Villans unleashed! Aston Villa scores four vs Bees to start life after Gerrard
Aston Villa’s manager-change bounce was more like propulsion as the Villans pummeled Brentford 4-0 at Villa Park on Sunday.
Villa took the field less than 72 hours after Steven Gerrard was sacked as manager, and tweaks to personnel and where they lined up appeared to make some difference.
STREAM LIVE ASTON VILLA vs BRENTFORD
Danny Ings scored twice as Villa struck for three goals in the game’s first 14 minutes. Leon Bailey had a goal and an assist and Ollie Watkins made it 4-0 before the hour mark.
Brentford remains in 10th with 14 points. The Bees managed 10 shots but Villa put 11 of their 19 attempts on target in climbing into 14th place, two points off the bottom three.
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What we learned from Aston Villa vs Brentford
Tweaks matter: Sure there will have been emotions after Steven Gerrard was fired by Villa, but credit caretaker boss Aaron Danks for making some lineups moves that may’ve been coming from midweek anyway. Leander Dendoncker was immense in place of John McGinn, and playmaker Emiliano Buendia showed why any of his absences from the Starting XI were questioned by supporters. Ollie Watkins was more of a winger on Sunday and Leon Bailey was splendid on the left.
Thomas Frank’s future: The Dane’s been linked to the Villa vacancy but will be more concerned with what’s become an “Ivan Toney and hopefully someone else” attack. Bryan Mbeumo struggled big time and the attack did improve over the game but the match was also out of reach. The defending was brutal without Ben Mee, whose absence really highlighted what he’s meant to the Bees.
Scoring three goals in 14 minutes makes it hard to focus on tactics, so we’ll again point to Aaron Danks’ tweaks. Danny Ings as the target man was certainly an inspired choice.
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Stars of the show
Villa heads to Newcastle at 10am ET Saturday, while Brentford hosts Wolves at the same time.
Leon Bailey goal video: Villa off to a flyer
Danny Ings goal video: Bailey adds assist
Danny Ings goal video: Rout’s on
How to watch Aston Villa vs Brentford live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & star players
Aston Villa’s seven goals scored are tied for 2nd-fewest in the Premier League this season (Wolves, with five), with the side’s offensive struggles really driven home and reinforced by the following (painful) stat: Through 11 PL games, not a single Aston Villa player has scored multiple goals. As a team, Villa have scored multiple goals just once in a game this season. Aaron Danks, who served as Gerrard’s assistant (and Dean Smith’s before him), will take charge of Sunday’s game as the search for a permanent replacement plays out off the field.
Thus far, it’s been hit or miss for the Brentford defense, which was largely determined their fate on a game-by-game basis. In their three losses (to Arsenal, Newcastle and Fulham), Brentford conceded 11 goals (3.66 per game); in their eight draws and losses, just six goals conceded. Ivan Toney is off to a flying start with eight goals and two assists while playing all 990 PL minutes.
Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Diego Carlos (achilles), Lucas Digne (ankle), Boubacar Kamara (knee), Ludwig Augustinsson (hamstring)
Brentford team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Pontus Jansson (hamstring), Christian Norgaard (achilles), Aaron Hickey (ankle), Thomas Strakosha (ankle)