Ollie Watkins' hat-trick powers Aston Villa to dominant victory over Brighton
Posted : 30 September 2023
Ollie Watkins showcased his scoring prowess once again, notching his second hat-trick of the season as Aston Villa executed a ruthless performance, overwhelming high-flying Brighton at Villa Park.
Watkins wasted no time, putting Unai Emery's squad in the lead early on with a composed finish into the left corner, capitalizing on Matty Cash's precise low cross.
The 27-year-old came agonizingly close to a fourth-minute screamer, with his fierce strike narrowly missing the target. However, he soon doubled his personal tally by slotting a low shot past Jason Steele into the right-hand post.
Villa asserted their dominance, displaying superior ball retrieval and physicality, and they extended their lead a mere five minutes later. Moussa Diaby's somewhat scrappy shot found the back of the net, deflected in off the unfortunate Pervis Estupinan.
Brighton showed signs of improvement after halftime, and Ansu Fati, a halftime substitute, managed to pull one back. However, any hopes of a remarkable comeback were extinguished by Watkins' third goal of the match. His powerful drive took a deflection off Adam Webster, leaving the visitors with a daunting deficit.
Watkins' performance etched his name in the record books, making him the first Villa player to score multiple hat-tricks in a season since Andy Gray achieved the feat in 1976-77.
As the match neared its conclusion, Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz added late goals, putting the finishing touches on a comprehensive victory for Villa. This result also sees them level on points with Brighton in the Premier League standings.