The Late Late Show: Aston Villa 1 – 1 Brentford

In Match Reports

The hosts could have had the lead in the fifth minute, thanks to new signing Kodjia, whose shot was blocked at the near post by Brentford goalkeeper Bentley.

The Ivorian continued to look lively and built on his impressive debut against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

With the visitors pinning the hosts back, a piece of individual brilliance saw Kodjia open his claret and blue account after nineteen minutes. He collected an excellent pass from Mile Jedinak on the right and tricked his way to the edge of the area. From there, he shot with his left foot and his stunning effort curled into the far-left corner.

The goal seemed to inspire the Villans and Gestede could have doubled his side’s advantage two minutes later. He exchanged neat passes with De Laet before shooting straight at Bentley.

Cissokho then went to ground after a challenge and there was a lengthy break in play as he received treatment.

Kodjia, McCormack and Gestede worked well together for a spell and had another chance to make it 2-0 after thirty-seven minutes. Kodjia raced through the centre and passed to McCormack out on the right, who then crossed to Gestede. Unfortunately, Gestede headed narrowly wide of the near post.

The Villans were let off when Elphick’s sloppiness allowed Hogan through and the in-form striker shot straight at the grateful Gollini.

The Bees kept buzzing and had another good chance just before half-time, when Clarke tried his luck from outside the box and shot over the bar.

Needing to kill the game off, the Villans emerged for the second half without McCormack, who was replaced by Amavi.

The Bees had the first chance of the second half after three minutes when Hogan raced to meet a long ball and shot from a tricky angle. The effort was saved by Gollini, much to the disappointment of the Brentford fans who thought it had gone in.

The visitors began to make their mark, enjoying plenty of possession. They put Gollini’s goal under pressure as Villa fans prayed that their side would find the all-important goal.

De Laet’s knee injury eighteen minutes into the second half led to another break in play as he was treated inside the box before being replaced by Bacuna.

A lively Ayew caused the Bees’ back line some problems and it was a shame that Kodjia couldn’t get on the end of a cracking cross from the Ghanaian at the half-hour mark.

A minute later, Ayew fired over the bar following neat play with Bacuna.

The tension in Villa Park was palpable as the clock ticked.

Gardner replaced Gestede in a bid to strengthen the midfield and protect the lead but the tactic proved futile as the almost inevitable equaliser came, courtesy of Egan, who was given a foolish amount of space in the Villa box, with three minutes left on the clock.

With boos ringing around the emptying stadium, the shell-shocked Villans, unable to break the deadlock, clung on for the five additional minutes.

Villa have now conceded late goals in the 86th, 87th and 88th minute this season and the odds at big free bet tips would be decent for them to concede in the 89th against Ipswich this weekend.

Speaking post-match, Di Matteo said:

“I’m not happy with the result and the second half.

We wanted to go on and score a second goal. We let them get on ball with too much space and time, which we prevented in the first half.

We’ve lost two points really.

We started the game well and created a lot of chances, not as many as usual, but we didn’t quite manage to dominate or hold onto the ball as we would have liked to, to create chances for us and not let them come back into the game.

We need to be more clinical in front of goal: we could have scored five on Sunday. But, most of all, we also need to see games out.

We allowed them to get too much of the ball in the second half and we got a bit nervous in the last ten minutes. We just need to win. Win ugly, or attractive. It doesn’t matter.”

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