Dean Smith’s Aston Villa went into this home match against the newly promoted Bees hoping to gather further momentum following their two-nil win over Newcastle United last time out. There was plenty of mutual respect between the two teams before kick-off as a result of Smith and Thomas Frank’s relationship from when they were both in the Brentford dugout.
Let’s take a look at the starting elevens for both teams…
ASTON VILLA XI:
Once the match started, the visitors had a great chance just five minutes into the contest when Saman Ghoddos’s was blocked and the score was kept level, but not for long. This is because just minutes after this failed attempt to give the Bees the lead, their talismanic striker Ivan Toney capitalised on some poor defending from the Villa backline to slot the ball past the scrambling Emi Martinez to give the visiting team the lead.
However, Villa was not behind for long, as Emi Buendia was able to create some space for himself just outside the Brentford box to curl a powerful shot past David Raya and into the back of the net to restore parity and clinch his first goal for Aston Villa.
Villa soon had a chance to take the lead for the first time in the match through Anwar El Ghazi, who dribbled into the box and tried to curl a shot past Raya, but his shot flew well wide of the Spaniard’s goal and the sides remained locked together at one goal apiece. The match was then a tight one with both sides not creating much in terms of chances, but both sides certainly knew they were in a match.
The Bees then had two chances in very quick succession through Mbuemo and Rico Henry, but their respective shots were unable to find their way into the back of the net with Henry’s chance coming closest to breaking the deadlock when the ball dribbled agonisingly past Martinez’s far post and parity remained. Villa then had a chance of their own, but Tuanzebe’s header only found the gloves of David Raya.
The halftime whistle came with the score level a 1-1, the question on peoples’ lips was if either team was going to find the goal to get themselves all three points?
The first big chance of the second half came to Brentford when Mbeumo was able to beat Matty Cash to the ball, but he saw his strike fail to hit the back of the net as it dribbled wide of the goal.
The match from then on was very tight with, like in the first half, neither team created any golden chances to give themselves the lead on the day until El Ghazi had another chance to score, only for his shot to fly past the wrong side of the post and Villa were unable to go into the lead for the first time in the contest.
The next big chance for either side didn’t come until very late on in the match and it came from El Ghazi once again, with the Dutchman seeing his cross find the head of the returning Ollie Watkins at the far post who was only able to guide his header straight at Raya.
Following a penalty appeal, Villa managed to fashion another opportunity to grab the win so late in the match, but Watkins’s effort once again only found the gloves of the Bees goalkeeper. The final whistle came with the sides locked at 1-1 with a point for both sides. Brentford maintained their unbeaten start. Villa may be somewhat frustrated with the missed chance for another victory but it is another vital point going into the rest of the season, and it must be remembered that Dean Smith’s Villans were without several key players with the likes of Mings, McGinn and Bailey unavailable for selection.
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