Going into the game, Aston Villa fans were full of optimism and excitement; with the recent signings of Henri Lansbury, Connor Hourihane, James Bree and Birkir Bjarnason, the team looked the best it had been in a while and this could be the turning point in Aston Villa’s season.
News broke before the game that Aston Villa had agreed a fee of £9 Million (rising to £12 million) for Brentford forward Scott Hogan; this most definitely fired up the Brentford side heading into the mid-week fixture.
Villa started off strongly; Lansbury played a slick ball through to the returning Jonathan Kodjia, however, he dragged his shot wide after the Brentford stopper Daniel Bentley closed down the angle. That miss woke Brentford up – Josh McEachran began to dictate the centre of pitch and was finding pockets of space in the Aston Villa midfield.
Then, in the 25th minute, Lasse Vibe grabbed his first goal of the evening. After the Villa defence capitulated, Vibe took one touch and put a delicate chip over the on loan Johnstone. This deflated the spine of the Aston Villa team – Brentford began to take control of the game and Aston Villa were just outclassed, there was nothing else to it. On the 35th minute, Brentford doubled their advantage, when Nico Yennaris snuck in at the back post and stuck the ball over the line after, yet again, poor defending from the Villa back four. A monumental comeback was needed if Villa had any chance of coming back into the game, however, all hope was squandered when Lasse Vibe got his well-deserved brace and put the nail in the Aston Villa coffin.
An extremely disappointing night for the West Midlands outfit, however, Villa fans still remain optimistic about reaching the play-off spaces, shortly after the game, Neil Taylor of Swansea was announced as an Aston Villa player with Jordan Ayew heading the other way to the welsh side. Then, after hours of waiting, Scott Hogan was announced as an Aston Villa player – a really successful transfer window for Villa and hopefully, now they can all kick on as a team and work for those valuable play-off places.
By Jacob Furnell.