Match: Villa v Brentford
Date: December 26, 2017
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: Griffin Park
Weather: 7c, heavy rain
Sawyers 22, Vibe 52
Villa were beaten 2-1 by Brentford on a sodden Boxing Day evening at Griffin Park.
Despite Josh Onomah’s equaliser on the half-hour, Villa were undone by Lasse Vibe’s goal early in the second half.
Sam Johnstone was called into action early into proceedings, getting down superbly low to his left-hand side to paw behind Sergi Canos’s curling effort.
Having been denied by Johnstone from one angle, the hosts made the breakthrough from the opposite side when Romaine Sawyers’ skidding shot picked out the bottom right-hand corner.
Albert Adomah had been an early casualty for the visitors, going off with an injury sustained in a challenge during the opening exchanges and it was his replacement, Josh Onomah who drew Villa level on the half-hour.
Scott Hogan, returning to his former employers for the first time, clipped a ball over to the far post where the Tottenham loanee craned his neck and planted a header beyond Daniel Bentley in the Brentford goal.
Hogan nearly a got a fairytale return to his old stomping ground but saw his effort ruled out for offside after some neat interplay with Jack Grealish.
At the start of the second half, Villa had Tommy Elphick to thank when his well-timed block prevented Canos from restoring the hosts’ advantage.
Sawyers and Onomah both blazed over before the Bees struck again on 52 minutes.
A corner from the Villa left was half-cleared and Lasse Vibe pounced from close range to put the hosts back in front.
Brentford also struck the crossbar while substitute, Keinan Davis couldn’t hit the target with his close-range header after good work from Grealish and Neil Taylor down the left.
McEachran 36, Barbet 41
ASTON VILLA: Johnstone; Hutton, Elphick (Elmohamady 85), Chester, Taylor; Whelan (Davis 67), Jedinak; Snodgrass, Grealish, Adomah (Onomah 17); Hogan. Unused subs: Steer, De Laet, Bjarnason, Hourihane.
BRENTFORD: Bentley, Bjelland, Jozefzoon, Yennaris, McEachran (Mokotjo 69), Woods, Sawyers, Vibe (Maupay 81), Barbet, Mepham, Canos. Unused subs: Daniels, MacLeod, Judge, Chatzitheodoridis, Sorensen.
Referee: Keith Stroud
Assistant Referee 1: John Flynn
Assistant referee 2: Daniel Robathan
Fourth Official: Andy Woolmer