Aston Villa vs Brentford: There was nothing to separate the Lions and the Bees in their thrilling 1-1 draw in the Premier League at Villa Park on Saturday.
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The result leaves Brentford on five points from three games (now 12.5 percent of the way to theoretical safety at 40), as Aston Villa pick up their fourth after back-to-back positive results.
Aston Villa vs Brentford final score, stats, results
Goals scored: Aston Villa 1 (Buendia 13′); Brentford 1 (Toney 7′)
Shots: Aston Villa 7, Brentford 9
Shots on target: Aston Villa 5, Brentford 2
Possession: Aston Villa 47%, Brentford 53%
3 things we learned, Aston Villa vs Brentford
1. Treat for the neutrals: Here’s an undeniable fact: If you’re new to the Premier League and looking for a club to get behind (or simply looking for a second side to follow, not necessarily to openly root for), you could do a lot worse than watching either Aston Villa or Brentford 38 times this year. Two clubs operating within their means, highly intelligently in the transfer market, with young(-ish) managers (Thomas Frank used to be Dean Smith’s assistant at Brentford) whose respective teams place a high priority on both ends of the field, equal parts defensively sensible and free-flowing on the attack.
2. Mings’ unexpected absence felt by Villa: Tyrone Mings was almost certainly set for a 90-minute, rough-and-tumble tussle with Toney, until he suffered a minor injury late in the week. Axel Tuanzebe came into the team, alongside Ezri Konsa, and acquitted himself rather well, but a relatively inexperience center back can do but so much against someone like Toney. Once again, the combination of his aerial ability and hold-up play (forget the excellent finish for his goal) was at the heart of everything Brentford did.
3. Ings on an island: Danny Ings played all 90 minutes and had all of 27 touches on the ball, including just nine in the first half. Brentford’s three center backs did a fantastic job of denying Ings the ball through a combination of double-marking (one defender denying ball to foot, and the other denying the runs in behind) and constant communication to pass him off as he floated between his preferred channels. Ings causes undisciplined defenses nightmares, but that’s not Brentford.
Man of the Match: Emi Buendia – The Argentine got his first goal for Aston Villa and was the architect of his side’s best opportunities to go on and win the game.
It was a game that could have finished 3-3 just as easily as it did 1-1. Brentford hit first through their talisman, but Aston Villa quickly responded through their new no. 10.
Ivan Toney scores first Premier League goal
After scoring 33 goals in the EFL Championship a season ago, Toney might have been frustrated after failing to score a goal in the first two games this season. The 25-year-old wasted very little time before breaking his duck like a classic, confident goal-scorer (below video).
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Emi Buendia hits back for first Aston Villa goal
Buendia coming (very) good after making his $52-million move from Norwich City is, effectively, the only way Aston Villa can come away from the sale of Jack Grealish feeling like they have perhaps improved on the whole.
Goals like this one will go a long way toward that end goal (above video).