Last night Aston Villa succumbed to an embarrassing defeat to Brentford on what was a totally miserable evening for Steve Bruce and his side.

It was a historic night for the Bees who won their first ever game against Villa. Although the referee David Coote had a substandard game, he didn’t affect the result at all.

From the outset, Coote was inconsistent with his decisions, seemingly caught between allowing the game to breathe and giving picky little fouls which upset the flow of the game.

The game had no dirty tackles or anything which required serious intervention from the referee, but I felt that if it had the referee would have wasted no time in making himself the centre of attention as he did for a couple of petty fouls during the second half.

The first booking of the game came for Nico Yennaris of Brentford following a poor challenge on Conor Hourihane in which he went in over the top of the ball with a standing challenge, leading to Villa’s players asking for a more severe punishment for the Bees’ midfielder. A yellow card was the correct decision as Yennaris didn’t use excessive force in the challenge.

Henri Lansbury was very fortunate not to see yellow moments earlier for a very lazy challenge on Brentford skipper Harlee Dean. Despite a warning from David Coote, he also avoided a caution for another poor challenge minutes later.

Early on in the second half, Coote had the chance to play advantage following a foul on Albert Adomah but blew the whistle for the foul and that was a disadvantage to Villa. Adomah then tried to take the free kick quickly from the position he was in, around five yards away from where the foul was committed, and the referee made him retake it, giving Brentford’s defenders a chance to get back into position.

Throughout the second half, there were a series of fifty-fifty decisions which continually went to the home side and that visibly frustrated Villa’s players. Jonathan Kodjia was a player notably angered by the officials when the assistant referee gave a throw in to the home side even though it had clearly gone out off a Brentford defender. When it came to those decisions, it was simply one of those nights for the Villans who, it has to be pointed out, were woeful.

In the build up to Brentford’s third goal, the referee somehow missed Adomah being kicked in the head, which led to Brentford retrieving the ball and then hitting Villa on the counter attack to round off their night with a third goal. It was another example of inconsistency from the referee, who gave a similar foul against Jonathan Kodjia late on in the game.

Conor Hourihane was booked for a challenge on Ryan Woods where he went through the back of the Brentford midfielder to get the ball. The reaction of Villa’s Irish midfielder probably played a part in the yellow card he received but it was the correct decision.

Overall, this was a game Bruce’s boys were never going to win because of the way that they performed. The referee’s performance wasn’t worse than Villa’s, although he certainly won’t have won many plaudits for the way he controlled this game.

Ref Rating: 4/10


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