It was a game that waited a long time to find a spark, but that spark came from a struggling Brentford team that started to carve out regular second half chances that Sam Johnstone did well to keep out.
If Johnstone wasn’t alert or if Brentford didn’t actually sell all their best players, they would have no doubt have picked up the three points at Villa Park.
Villa managed just one shot on target and that was a James Chester effort that was muffled out by the keeper before it turned into a shot.
Brentford, to their credit, were well-organised defensively and constructive going forward, despite not having real cutting edge up top.
They would have been surprised though to encounter such a lacklustre Villa team.
Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Brentford
Sam Johnstone – 8 (MOTM)
A string of vital saves, at least a couple of the top draw variety. A good all around performance too. Johnstone was one of the few players that came out of this farce with any credit. Certainly add this to the tally of points he’s won the team.
James Bree – 6
Overall wasn’t dynamic enough going forward or in possession. Caught out of position once or twice, but not a major concern, as he needs games to settle in.
James Chester – 5
Not his best game, got mugged a couple of times in the first half and while not totally at fault for not scoring Villa’s main chance, might have done better with his first touch or taken it first time.
John Terry – 6
Terry was solid enough. Perhaps the best of the back four, although looks vulnerable when teams run at us through the middle.
Neil Taylor – 6
A no thrills and steady performance defensively, as per usual. Did breakthrough in the Brentford box for a chance that resulted in a corner.
Glenn Whelan – 5
Got Chester out of a pickle in the first half, but at times seemed off the pace at times. Hesitated on the ball and was embarrassingly disposed. I can see Jedinak coming in for the Irishman for the Middlesbrough match.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 5
Has faded since preseason and the opening game. Didn’t look comfortable on the left when he was switched to accommodate Snodgrass.
Andre Green – 6
Green was a little predictable at times and was snuffed out running the channels. Still, Villa looked more of a threat with him on the pitch, before he went off injured.
Joshua Onomah – 7
Snappy passing and again Villa’s main positive force. Shame he had to go off injured, as Villa’s hope for an undeserved winner went when he left the pitch. His injury will be a concern, as at the moment he’s one of our only hopes.
Conor Hourihane – 5
Fairly ominous in midfield and seemingly swamped by Brentford’s energy and willingness to case balls down in the middle of the park. Didn’t really push on enough to dictate forward play. Was that his poor decision-making? Or Bruce’s instructions?
Keinan Davis – 6
Now becoming a target, if Villa players haven’t got anything better on. Demonstrated good feet, but a bit rash with early chances in the first half. Didn’t get much support to build attacks.
Off the Bench…
Robert Snodgrass (60) – 6
Looked busy when he came on, on the right flank. Took most of the dead balls, but nothing special. Tried to get the crowd going. Will more than likely start against Middlesbrough.
Agbonlahor (71) – 5
Didn’t really get into the game when he came on and posed little threat to the Brentford defence.
Hogan (60) – 5
Had a half-chance, but yet again, was starved of any real service. Wasn’t helped by Onomah leaving the pitch, as he has the vision and passing to unlock Hogan’s runs.
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