Brentford 2-1 Aston Villa: Danny Ings on target but Villa beaten on boss Steven Gerrard’s return


Yoane Wissa's strike was his third Premier League goal - and his first since he got the winner at West Ham on 3 October
Yoane Wissa’s goal was his third in the Premier League and first since hitting the winner at West Ham on 3 October

Brentford boss Thomas Frank hailed his “incredible” side after victory over Aston Villa catapulted them into a position he claimed “shouldn’t be possible”.

The Bees, enjoying their first season in the Premier League, came from behind to ruin Steven Gerrard’s return to the dugout and leapfrog Villa to 12th spot through Mads Roerslev’s late winner.

Danny Ings steered Villa ahead after a delightful link-up with Emi Buendia but Roerslev set up Yoane Wissa to curl Brentford level and the Danish wing-back completed the comeback with his first goal for the club.

“We’ve played half our games in the Premier League, with the injuries we’ve had I think it’s incredible what we’ve done – but we want more of course,” Frank told BBC Match of the Day.

“We looked tired, for whatever reason. I don’t know why. I think in that respect it’s even more impressive that we got the three points.

“I think these wins are the bigger wins. We didn’t play our best football today but managed still to win a tight game, which is impressive.

“It shouldn’t be possible that we’re above Villa with the amount of money they’ve spent on their squad in the last two or three years. I think they’re a good club, so the fact that we’re above them is quite good.”

Gerrard, returning from Covid isolation after missing the defeat by Chelsea seven days earlier, saw Ings slide Villa ahead with a precise first-time finish in the 16th minute after a sublime piece of skill by Buendia.

The Argentine playmaker produced an exquisite drag-back in midfield before slipping Ings clear to slide a fine shot inside Alvaro Fernandez’s far post for only his fourth goal since joining the club.

Brentford levelled with their first shot on target three minutes before the break, with Wissa curling home from 20 yards after immaculately controlling Roerslev’s pass.

Villa, without top scorer Ollie Watkins, controlled the majority of the second half but Roerslev poked home the 83rd-minute winner after seeing his initial effort well saved by Emi Martinez.

The visitors almost rescued a point at the death but Fernandez produced an instinctive stop to keep out Ings’ effort from John McGinn’s cushioned pass.

Buendia and Ings combination a positive for Villa

Villa slipped to successive defeats for the first time under Gerrard – albeit he only managed the Chelsea defeat from afar – and were left to rue not making more of their overall control of the game.

While marquee summer signings Buendia and Ings, who cost £58m combined in moves from Norwich and Southampton respectively, have neither fully convinced this season, they linked up well here.

Mads Bech Sorensen’s last-ditch block prevented Ings opening the scoring from a Buendia through-ball before the pair combined brilliantly to break the deadlock.

But Gerrard, who did not confirm the reason behind Watkins’ absence apart from saying Villa were suffering from Covid and injury issues, saw his side waste several promising openings both before and after Wissa’s equaliser.

Late pressure also went unrewarded as Villa came away with nothing, dropping to 13th place.

“That’s five goals we’ve conceded in the last two games, which isn’t good enough,” Gerrard told BBC Match of the Day.

“No way should we have lost this game with the performance we gave, but if you concede the goals that we did, it costs you. We need more grit and need to be tough to play against.”

Bees take another step to safety

After three successive defeats in all competitions without scoring for Brentford, Frank might have been a slightly worried man approaching half-time.

However, his team talk changed when they produced a goal out of nowhere, Wissa, like Ings earlier, netting for the first time since October with a wonderful strike to boot.

From there they kept the visitors at arms’ length, paying particular attention to Buendia who has now scored or set up a goal all five times he has faced the Bees.

Ethan Pinnock’s fine tackle on Buendia in midfield proved a pivotal moment, creating a chance for Frank Onyeka, which Martinez superbly tipped wide and Brentford built on that momentum as Roerslev won it at the second time of asking.

While Ivan Toney was again a marginal figure, Brentford are finding goals from other routes and, 12 points clear of the bottom three, a second season in the top flight looks all but assured.

Player of the match

GhoddosSaman Ghoddos

Brentford

  1. Squad number14Player nameGhoddos

  2. Squad number30Player nameRoerslev

  3. Squad number11Player nameWissa

  4. Squad number6Player nameNørgaard

  5. Squad number17Player nameToney

  6. Squad number26Player nameBaptiste

  7. Squad number8Player nameJensen

  8. Squad number18Player nameJansson

  9. Squad number7Player nameCanós

  10. Squad number27Player nameJanelt

  11. Squad number29Player nameBech Sørensen

  12. Squad number15Player nameOnyeka

  13. Squad number5Player namePinnock

  14. Squad number40Player nameFernández

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  2. Squad number20Player nameIngs

  3. Squad number10Player nameBuendía

  4. Squad number1Player nameMartínez

  5. Squad number2Player nameCash

  6. Squad number41Player nameJ Ramsey

  7. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

  8. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  9. Squad number3Player nameTargett

  10. Squad number30Player nameHause

  11. Squad number8Player nameSanson

  12. Squad number15Player nameTraoré

  13. Squad number17Player nameTrézéguet

Line-ups

Brentford

Formation 3-5-2

  • 40Fernández
  • 5Pinnock
  • 18Jansson
  • 29Bech Sørensen
  • 30Roerslev
  • 15OnyekaBooked at 31minsSubstituted forJaneltat 80′minutes
  • 6Nørgaard
  • 8JensenSubstituted forBaptisteat 61′minutes
  • 7CanósSubstituted forGhoddosat 54′minutes
  • 17ToneyBooked at 77mins
  • 11Wissa

Substitutes

  • 2Thompson
  • 9Forss
  • 14Ghoddos
  • 20Ajer
  • 26Baptiste
  • 27Janelt
  • 28Bidstrup
  • 36Stevens
  • 41Cox

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 4Konsa
  • 30Hause
  • 3Targett
  • 7McGinnBooked at 89mins
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 41J RamseyBooked at 30minsSubstituted forSansonat 69′minutes
  • 15TraoréSubstituted forTrézéguetat 80′minutes
  • 20Ings
  • 10Buendía

Substitutes

  • 8Sanson
  • 12Steer
  • 17Trézéguet
  • 21El Ghazi
  • 32Philogene-Bidace
  • 33Chukwuemeka
  • 35Archer
  • 47Iroegbunam
  • 59Feeney

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