Danny Welbeck needed 12 minutes of his second start to open his account for Albion.

And he showed a clinical touch to do it.

He was sent clear from just inside his own half and benefited from an amazing lack of cover at the back.

Welbeck ran on to calmly chip the ball over Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Adam Lallana played the ball through to Welbeck, who was out on the right.

That came shortly after Lallana showed his defensive awareness by tracking back to cut out a low Matty Cash cross.


But the ex-Liverpool man should have extended the lead when he shot wide from a Tariq Lamptey cross after a long, patient and perceptive period of Albion passing.

Some superb last-ditch defending at the other end, notably by Ben White and Adam Webster, plus three Maty Ryan saves, ensured the Seagulls led 1-0 at the end of a first half which could easily have brought several more goals.