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Top-Four Chasing Villa Held By Brentford In Rollercoaster Draw

  • 3 min read

Aston Villa were dealt a body blow in their battle for top-four spots when Brentford scored three goals in nine minutes in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Villa Park in the Premier League on Saturday.

The result leaves Villa in fourth with 60 points, three points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur who have two games in hand. Brentford are 16th with 29 points, four points above the drop zone after the draw stretched their winless run to nine games.

Villa were 2-0 up when Brentford scored three goals before Ollie Watkins rescued a point for the home side.

“It’s frustrating, we lacked that big team mentality where they kill games off which is really disappointing,” Watkins told BBC.

“I’m not belittling my team. I’m part of it. I feel we need to somehow figure out when we’re 2-0 up how to just shut up shop.

“There is a lot of football to be played. We’re battling with Tottenham who have got a great squad. It’s going to be tight. We need to win the next six games.”

Although Villa dominated possession in the first half, having more than 75% of the ball at the half-hour mark, Brentford’s stubborn defence kept them at bay until Watkins broke the deadlock in the 39th minute.

Watkins met John McGinn’s teasing cross into the box with a strong header and Brentford keeper Mark Flekken only managed to parry the ball onto the post before it crept over the line.

After a sluggish first half, Villa needed just 32 seconds after the restart to score their second when Youri Tielemans found Morgan Rogers and the 21-year-old cleverly evaded two defenders to fire home his first goal for the club.


But Brentford refused to give in and Mathias Jorgensen halved Villa’s lead in the 59th minute when he attempted to turn in Mikkel Damsgaard’s cross with his right foot but scored a scruffy goal as it went in off his left leg.

Before Villa could recover, Bryan Mbeumo brought Brentford level on his first start after his return from injury with a smart volley from Sergio Reguilon’s cross, leaving Villa boss Unai Emery stunned on the touchline.

Brentford thought they had completed the turnaround in the 68th minute when Reguilon grabbed his second assist, finding Yoane Wissa unmarked in the six-yard box for a simple tap-in to leave Villa Park shell-shocked.

But Villa levelled when Watkins rose above the defence to score with his second header of the game, moving up to second in the Premier League’s goal scoring charts with 18 goals, behind Erling Haaland on 19.

Neither side could find a late winner but Villa were dealt another blow when Douglas Luiz was booked in the dying minutes of the game.

It was his 10th yellow card of the season, which means he will miss their next game against title contenders Arsenal, formerly managed by Emery.

“Big praise (for the team) to come back and lead 3-2. And then they (Villa) score from a deflected cross. If they didn’t score, then I’m sure we would have won,” Brentford boss Thomas Frank told Sky Sports.

“I’m happy with the performances, but I just want to get over the line and to get the win next time.”