There was late drama at Villa Park as Brighton and Hove Albion held on to record just their second victory in the Premier League this season on a day Danny Welbeck got off the mark for his new club.
The 29-year-old, who signed a one-year deal for Brighton in October, showed terrific pace and composure to drive forward from inside his own half and clip the ball over Emiliano Martinez to give the visitors the lead in the 12th-minute.
Chances were aplenty in an entertaining and open first half, but the best undoubtedly fell to Trezeguet, who blazed over the bar from 10 yards after Adam Webster blocked his initial effort, as Aston Villa went in at the break trailing.
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But parity was restored almost immediately after the restart, with Ezri Konsa volleying home at the far post after the defender was left unmarked from Bertrand Traore's free-kick.
Villa weren't level for long, however. Solly March curled in his second goal of the season with a lovely shot from distance after another patient attacking move in the 56th-minute.
It looked like Brighton would hold on comfortably for the three points until Tariq Lamptey was shown a second yellow card in stoppage-time to spark a chaotic finish. Michael Oliver gave Aston Villa a penalty for March's challenge on Trezeguet, but the referee then overturned the decision after reviewing it on the pitch-side monitor.
Brighton's first ever victory at Villa Park keeps them in 16th but six points clear of the relegation zone. Aston Villa, meanwhile, missed the chance to climb up to second and remain sixth.
TALKING POINT - Villa's frustration; Welbeck's joy
Michael Oliver's decision-making at the death will undoubtedly dominate the post-match commentary. Aston Villa are bound to feel aggrieved, and you have to wonder would the foul have been awarded had the incident happened anywhere else on the pitch.
But the controversial incident shouldn't take away from a day that will live long in the memory for Danny Welbeck. The former England international has been far from prolific in the Premier League in recent years, and eyebrows were understandably raised when Graham Potter signed him on a one-year-deal last month. He scored just twice in 18 league games last season and couldn't help save Watford from relegation. But class is permanent and he reminded everyone of his qualities with an action-packed display.
Potter had remarked before the match that Brighton hadn't transferred quality performances into positive results, but they finally produced at both ends of the pitch to record a much-needed victory, even if they needed some luck along the way.
It is an incredibly frustrating result for Dean Smith to take. After watching his side dismantle Arsenal before the international break, Villa fall to a third successive home defeat, and his pain is compounded by the injury of Ross Barkley, who was forced off after pulling his hamstring in the second-minute.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Danny Welbeck (Brighton)
Graham Potter will feel there is much more to come from the 29-year-old after completing his first full 90 minutes for the club. There was much more to his display than just the opening goal, as he was involved with everything positive for Brighton going forward and helped out at the back too.
Aston Villa: Martinez 7, Cash 6, Konsa 7, Mings 6, Targett 6, Luiz 6, McGinn 6, Trezeguet 7, Barkley N/A, Grealish 7, Watkins 6.. subs: Hourihane 5, Traore 7, El Ghazi 6,
Brighton: Ryan 7, Lamptey 7, Dunk 7, White 7, Webster 7, March 8, Gross 8, Bissouma 6, Lallana 5, Welbeck 9, Maupay 6.. subs: Burn 6, Veltman 6, Molumby N/A.
12' - GOAL! Aston Villa 0-1 Brighton (Danny Welbeck): Welbeck scores his first goal for Brighton! Villa's defence is ridiculously high. Gross holds the ball up and knocks it back to Lallana, who picks out Welbeck close to the halfway line. He has an awful long way to travel but no one in front of him but the goalkeeper. And he has the pace and composure, keeping his cool to clip it over Martinez for a really neat finish.
18' - Villa chances! How has Trezeguet not scored? Grealish pulls it back into the danger zone, Brighton make a mess of their clearance. It falls into the path of Trezeguet who sees his first shot blocked and he somehow blazes the rebound over the bar from 10 yards!
47' - GOAL! Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton (Ezri Konsa): The hosts win a free-kick immediately after the restart. Traore bends it to the far post where the unmarked Konsa volleys Villa level with a striker's finish!
56' - GOAL! Aston Villa 1-2 Brighton (Solly March): Brighton are back in front thanks to March's lovely finish! Can they hang on this time? It's really patient build-up from the visitors, with Gross switching the ball left to March, who has plenty of space to pick his spot from 20 yards. It takes it so well, curling the ball into the top corner, leaving Martinez with no chance.
90'+1 Red card! Lamptey is shown a second yellow card for a foul on Grealish! It's a silly foul and it makes Brighton's job of holding on much more difficult!
90'+5 Penalty or not? Trezeguet is caught by March and though it's going to be checked by VAR it seems the referee has made the right call! Referee Michael Oliver is going to the screen! What's the final decision going to be? The decision is NO penalty! Brighton's relief is palpable!
- Danny Welbeck has scored five goals in his last five Premier League games against Aston Villa - he's scored more top-flight goals against the Villans than he has any other side.
- Pascal Gross has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other Brighton player since their promotion in 2017 (12 goals, 17 assists), overtaking Glenn Murray's 26 goals and two assists.
- Brighton have conceded nine goals from set pieces in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.