Aston Villa player ratings gallery: Two score 8/10 in 2-2 draw vs Brighton as two get 4/10

Player ratings from Aston Villa 2-2 Brighton & Hove Albion - as Unai Emery’s side were challenged to a mid-season friendly in Dubai.

Aston Villa kicked off their Dubai warm-weather training camp with an action-packed 2-2 draw against fellow Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday afternoon. Playing behind closed doors, Unai Emery’s men were put through their paces in a friendly against a fairly strong Seagulls team guided by Italian head coach Roberto De Zerbi.

It was a fairly slow start to the game as both clubs adjusted to the conditions, but there were some early signs of promise from Villa - just mainly on the counter attack. One move forward ended in the Villans winning a free-kick in a dangerous area, as Douglas Luiz stung the gloves of Jason Steele with a powerful effort. There was some good, fast-paced, first-time passing on show from the Lions, with the likes of Luiz, Boubacar Kamara and Ezri Konsa getting involved in any attacks that did develop. Albion were able to keep Emery’s side quiet in the meantime, though, as they enjoyed plenty of possession - albeit with slower build-up than Villa.

Emery opted to not make any changes whatsoever at half time, but straight after the break his team created the best chance of the game. Emiliano Buendia did well as he made a well-timed through ball to Leon Bailey - the winger then cut inside and fired just wide of the far post. Brighton regained possession for a long spell afterward, but Villa were resilient in defence and stopped them from creating any clear-cut opportunities. Emery looked to the bench just after the hour mark, bringing on Danny Ings, Cameron Archer, Calum Chambers and Ludwig Augustinsson.

Ings was handed arguably the easiest goal of his entire career as a poor ball was passed back to Steele and the Albion goalkeeper slipped. The former Liverpool man was in the right place at the right time to pass into an empty net. He just loves playing against Brighton. Albion were able to grab one back around 10 minutes later, though, as German striker Deniz Undav took a forward pass into his stride and fired into the bottom left-hand corner. Chambers struggled to pick up the tempo of the game and was unable to be of much resistance as Undav equalised.

The Seagulls nearly grabbed another goal through a couple of decent opportunities, one being a well-taken volley from Solly March and another being a set piece routine that was nearly turned in at the far post. Villa’s concentration levels dropped off soon after as Undav was left unmarked on the edge of the box. He scored his second goal of the afternoon, picking up a Pascal Gross pass and hitting the ball first time. Robin Olsen was rooted to his spot, even though the effort itself didn’t have much power behind it whatsoever. Emery will have been scratching his head after that one.

Thankfully for Villa, though, they were able to get an equaliser late on as Lewis Dunk turned the ball into his own net. There was some good work from Luiz pushing far up the field before Arjan Raikhy then squared to Ings, but the ball never reached him. It flicked off Dunk, who had come sliding in. De Zerbi’s men offered some late threat but the Lions were able to hold on for a draw in what was a good run out for the lads over in Dubai.

Here are our player ratings from the friendly clash, with two players getting 8/10 and two getting 4/10. Note, all images used are of the players from other fixtures, not from today.

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