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Game #5663

Aston Villa

Drew

6th (-)

Saturday, 22 April 2023

Last 5: 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟨

Premier League

Brentford

GTech Community Stadium

Attendance: 17,098

Brentford

1-1

Aston Villa

Assist(s) | Emiliano Buendía | 87' |

MATCH SUMMARY

The trots hit Emi Martínez, Robin Olsen could easily concede five, Dougie Luiz rescues a point before Villa nearly win it at the death. Nine unbeaten, seven wins, and Martínez to return Tuesday. We’ll take that.

KEY MAN

Emiliano Martínez, subbed with illness at half time and his impact on the team, often unseen, couldn't have been more amplified by the second half performance as Villa retreat to protect a sub-standard 'keeper.

2020-21 (h) Aston Villa Kit.gif
2020-21 (h) Aston Villa Kit.gif
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Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission.

MATCH TIMELINE

Saturday, 22 April 2023

🟨 | 30’ Booking, Ashley Young for a bad foul
🕒 | HT Brentford 0-0 Aston Villa
🔁 | 46’ Sub off, GK Emiliano Martínez, Sub on, GK Robin Olsen
🥅 | 65’ Goal, 0-1, (Brentford), Ivan Toney
🔁 | 66’ Sub off, W Ashley Young, Sub on, CB Calum Chambers
🔁 | 66’ Sub off, LB Álex Moreno, Sub on, LB Lucas Digne
🔁 | 66’ Sub off, M Leander Dendoncker, Sub on, W Bertrand Traoré
🟨 | 70’ Booking, Douglas Luiz for a bad foul
⚽ | 87’ Goal, 1-1, Douglas Luiz, Assist by Emiliano Buendía
🕒 | FT Brentford 1-1 Aston Villa

ON THIS DAY

John McGinn makes his 170th start for the club (177th appearance).

Aston Villa

European Cup / Champions League: 🏆
League Champions: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆
League Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Last Trophy: 1995-96

Brentford

European Cup / Champions League: ❌
League Champions: ❌
FA Cup Winners: ❌
League Cup Winners: ❌
Last Trophy: ❌

FIXTURE HISTORY

Brentford

Previous 5 vs. Brentford: 🟨 🟥 🟨 🟥 🟩

PREVIOUS MATCH

NEXT MATCH

FIXTURE DETAILS

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Season | 2022-23 |
Matchday | #35 |
League Game | #32 |
Manager Game | #21 |
Saturday, 22 April 2023
Attendance | 17,098 |

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager: Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 | Hondarribia, 2022-
Referee: Michael Salisbury | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Preston, 2016-
Kick off: 3.00pm
Half Time Score: 🟨 0-0
Full Time Result: 🟨 Drew
Full Time Score: 🟨 1-1
Last 5: 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟨

MANAGERIAL RECORD

Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 |

GAMES | WINS | DRAWS | LOSSES | POINTS PER GAME

🕒 21 | 🟩 | 12 🟨 | 3 🟥 6 | 1.86

Villa Career Form:

Top 4

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Michael Salisbury | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Preston, 2016-
Matches Officiated: 3
🟩 : 2
🟨 : 1
🟥 : 0
🆘 : 1
Previous 5: 🟩 🟩
Last Match: 🟩 21 Jan 23, Villa 1-0 Southampton (a)
Cards: 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨
Assistants: Neil Davies, Scott Ledger.
Fourth official: John Busby.
VAR: Craig Pawson.
Assistant VAR: Gary Beswick.

ALL THE MATCHES REFEREED BY:

CARDS

Villa

🟨 🟨

Brentford

🟨 🟨 🟨

TEAM NEWS

Same XI, same bench.

TEAM STATS

Starting XI Average Age: | 28.30 |
Bench Average Age: | 25.20 |
Squad Average Age: | 26.75 |
Subs Average Age: | 29.61 |
Oldest Starter: RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 37.81 |
Youngest Starter: M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 21.92 |
Oldest Squad Player: RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 37.81 |
Youngest Squad Player: F Travis Patterson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 17.55 |
Oldest Substitute: GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 | 32.75 |
Youngest Substitute: W Bertrand Traoré | 🇧🇫 | 27.64 |

MANAGER

Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 |

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Aston Villa

GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 | 🔁 |
LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | 🔁 |
CB Ezri Konsa | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CB Tyrone Mings | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🟨 | 🔁 |
M John McGinn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 |
M Douglas Luiz | 🇧🇷 | 🟨 | ⚽ |
M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 | 🔁 |
W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 | 🔥 |
CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |

MANAGER

Thomas Frank | 🇳🇴 |

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Brentford

GK David Raya | 🇪🇸 |
LB Rico Henry | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
LB Aaron Hickey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 |
CB Ethan Pinnock | 🇯🇲 |
CB Ben Mee | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
M Mathias Jensen | 🇩🇰 | 🔁 |
M Christian Nørgaard | 🇩🇰 | 🟨 | 🔁 |
M Vitaly Janelt | 🇩🇪 | 🟨 | 🔁 |
W Bryan Mbeumo | 🇨🇲 |
W Kevin Schade | 🇩🇪 | 🟨 | 🔁 |
CF Ivan Toney | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | ⚽ |

SUBSTITUTES

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🔁 GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 | for GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 | 46’ |
🔁 CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | for W Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 66’ |
🔁 LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 | for LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | 66’ |
🔁 W Bertrand Traoré | 🇧🇫 | for M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 | 66’ |

SUBSTITUTES

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🔁 | M Frank Onyeka | 🇳🇬 | for M Christian Nørgaard | 🇩🇰 | 46’ |
🔁 | W Mikkel Damsgaard | 🇳🇴 | for M Vitaly Janelt | 🇩🇪 | 76’ |
🔁 | W Yoane Wissa | 🇨🇩 | for W Kevin Schade | 🇩🇪 | 77’ |
🔁 | M Josh Dasilva | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | for M Mathias Jensen | 🇩🇰 | 85’ |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

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GK Viljami Sinisalo | 🇫🇮 |
CB Diego Carlos | 🇧🇷 |
CB Seb Revan | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
F Travis Patterson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

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GK Matthew Cox | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
RB Mads Roerslev Rasmussen | 🇩🇰 |
CB Mathias Jattah-Njie Jørgensen | 🇩🇰 |
M Saman Ghoddos | 🇮🇷 |
M Shandon Baptiste | 🇬🇩 |

SQUAD STATS

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1st XI Cost: £156.27m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 6/11
Homegrown: 1/11
Subs Cost: £46.71m
Team Cost: £202.98m
Squad Cost: £245.53
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 9/20
Homegrown: 4/20

SQUAD STATS

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1st XI Cost: £40.18m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 4/11
Homegrown: ⭕/11
Subs Cost: £31.50m
Team Cost: £71.68m
Squad Cost: £73.71m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 6/20
Homegrown: ⭕/20

MATCHDAY SQUAD

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GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 | £19.58m |
GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 | £3.15m |
GK Viljami Sinisalo | 🇫🇮 | Free |

LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 | £27.00m |
LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | £12.00m |
RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |

CB Diego Carlos | 🇧🇷 | £27.90m |
CB Tyrone Mings | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £20.60m |
CB Ezri Konsa | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £11.97m |
CB Seb Revan | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |
CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |

M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 | £13.50m |
M Douglas Luiz | 🇧🇷 | £15.12m |
M John McGinn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | £2.79m |
M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |

W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 | £34.56m |
W Bertrand Traoré | 🇧🇫 | £16.56m |

CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £27.72m |
CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 | £14.65m |
F Travis Patterson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |

MATCHDAY SQUAD

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GK David Raya | 🇪🇸 | £3.02m |
GK Matthew Cox | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |

LB Aaron Hickey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | £14.58m |
LB Rico Henry | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £1.62m |
RB Mads Roerslev Rasmussen | 🇩🇰 | Free |

CB Ethan Pinnock | 🇯🇲 | £3.02m |
CB Ben Mee | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |
CB Mathias Jattah-Njie Jørgensen | 🇩🇰 | Free |

M Frank Onyeka | 🇳🇬 | £9.00m |
M Mathias Jensen | 🇩🇰 | £3.42m |
M Christian Nørgaard | 🇩🇰 | £3.09m |
M Shandon Baptiste | 🇬🇩 | £2.03m |
M Vitaly Janelt | 🇩🇪 | £0.54m |
M Josh Dasilva | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |
M Saman Ghoddos | 🇮🇷 | Free |

W Mikkel Damsgaard | 🇳🇴 | £13.50m |
W Yoane Wissa | 🇨🇩 | £9.00m |
W Bryan Mbeumo | 🇨🇲 | £5.85m |
W Kevin Schade | 🇩🇪 | Loan |

CF Ivan Toney | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £5.04m |

UNAVAILABLE

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Injury | 5 |
GK Jed Steer | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Achilles
M Philippe Coutinho | 🇧🇷 | Muscle
RB Matty Cash | 🇵🇱 | Calf
M Boubacar Kamara | 🇫🇷 | Ankle
W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | Hamstring

Unregistered | 1 |
CB Kortney Hause | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |

Out On Loan | 12 |
M Finn Azaz | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Plymouth
CF Wesley | 🇧🇷 | Levante
W Jaden Philogene-Bidace | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Cardiff
CF Keinan Davis | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Watford
FB Ben Chrisene | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Kilmarnock
M Tim Iroegbunam | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | QPR
CF Cameron Archer | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Middlesbrough
M Morgan Sanson | 🇫🇷 | Strasbourg
CF Louie Barry | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Salford City
M Aaron Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Middlesbrough
M Marvelous Nakamba | 🇿🇼 | Luton Town
CB Lamare Bogarde | 🇳🇱 | Bristol Rovers

UNAVAILABLE

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Not Recorded

Player Positions:

​

GK : Goalkeeper
CB, D, B : Centre Back, Defender, Back
FB, LB, RB, WH : Full Back, Left Back, Right Back, Wing Back, Wing Half


M, CH, LH, RH : Midfielder, Centre Half, Left Half, Right Half
W, OL, OR : Winger, Outside Left, Outside Right
F, IF, IL, IR : Forward, Inside Forward, Inside Left, Inside Right, Second Striker, False 9
CF : Centre Forward

​

Match Symbols:

​

⚽ | Goal
🔥 | Assist
🔁 | Substitution

🟨 | Booking

🟥 | Sending off

🆘 | Poor refereeing performance
🟢 : Debut 🔴 : Final Game

DEBUT APPEARANCES

FINAL APPEARANCES

MATCH STATS

Possession F | 58%
Possession A | 42%
Shots F | 14
Shots A | 16
Shots on Target F | 2
Shots on Target A | 5
Corners F | 4
Corners A | 8
Fouls F | 8
Fouls A | 12

MATCH QUOTES

“Football is changing and football is changing because there’s lots of challenges, sometimes getting there and sometimes not, but you have to work to be positive but demanding and now we are here. We are here and we have to learn a lot with the circumstances we have. “As well we have to be very demanding in trying. Don’t stop, continue being demanding. We are very excited about the challenge in front of us now and with the team which were in front of us two months ago, there is more or less some points difference. “To us, we did this effort and we are now always dreaming, always dreaming. It is very important to think how you can improve and you have to face your dreams. Of course, you have the reality after. “Now, the most important thing is to be humble, keep being humble and what this means is; you can improve more, play better and we are doing really, really good performance away. We were doing amazing performances away, we have improved a lot at home, but Brentford on Saturday is now the last match we play away, which is the most difficult challenge we have. “They only lost two matches at home, Arsenal a long time ago and Newcastle, a very difficult match for both. I think Brentford is now the team after Newcastle, who are both similar, similar defensively in the structure they are playing. “If you are not then you will relax. If you are thinking that you are winning, then it is easier because we won a good match against Newcastle, but before the match against Chelsea and Leicester it was very difficult. “When we were winning we might be thinking we are doing well, yes, but you have to remember every day and you have to remember two weeks ago and five months ago, we were winning because we are being very demanding and being very consistent, and very respectful with our ideas and respectful with our demands. We must recognise that we can lose if we are thinking it is going to be easier than not. “Being humble is a big word and very deep. I want to simplify and I told my players as well, if we are not keeping in being consistent we can lose, if we are not being disciplined defensively and offensively, every team in the Premier League has a good coach and good players, they have good structures tactically to beat you.” “I only try to analyse and improve. We played some matches at home before the matches against Newcastle, Nottingham, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace and they teach us a lot. “We were very demanding. Before, we were upset, I was not happy with the performances we had. With the results, sometimes yes, sometimes not. I know we played a very good match against Newcastle and it was a very key moment. “Now we are playing in the Premier League with key moments, it’s very difficult. We can’t stop remembering the last match and how pleased we are. “We have to keep being consistent and demanding, and of course a little bit critical trying to get better some circumstances, some tactical work that we didn’t do in our best performances, for example the last two matches away when we won at Chelsea and Leicester. “If we do not this match thinking it will be very difficult, then we have to be strong defensively and adapt to the demands in a tactical way. If we do not control the game better than we did against Chelsea and Leicester then maybe we will not win, that is our challenge. Newcastle, we played here with our supporters, having the best performance at home during my time here, but it is not enough. “Of course the performance collectively is very good, and when one player is achieving good performances he helps his other teammates achieve this as well. “But now is the time to focus in this key moment on preparing the best game plan possible for each match and try to be strong in this direction. “We can’t stop now for some individual circumstances with their contracts because there is only one month left and seven matches. And we will have time to decide, individually, each situation. “We have to be aware of why we are in this moment and why we are keeping this moment longer, but also why we can lose. The players are aware how we can face each match. “I’m trying not to let them relax or stop. Myself as well, I cannot stop, I cannot relax and I have to be the same coach coaching each match, training for each match, analysing each match like I was five months ago, like two weeks ago when we went to Chelsea. “They are of course getting the performances, winning matches or with good results like they did. They were in front of us one or two months ago with some important points difference and now they are behind. Saturday is a match for both, both trying to take us more difference or for them to get with us and if we are now trying to compete for Europe, if they win on Saturday then they can think the same. “It’s the reason we are both playing for three important points for our future like we were seeking last week, we lost to Newcastle 4-0, we have our supporters in front and against them we did it. Against Brentford we won 4-0 at home the first match here and they will think we have our supporters against them and every team and players is not surprised that they can get a good performance and they can play very good, maybe the next match they might. “For me, Brentford have a good coach a long time working with them and they have a game plan each match very clear and they have the idea, we must adapt to them for 90 minutes and we can’t let them to pay with good combination, they have very good players, very good ideas and very clear and of course, being strong in their way. “To be in Europe is very difficult because we have Brighton, we have Liverpool, we have Brentford, we have Fulham, we have Tottenham. “The top four is City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle. To be there is very difficult. If we can win every match, maybe. We have to wait for their mistakes. “My idea is not to think about it and to think only about the next match because I know how difficult it is to be in the top seven. Brighton and Liverpool are going to play their next matches, and while we’re sixth now, we could be eighth. “Now is the moment to focus on each match. The next is Brentford. Of course we have our dreams, but our dreams now are not long, it is only facing the next match. We have to try to do good performances and get better ourselves. “This week, one of the coaches said to me: ‘Unai, did you see how when Ollie missed the early chance, he didn’t shy away from anything? He came back and was focused again for the next chance.’ “That is the key. Maybe you can score, maybe you don’t, but you stay consistent. When strikers score, they are up, maybe when they don’t, they are down. But they have to try to be level. “My message to my strikers is to think, ‘we don’t want to concede’. My message to my goalkeepers is, ‘we have to score’. That allows us to connect everyone and ensures they are thinking of the team.” “My dreams don’t change. I said when I arrived the dream was to play with Aston Villa in Europe. I said it because I was not thinking about it when I arrived here five months ago. “But now, the target changed because we did very good and have progressed more than I thought. Still my dream is to play in Europe, here, and if we are playing in Europe, it is because we are progressing. My dream still is to win a trophy here. I want to build a team with the potential and spirit to do it. “Now we have potential and of course I want to keep developing this team to get more potential players to add to the squad next year. “Now I am very happy with the players we have now and we have shown our potential to be in with the teams in the European positions. “Of course, I tried to understand them before I arrived here. Then knowing them face-to-face, knowing them training every day and playing matches. It is not a surprise. “You can’t change completely one player. But if you can improve five to 10 per cent for each one, everything is getting better. The players have to believe and be demanding themselves. That is the key. It is not a surprise for me. “For example, in the case of John McGinn, I only wanted to watch him play and show his skills, character and the personality he shows here. He is every day loving, every day committed to training and being positive. He’s a good player. “I don’t know now if he improves more or less but of course I am very happy because if I am asking if he can play midfielder? Yes. Can you play as a winger? Yes. Can you play as a No.10? Of course. “That is the way and then it is about trying to support him and help him with my experiences. But they are good players and John McGinn is one example. We want to be demanding but consistent in our focus. “I know for me the improvement comes when you are focused in training every day. The commitment to hard work is what I want to build here. At the moment they are following it 100 per cent but not just for me, also for the coaches and for themselves. “They were not happy when they were at the bottom and in football, like life, you have to try and get better in your work every day. If you want to get better and to be in the middle of the table, the top 10 or the position we are in now, you have to know the way.” Unai Emery, pre-match. “I want and I usually analyse the match trying to be focused on how we played and how individually we respond. Today we didn’t play good, but it’s a very good point, a very good point. “We respect them before and I have to respect as well the match because they are a very good team, a very good team. I think they only lost two matches here, against Arsenal and Newcastle. “To win here before the match we knew it was going to be very difficult. Like that, we watched the match and it was very difficult. At the end to draw after they scored first it was more difficult even during 90 minutes. “Of course, we are not happy today, for how we played, but we have to be happy because we draw with one point which is very important. “For 90 minutes we didn’t control the game. It was a very difficult time. Only two teams have won here this season. Our game plan was to be strong in our mentality for 90 minutes. “We didn’t create big chances but we were defending well. Our reaction in the last 15 minutes was very good. We have to try to recover on Tuesday. “The second half we were losing the ball so quickly. We didn’t keep our position. We conceded a lot of crosses. Normally play like that in 30 minutes and they could score like they did. “The most important thing was our reaction. Try to compete and be a candidate to play in Europe. We’re there. Now is the key moment, the difficult moment, to get to the next step. “Brentford made it difficult. We are very demanding but we have to understand the matches being difficult. I told the players I’m so happy with this draw because it was difficult. “We can play better and we have to demand to play better for the next matches. Today here we tried to keep our game plan strong.” “Before the match, the last meal, he [Emi Martínez] was feeling bad with his stomach. “He started the match and played the first half. He wasn’t feeling good [at half-time]. Hopefully he’ll recover for the next match.” Unai Emery, Post Match

MATCH REPORT

*BBC Sport*
Saturday, 22 April 2023

**Douglas Luiz scored a late equaliser to rescue a point for a below-par Aston Villa against Brentford at Gtech Community Stadium.** Ivan Toney’s 19th Premier League goal of the season had put Brentford in front just past the hour, but the Brazilian’s superb finish into the roof of the net from close range in the 87th minute pegged the hosts back. The result sees Unai Emery’s visitors move five points behind fourth-placed Newcastle - who now have two games in hand - as they missed an opportunity to apply real pressure in the Champions League race. Brentford, meanwhile, end a run of three straight defeats but will feel this was two points dropped after a dominant display. The hosts were the better side from the outset but struggled to find a cutting edge after goalkeeper David Raya was forced into early action by Villa’s Emi Buendia. Shortly before the break the visitors almost struck with the best move of the half, John McGinn combining with Ollie Watkins but seeing his curling effort narrowly miss the target. Villa suffered a setback at the interval when World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was forced off through illness, with Robin Olsen coming on in his place. And Brentford should have taken the lead shortly afterwards when Kevin Schade fired wide with the goal gaping having rounded Olsen, who had spilled his initial header. The chances kept coming for Brentford, with Bryan Mbeumo in particular giving Alex Moreno a difficult afternoon down flank and Schade’s constant runs in behind causing problems. And the pressure eventually told as Toney, so often the man to make the difference for the Bees, did so again. The England striker met Mbeumo’s cross at the back post to finish emphatically and briefly reignite the club’s charge for European football, which Brentford boss Thomas Frank had played down before kick-off. With three minutes of normal time remaining, however, with Brentford scrambling in defence, Luiz fired home to break their hearts and secure a vital point in Villa’s push for a top-four finish. Luiz goal masks tough day for Watkins There are not many strikers enjoying themselves more than Watkins right now, the 27-year-old having come into this game on the back of 11 goals in 12 games. Watkins is harbouring realistic England ambitions after emerging as the driving force behind the incredible resurgence under Emery, which brought Villa five straight Premier League wins for the first time since 1998 before this result. But this was a disappointing afternoon for Watkins on his his first return to Brentford, where he scored 49 goals in three years. The Villa striker simply could not get into the game, and while Toney, a direct rival for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad, made the most of his chance when it came, there was nothing for Watkins to feed off. Luiz’s strike kickstarted a late rally during which Villa’s recent character was evident again, but overall they looked toothless. With tough fixtures to come, Villa need to get Watkins back firing quickly if they are to maintain their unlikely push for European football next season.

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