Matt Targett: Aston Villa ready to attack Manchester City after dramatic Brighton win
Match-winner Matt Targett claims Villa are ready to attack Premier League champions Manchester City after his late heroics earned victory over 10-man Brighton.
Targett struck with just seconds remaining to snatch a 2-1 win for Villa, who enter a testing fortnight having now recorded back-to-back victories in the top flight for the first time since May, 2015.
Dean Smith’s men face City and leaders Liverpool on consecutive Saturdays, with a Carabao Cup date against Wolves sandwiched in between.
First up is a trip to the Etihad this weekend, where the hosts will be eager to rebound having lost to Wolves in their last home league match. But Targett insists Villa are approaching the game with their tails up.
“We will go there and take them on – the manager has said that already,” he said.
“We have our style of play and yes we respect them, they are the champions.
“But we will go there and try and beat them. It has been done before, by Wolves, so that gives us confidence.
“We know they have world class players that can punish us in any second so it is going to be a difficult game but one we look forward to.
“You could say the pressure is off because no-one will expect us to Man City and get a win.
“On Saturday it was so important we did get the win against Brighton. Anything from the Man City game is a bonus.”
Targett’s strike, in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time, edged Villa past a Brighton team who played most of the match with 10 men after Aaron Mooy’s first-half sending-off.
Adam Webster had earlier headed the Seagulls ahead with Jack Grealish then equalising, following Mooy’s dismissal, after Conor Hourihane had a goal controversially chalked off by VAR.
The winner was Targett’s first Villa goal and delivered a huge personal boost to the 24-year-old, who has forced his way into the team following a difficult start to life at the club following an £11million summer move from Southampton.
“It hasn't been easy since I have come here,” he said. “But the last few games I started to get myself in the team and it is a massive reward for all the hard work I have done.
“It was very frustrating afternoon. You move it side to side to try and work the opening but they defended so well.
“We tried to be as patient as possible and we kept working it and eventually we got our rewards.”