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Saturday, December 7
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Sep 25, 2019 at 7.45pm UK
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion
1-3
Aston Villa
Roberts (61')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Jota (22'), Hourihane (33'), Grealish (77')

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Graham Potter blames injuries for youthful EFL Cup side

:Headline: Graham Potter blames injuries for youthful EFL Cup side:
Villa compounded situation for Brighton boss with win at Amex Stadium.
PA | 2mo

Brighton boss Graham Potter says injuries and sickness forced him to field a youthful side for the Carabao Cup third round loss to Aston Villa.

Potter named a starting XI with an average age of just over 21 and handed 10 senior debuts to academy players during the course of the 3-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium.

After falling behind to first-half goals from Jota and Conor Hourihane, a header from 17-year-old defender Haydon Roberts briefly gave the hosts hope of forcing a penalty shoot-out, until Villa substitute Jack Grealish put the result beyond doubt.

Goalkeeper David Button, defenders Shane Duffy and Gaetan Bong and forward Aaron Connolly were the only Brighton players involved who had previously made a first-team appearance.

Asked if he could have included more experience to his line-up, Potter replied: "Not really, not with the situation we've got – a couple of injuries, a couple of lads sick as well.

"So we're just going through that little phase at the moment.

"In the last round we were able to do a bit more experience and it would have been preferable to have a couple more around but it wasn't to be at this stage.

"A couple were close but it just wasn't worth the risk really."

Injury-stricken Albion have not won a Premier League game since the opening day and face daunting upcoming fixtures against Chelsea and Tottenham.

Experienced centre-back Duffy added to their concerns by limping off during the second period, leaving Potter with an anxious wait to discover the extent of the problem.

"It sounds like something in his calf. It's obviously a concern, we'll see how it settles down next 24, 48 hours," said Potter.

Despite being knocked out, Potter was pleased with what he saw from his team, who hit the crossbar through the lively Connolly before Roberts eventually halved the deficit.

"It was a spirited performance from our boys, they gave everything, up against a quality team that deserved to go through," he added.

"We had to stay in the game in the second half, which we did, and the goal is nice for our players to experience that moment of joy.

"And then they bring on Jack Grealish to get over the line. In the end it's a good experience for our players, it gives us an idea of what they need to do, but clearly you can see the quality difference as well."

The visitors' victory earned them a fourth-round clash at home to West Midlands rivals Wolves.

Villa boss Dean Smith praised the professionalism of his players after they avoided a potential upset against inexperienced opposition.

"As a Villa supporter, I've seen teams that have come unstuck in situations like that, whether it's a youthful team or a lower-league team," said Smith.

"The words I said to them were attitude, application and teamwork and I thought we got that in abundance tonight and they have done it right.

"This football club has got a very proud history in all cup competitions – we've won this five times, we've won the FA Cup seven times.

"You've seen the numbers that have travelled down from Birmingham and they deserve our utmost respect – and we've given it that tonight."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool16151040142646
2Leicester CityLeicester1511223592635
3Manchester CityMan City16102443192432
4Chelsea169253124729
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd166642518724
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs166553023723
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves155822117423
8Crystal Palace166461418-422
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd154741715219
10Arsenal154742123-219
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle155461522-719
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton155371822-418
13Burnley165382129-818
14Everton165291928-917
15Bournemouth164481824-616
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham154471725-816
17Aston Villa154382224-215
18Southampton154381733-1615
19Norwich CityNorwich1532101632-1611
20Watford16169930-219
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool16151040142646
2Leicester CityLeicester1511223592635
3Manchester CityMan City16103343172633
4Chelsea169253124729
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs166553023723
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves155822117423
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd165742318522
8Crystal Palace166461418-422
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd154741715219
10Arsenal154742123-219
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle155461522-719
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton155371822-418
13Burnley165382129-818
14Everton165291928-917
15Bournemouth164481824-616
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham154471725-816
17Aston Villa154382224-215
18Southampton154381733-1615
19Norwich CityNorwich1532101632-1611
20Watford16169930-219
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