An entertaining draw against Brentford at Villa Park saw Ezri Konsa leave the pitch with a knee injury this afternoon and Emi Buendia score his first goal for the club.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa hosted Brentford at Villa Park, for their second home game in the Premier League in a row this afternoon. The Aston Villa squad was without captain Tyrone Mings, Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn, with Axel Tuanzebe, Carney Chukwuemeka and Matt Targett coming into the line-up.
Within seven minutes, Brentford had taken the lead. They kept a corner alive after it was headed towards the back post, playing the ball back into the box where Ivan Toney was waiting to prod the ball into the back of the net and past Emiliano Martinez.
Just six minutes later, and Aston Villa had equalised, however. Danny Ings played the ball centrally into Emi Buendia, who took a touch, turned with the ball and fired powerfully past David Raya, who had little chance to deny Buendia of his first Aston Villa goal.
In the 18th minute, Raya produced a brilliant save to deny Danny Ings from point-blank range after Konsa’s controlled ball fell to the forward, who could only poke the ball towards goal.
The following ten minutes were very much Aston Villa’s, who looked to be making the most of their home advantage. There were attacks for the home side, but many of them resulted in little.
In the 32nd, Brentford came close to taking the lead again as Rico Henry found himself open on the left-side of the box. His shot, however, trickled wide of Martinez’ far post. A few minutes later, and a Tuanzebe header forced Raya into another smart save.
The game levelled out a bit for the final ten minutes of the first half, with Aston Villa having the best opportunity within it as a scramble ensued – but Matty Cash just slightly overran the ball.
The second half started the way that the first ended, with both teams playing each-other into a stalemate of attacks that came to very little.
Anwar El Ghazi was booked early in the half, while Christian Norgaard was booked for a challenge on the aforementioned El Ghazi just before the hour mark as the winger looked to break. Matty Cash would be booked for a challenge on Mbuemo a few seconds later.
On the 62nd minute, Carney Chukwuemeka was replaced by Marvelous Nakamba as Brentford’s pressing seemed to increase. Chukwuemeka had impressed in his hour on the pitch and didn’t look out of place at all.
In the 70th minute, Danny Ings was given a yellow card for a late kick on Brentford’s Ajer as he attempted to win the ball.
Within 12 minutes remaining, Ollie Watkins came onto the pitch, replacing Ashley Young for his first appearance this season after recovering from a bruised knee.
There was a four-minute delay in the 81st minute as Ezri Konsa and Matty Cash collided while defending a Brentford corner, with Konsa, the day’s captain, requiring treatment.
In the 87th minute, Carabao Cup hero Cameron Archer was about to come on to the pitch – but Ezri Konsa went down again and needed to be replaced – with Kortney Hause replacing the defender instead of Archer’s Premier League debut.
There were eight minutes of added time at the end of the 90.
In the 95th minute Ollie Watkins forced Raya to catch the ball at the back post, as he rose the highest to head the ball towards goal. Watkins was denied again by Raya, from a tight angle, with thirty seconds remaining.
An entertaining game – but worrying for Aston Villa without more information about Konsa’s injury.