Aston Villa performed well but failed to make their early lead count against a spirited Brentford side who rallied to turn the game around.
Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa got their 2022 off to a losing start as they failed to make their advantage count in the Premier League clash against Brentford.
Danny Ings got the visitors off to a good start when he turned in Emiliano Buendia’s pass to give the Villans the lead on the night. The Midlands club dominated proceedings and largely nullified the Brentford attack in the first half. Unfortunately, this came at the cost of them failing to create chances as well.
Despite Villa dominating possession, Brentford struck next as Mads Roerslev picked out Yoane Wissa, who made no mistake from the edge of the box. It was, in fact, Brentford’s first Premier League goal from outside the penalty area.
Villa continued to hog possession in the second half, but Brentford once again struck the killer blow. Roerslev went from provider to scorer as he found the back of the net with seven minutes remaining. The visitors responded almost immediately, and Ings looked to have drawn his side level. However, Alvaro Fernandez made a smart save to leave the English striker stunned.
Villa laid siege on the Brentford goal as they desperately sought an equalizer. However, it was not to be, and the Bees picked up a much-needed win that saw them overtake their opponents in the Premier League standings. It is back to the drawing board now for Gerrard & co. Meanwhile, The Hard Tackle looks at how the Villans fared on the night.
Emiliano Martinez: 6/10
There was little the Argentine could do about either goal. Both were well-taken finishes, and it would be unfair to blame him for them. He, however, produced a stunning save to deny Frank Onyeka in the 75th minute and was at it again to deny Roerslev’s initial effort. Unfortunately, the Brentford star got a second bite at the cherry and made no mistake.
Matt Targett: 4/10
Targett never really got going and will need to take some blame for Brentford’s equalizer. He looked off the pace on the afternoon, and it will come as no surprise if he is benched in the upcoming game.
Kortney Hause: 4/10
Deputizing for the suspended Tyrone Mings, it was Hause’s first start for Villa in the Premier League since October. His rustiness showed, and he failed to keep up with the pace of the game. He gave Wissa too much space in the leadup to the equalizer and was unable to sense the danger that led to Brentford’s winner.
Ezri Konsa: 7/10
One of the most hardly talked about CB in the Premier League @EzriKonsa or give the the credit he deserves.
— Thomas Walford (@Thomas2782) January 2, 2022
Konsa was the pick of Villa defenders on the day and did well to neutralize Ivan Toney. He was also assured in possession and kept the ball moving with minimal fuss. Unfortunately, those around him were found wanting, and he ended up with nothing to show for his efforts.
Matty Cash: 5/10
Cash had little to write home about in a game that lacked any standout moments for the Polish international. While he wasn’t as dreadful as some of his other teammates, he certainly can do much better.
Jacob Ramsey: 5/10
He worked his socks off on the day but failed to make anything happen. Ramsey, at times, would have been better advised to make a pass than try to drive the ball forward himself. He picked up a yellow for his tackle on Onyeka and was taken off for Morgan Sanson in the 69th minute.
Douglas Luiz: 6/10
He kept things ticking over for Villa in the middle of the park. He looked assured in possession and was willing to work hard when Brentford had the ball. He did well to fight against the pressure Brentford applied in the middle of the pitch.
John McGinn: 6/10
The Scotland international is an engine in the middle of the park for Villa and looked up for the game. He had a couple of unsuccessful efforts from distance in the first half and was not afraid to go up against a physical Brentford midfield. Unfortunately, he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and will now miss Villa’s next Premier League clash against Manchester United.
Emi Buendia: 7/10
Emiliano Buendia’s game by numbers vs Brentford:
85% pass accuracy
14 final third passes completed
7/12 ground duels won
5 ball recoveries
5 attempted take-ons
4 successful take-ons
4 chances created
3 fouls drawn
An absolute handful. 🙌🪄 pic.twitter.com/8l5Kllsbdd
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 2, 2022
The Argentine put in a good performance on the day and showed off his silky skills and close ball control when in possession. He also set up Ings’ opener with an excellent set of skills and was up for the game all afternoon. More of the same will be a welcome relief to Gerrard & co.
Bertrand Traore: 5/10
It was the Burkina Faso man’s first start of the season, and he was infuriating more often than not with his decision-making. To his credit, Traore did show off some smooth skills with the ball but failed to make anything happen and often gave the ball away cheaply. There is potential in the player, and it remains to be seen if Gerrard can coax it out of him.
Danny Ings: 6/10
Ings took Villa’s opener well and almost equalized for them in the 85th minute as well. He ran his socks off but had limited opportunities to make a difference otherwise.
18 – Since the start of the 2019-20 season, Danny Ings has scored the opening goal in more Premier League games (18) than any other player (Sadio Mane next with 17). Breakthrough. #BREAVL
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 2, 2022
Morgan Sanson: 5/10
He replaced Ramsey in the 69th minute and looked lost for ideas. He never got into the game and was more of a passenger on the day.
He replaced Traore in the 80th minute but did little of note. Mads Roerslev gave the home side the lead soon after, and Trezeguet was unable to lead his side to a late equalizer.