Aston Villa and Brentford played out a fast and frenetic Premier League draw at a rowdy Villa Park.
Both sets of supporters created a terrific atmosphere in glorious conditions and although there was plenty of energy and endeavour on show, the two sides struggled to create many clear cut opportunities.
Brentford went ahead after just seven minutes when Ivan Toney thumped a finish high into the net, but Argentine Emiliano Buendia levelled just five minutes later with a beautifully-guided strike into the corner.
The Bees thought they had retaken the lead before half-time but Sergi Canos had a goal ruled out after nicking the ball away from keeper Emiliano Martinez, who had thrown the ball up into the air for a quick kick away and was deemed to still be in possession.
The second half was a stop-start affair with no real flow to the game.
Villa substitute Ollie Watkins could have won it with two chances deep in injury-time against his old club, but his header and low drive were both kept out by David Raya.
Ultimately a point apiece was a fair result, with Brentford remaining unbeaten since achieving promotion to the top-flight.
Dean Smith managed Brentford between November 2015 and October 2018 before joining Villa and complimented his former side for their “deserved” promotion to the Premier League.
Thomas Frank’s men have adjusted well to life in the top tier, picking up a victory against Arsenal in their opening game and back-to-back draws away at Crystal Palace and Villa, as the Bees stretched their unbeaten run to 15 league and play-off matches.
Smith mentioned in his programme notes how he was “blown away” by the atmosphere generated in the opening home game, but a raucous home crowd were silenced after just seven minutes.
Brentford striker Toney was the Championship’s top scorer last season with 31 goals and is now off the mark in the top-flight, converting confidently from Pontus Jansson’s clever flick-on.
But the home supporters found their voices again soon after as Villa’s £33m record signing Buendia curled home his first goal for the club, the first that Brentford had conceded this season.
Visiting goalkeeper Raya made a sharp, reflex save to deny Danny Ings from close range and also kept out Axel Tuanzebe flicked header.
At the other end, Brentford should have gone in front again but Rico Henry dragged his shot wide from eight yards out, their only real chance of note after scoring.
With eight minutes of injury-time added on, former Bees striker Watkins missed two opportunities to snatch all three points.
In Other News – Manchester City 5 – 0 Arsenal
Ten-man Arsenal was completely outplayed by Manchester City as they slumped to the bottom of the Premier League.
It is the first time since 1954 that the Gunners have lost their three opening games of the league season and this match was effectively over by half-time.
City captain Ilkay Gundogan and striker Ferran Torres scored in the first 12 minutes and any hope Arsenal had of an unlikely comeback was ended when midfielder Granit Xhaka was sent off for lunging into a challenge on Joao Cancelo. learn more
Source – News365coza