Match: Brentford v Villa
Date: January 31, 2017
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: Griffin Park
Weather: 8C, rainy
Lasse Vibe (25 mins, 65 mins)
Nico Yennaris (38 mins)
Villa fell to defeat against Brentford at a rain-soaked Griffin Park.
Lasse Vibe’s brace either side of Nico Yennaris’ strike proved the difference.
Steve Bruce gave debuts to Conor Hourihane and Birkir Bjarnason in midfield while Jonathan Kodjia returned to the starting XI after his Africa Cup of Nations commitments. New full-back James Bree was among the substitutes.
Villa started on the front foot and could have led in the opening 10 minutes – Kodjia shooting wide after being played in down the left while Bjarnason saw an effort saved by Daniel Bentley.
And those misses certainly proved costly.
The home side grew into the contest, which became a little frantic.
The lively Harlee Dean headed wide from a corner before curling an effort into the arms of stopper Sam Johnstone.
Brentford took the lead midway through the first half, Vibe latching onto Yannaris’ through ball and finishing confidently.
Moments later, the claret and blues almost levelled - Green’s header edged wide.
Dean Smith’s men doubled their advantage just shy of the interval – Yennaris poking home Jota’s right wing cross.
Vibe grabbed his second and Brentford’s third on 65 minutes – latching onto Josh McEachran’s pass.
Boss Bruce brought on Leandro Bacuna and Jack Grealish, who almost made an instant impact, combining to fashion an opening – stopper Bentley able to block.
BRENTFORD: Bentley, Colin, Bjelland, Dean, Jozefzoon (Clarke 70), Yennaris (Kershbaumer 75), McEachran (McCormack 88), Woods, Vibe, Jota, Field. Unused subs: Bonham, Hofmann, Konstantin, Sawyers, Barbet.
VILLA: Johnstone, Hutton, Chester (C), Baker, Amavi, Adomah, Hourihane, Lansbury (Grealish 75), Bjarnason (Bacuna 75), Green, Kodjia. Unused subs: Bunn, Elphick, Bree, Davis.
Nico Yennaris (Foul)
Conor Hourihane (Foul)
Referee: David Coote
Assistant referee 1: Mark Russell
Assistant referee 2: Geoffrey Russell
Fourth Official: Gavin Ward