Aston Villa made a trip to Brentford on Boxing Day at the back of their entertaining home draw against Sheffield United on Saturday. The Villans has not tasted victory in any of their last four league matches and are currently struggling to get favourable results in their quest to secure a playoff spot at the end of the season. Steve Bruce’s men are sitting in 6th place with only goal difference separating them from Sheffield United in the league table. They took on a Brentford side looking to return back to winnings ways in the Championship but were in for a tough battle at Griffin Park. Steve Bruce opted for a 4-4-1-1 formation and was in for a rude awakening on Boxing Day.
The Villans conceded an early goal when Brentford scored the opening goal through Romaine Sawyers who pounced on a defensive mistake made by the Villa midfield. To make things worse, their top-scorer Albert Adomah succumbed to an injury early in the first half and had to be substituted by Tottenham Hotspur loanee Joshua Onomah. However, he came off the bench to score the equalise for the West Midlands club courtesy of a clever header in the 30th minute. The teams went in level going into the break but Brentford came back strong in the second half and scored in the 52nd minute through Lasse Vibe who slotted home the winner from a corner. The game finished 2-1 in the Bees’ favour.
Let’s see how each Aston Villa player fared on the night.
GK: Sam Johnstone – 6/10
The Manchester United loanee failed to keep a clean sheet once again versus the Bees and conceded two goals on the night. However, he made a few great saves to keep his team in the contest and could do little about the goals scored by Brentford.
RB: Alan Hutton – 5/10
He had a hard time dealing with Sergi Canos as the Spanish winger took him to the cleaners with his pace and trickery.
CB: Tommy Elphick – 6/10
He was calm and composed at the Villa backline and put in a great challenge to deny Canos in what looked like a certain goal.
CB: James Chester – 6/10
Villa’s skipper didn’t do much wrong in the game and did do the little things well in defence but couldn’t help his team keep a clean sheet.
LB: Neil Taylor – 6/10
The ex Swansea City fullback defended well and joined in on the attack as and when he could. He was unlucky that one of his many good crosses wasn’t finished by the Villa strikers.
RM: Robert Snodgrass – 6/10
His clever pass opened up the Brentford defence during Villa’s equaliser. He also got a few attempts in from free-kicks but it failed to threaten the Brentford goalkeeper.
CM: Glenn Whelan – 4/10
He was at fault for Brentford’s opening goal as he lost possession of the ball which led to Romaine Sawyers scoring for the Bees. Had a poor game, to say the least.
CM: Mile Jedinak – 6/10
The Australian international returned to his favoured role in midfield and looked far more comfortable on the night.
LM: Albert Adomah – N/A
He hardly made any impact in the game and had to be subbed after suffering an injury to his ribcage which was clearly giving him a lot of pain early on in the match.
CAM: Jack Grealish – 6/10
He was by far the biggest threat to the Brentford defence. The 22-year-old is slowly becoming the main guy at the club and future teams might be built around him.
ST: Scott Hogan – 6/10
He played his part on Villa’s equaliser in the first half and also scored a goal himself in the second half but that goal was ruled out as offside.
LM: Joshua Onomah – 7/10
He came on in place of the injured Adomah and scored the equaliser in the first half. However, he was partly to blame for Brentford’s winner when there was a defensive mix up between him and Elphick.
ST: Keinan Davis – 6/10
The chances fell to his feet in the second half when he came on from the bench. And he could have and probably should have scored the equaliser for the Villans.
CB: Ahmed Elmohamady – 6/10
He had little time to make an impact but he did deliver a great cross which found the head of Davis but unfortunately, the striker couldn’t come up with a finishing touch.