourth, seven points above Spurs, who have two games in hand.

More to follow…

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Joao Pedro has his penalty saved against Robin Olsen but scores from the rebound

What’s next?

Brighton have three games remaining of their season. They go to Newcastle on Saturday May 11, kick-off 3pm, before hosting Chelsea on Wednesday May 15, kick-off 7.45pm. Brighton then finish at home to Manchester United on Sunday May 19, kick-off 4pm.

Aston Villa travel to Olympiakos for the second leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final on Thursday May 9, kick-off 8pm. They then feature on Monday Night Football on May 13 at home to Liverpool, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 8pm. Unai Emery’s side finish the season at Crystal Palace on May 19, kick-off 4pm.

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