Steven Gerrard stated on Friday that Villa had no fresh injury issues during his press conference but come an hour before kick-off, covid-19 appeared to have struck the Villa squad again.

Danny Ings was handed a start as Ollie Watkins was nowhere to be seen although Gerrard did state he should be back for the FA Cup game against Manchester United next week. Kortney Hause replaced the suspended Tyrone Mings and Bertrand Traore was handed his first start of the season following a lengthy period in the treatment room.

It was Villa’s bench that told a Covid story of its own. Tim Iroegbunam and Josh Feeney joined an already youthful looking bench.

Gerrard, who was returning from Covid isolation of his own, watched on as Villa’s early dominance resulted in them taking the lead on 16 minutes.

Emi Buendia picked the ball up, produced a fantastic drag back and played Ings through on goal who then slotted into the far corner for his fourth goal of the season.

Villa failed to capitalise on their dominance and the home side found themselves level against the run of play a few minutes before half-time.

Yoane Wissa controlled a pass from Mads Roerslev’s before beating Hause and curling his effort past Emi Martinez in the Villa goal.

Villa continued to control the second half without creating any real clear cut chances. Ings could have doubled his tally for the afternoon but the ball got stuck under his feet before his snatch shot was denied by Alvaro Fernandez.

Brentford turned the game on its head when they grabbed a winner 7 minutes from time. Roerslev was once again involved as he beat Matt Targett before firing towards goal, his shot was saved by Martinez but the ball fell back to him as he smashed home to give the home side all three points.

Douglas Luiz

The Good

  • It was good to see Danny Ings back in the thick of things and also back on the scoresheet. The striker now has four goals for Villa and is maybe disappointed to not have scored another today.
  • Emi Buendia is impressing the more and more he plays. He assisted Ings’ opener and caused constant problems for Brentford all afternoon.
  • No Excuses – Despite the many covid issues we may or may not be experiencing it was fresh to her Gerrard stated that he wouldn’t make excuses for not performing as he expected. It was a breath of fresh air.

The Bad

  • The lack of intensity despite domination was a worry to see. It is the first time Villa have lacked intensity under Gerrard. It felt like a Dean Smith controlled game, all truth be told.
  • Cheap goals – we have conceded too many cheap goals this season and today was no different. I have spoken on this platform before about errors or mistakes and questioned when do they stop becoming mistakes and are just an error? And my thought process behind this is that we can learn from a mistake. An error is something that continues to happen because maybe the player just isn’t good enough. I am sure Gerrard will make up his own mind here.

Up Next

Manchester United v Aston Villa

FA Cup – Round Three
Join match chat on the Aston Villa forum here.

Monday, 10th January 2022.

Villa will have to be at their best if they are to progress to the next round of the FA Cup. Both clubs have new managers who will look at this competition as an opportunity to win some silverware.

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