Emiliano Martinez this week compared Jack Grealish to Lionel Messi, but the goalkeeper will soon be earning hyperbolic comparisons of his own with performances like this.
A long list of famous goalkeepers, including Jimmy Rimmer, Nigel Spink and Mark Bosnich, have played for Villa down the years and Martinez’s performances this season are evoking memories of some of the club’s best stoppers.
Martinez, who looks a steal at £17million from Arsenal, single-handedly secured a point for Villa with his 12th clean sheet of the season against a Brighton side who will be wondering how they did not take all three points.
Seven of Martinez’s clean sheets have come away from home and the only Villa goalkeeper to manage more away shut-outs in a Premier League season was another of the club’s respected goalkeepers Brad Friedel with eight.
While Villa have earned praise for their enterprise this season, there has been a dogged determination about them in recent weeks that has started with Martinez.
Dean Smith’s side have not been sweeping opponents aside of late, but clean sheets against Southampton, Arsenal and now Brighton have earned them valuable points.
Grealish was not quite the Midlands Messi at the Amex Stadium on a freezing Saturday night, but Martinez was at his very best at the other end.
The Argentine’s best save came from a Dan Burn header in the first half, but he felt the draw represented a missed opportunity for Villa, who moved up to eighth above Tottenham.
"Not really (pleased with a point), we came here to win and be in the top seven with two games in hand,” said Martinez. “We were sloppy in the first half and could not create the chances in the second.
“That is my job and the back four, to keep a clean sheet. It is one of those games where we had to put our bodies on the line but we were really off today.
“It was so cold, I thought I had a good game because I made a save early on and I am delighted to keep everyone out today.
“I just want to repay the trust of the manager, goalkeeper coach and club. I am glad I settled in really quickly but credit to my team-mates who are doing a really good job.
“We are looking to Europe, that is why I am frustrated today. We were not in the game since the first minute and Brighton deserved to win.”
Graham Potter agreed with Martinez’s assessment after seeing Burn, Leandro Trossard, Neal Maupay and substitute Danny Welbeck all fail to beat the Villa goalkeeper.
Brighton are now unbeaten in six Premier League games, but it should have been a second successive home victory.
“It was frustrating but pleasing because the performance was very good and we did everything but score,” said Potter. “We had shots, had attacks and reduced Villa's attacking players. We are disappointed with just the one point.
“Their goalkeeper made some really good saves and has been an important player for them, that is football but the overall performance we had enough shots and attacks at them to score, just not that last little luck you need.”
Other than praising Martinez, Smith, who saw Matt Cash forced off with a hamstring injury, was angry with Villa’s performance, saying: “Not even bang average, I have never seen us make so many unforced errors in a game, it was sloppy from start to finish but we had the resilience to keep the ball out of the net. Brighton were the better team.
"It was disappointing all round and the only thing that comes from it is a clean sheet and the resilience.”
"We've drawn too many against teams in and around us. For us to take the next step we have to be more successful and win those games.
In this league nobody cares what you did a couple of days ago. Aston Villa have recruited really well and identified areas they were weaker in last season."
Brighton are looking to complete a league double over Aston Villa for the first time in what is their 11th season facing the Villans.
Brighton are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games (W3 D2), with only Manchester City on a longer current run without defeat in the competition (15).
Aston Villa have won 11 Premier League games this season, keeping a clean sheet in 10 of those victories.
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has been directly involved in five goals in his last five appearances against Brighton in all competitions (4 goals, 1 assist), scoring in his last two at the Amex.
Hello and welcome to coverage for the late kick off between Brighton and Aston Villa.
Unbeaten in five league games, Brighton could set a new club record for their longest sequence of Premier League fixtures without losing if they avoid defeat.
In Aston Villa, they will face a side who have won six times on the road in this season's top flight after a successful summer transfer window where they signed Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash, Bertrand Traore and Ollie Watkins and Brighton boss Graham Potter hailed the work done by his counterpart Dean Smith.
"The goalkeeper has come in and made a big difference," Potter said.
"Cash has done well at right-back, they've added (Ross) Barkley, Traore and Watkins up front and that takes the pressure off Jack Grealish a little bit to not be the sole provider that he was a bit last year.
"They're more of an attacking unit with really good players at the top end of the pitch that can hurt you in a second.
"They've also got the ability to keep clean sheets. Credit to Dean and the team there, the balance of the team is really good."
Villa are ninth in the table, with games in hand on all but one of the teams above them.
Winning both games in hand they have over Chelsea and Liverpool could see Smith's side climb above both clubs and up to fourth in the standings.
But the Villa boss Smith is not getting carried away, saying: "It's a mere distraction at the moment as we're only 21 games in. There's a long way to go still and we haven't played Everton or Tottenham in the league yet.
"There are games that we haven't played because of Covid-19 this season, so it's been a strange one but a good one in terms of our consistency.
"We've been a bit up and down over our last couple of performances - very good against Arsenal and not so good against West Ham. The performance against Arsenal is more of what we want to see from our players."