Aston Villa tore apart Brentford at Villa Park on Sunday afternoon. Coach Aaron Danks took charge of the team, ripping up the Steven Gerrard system and lining up with a 4-2-3-1. It was an extremely impressive performance by Villa, who showed the cutting edge that they have lacked all season infront of goal.
Emiliano Martinez – 7
The Argentinian goalkeeper captained Villa for the first time, and although he was not tested too much by the Brentford attack, he was calm and commanding, collecting crosses and advising his teammates. A memorable day for Martinez, who fell to his knees at the final whistle.
Matty Cash – 7
Cash put in a solid performance at right back. The Polish international provided constant energy up and down the pitch, combining well with Ollie Watkins. He gave Rico Henry little chance.
Ezri Konsa – 7
Celebrating his 25th Birthday, Ezri Konsa looked back to his normal self. He was confident playing out from the back, won his duals and gave Toney and Mbuemo no time on the ball. He had a fine performance and will be extremely happy with the clean sheet.
Tyrone Mings – 8
The Villa centre half responded well after a mistake in each of his last 2 games. Mings dealt superbly with Brentford’s inform striker Ivan Toney. He was strong in his aerial battles, won tackles and played out from the back with ease. His leadership is always crucial for this AVFC side, dishing out instructions constantly to his teammates. He also won the penalty which Danny Ings converted.
Ashley Young – 8
Ashley Young continues to age like a fine wine. The 37-year-old showed another fine display, dealing with Brentford’s right-hand side with ease. The fans thought they might even get to witness him score in front of the Holte End once again only for him to hand the ball to Danny Ings at the last second to take the penalty.
Douglas Luiz – 9
Douglas Luiz put in one of his finest performances for Aston Villa. The Brazilian was combative, energetic and his passing was top notch. Luiz was provided more freedom to play higher up the pitch with Dendoncker behind him, and showed just why Arsenal were so keen to sign him in January. His new contract looks like a great bit of business if he can continue this form.
Leander Dendoncker – 8
On his full debut in claret and blue, Dendoncker was extremely impressive. The Belgium international offered a great physical presence which has been severely lacking in the Villa midfield for many years. He was strong in the tackle, good in the air, and composed on the ball. This could prove to be a top signing for only £10 million in the January transfer market.
Ollie Watkins – 8
Playing on the right wing, Ollie Watkins combined well with Matty Cash and Danny Ings. His pressing, link up play and pace was a thorn in the side of Bentford all afternoon. He scored on the third attempt from Leon Bailey’s cross, his first goal in 8 games. This will give him the confidence to kick on now and more goals will follow.
Emiliano Buendia – 7
The Argentinian midfielder was the quietest of the Villa attackers. He tried to make things happen but was slightly unfortunate on this occasion. His work rate was impeccable, chasing down the Brentford players at every opportunity, so even though he did not add a goal or assist, he put in a good shift for the team.
Leon Bailey – 9
The Jamaican winger had his finest performance in an AVFC shirt on Sunday. Finally given the freedom to play as an out-and-out winger, Bailey tormented Max Roerslev from the first minute. He capped his display with a goal, assist and his mazy run and cross led to Ollie Watkins's goal.
Danny Ings – 8
Ings proved why he has such a good reputation as a Premier League striker. The England international led the line well and scored twice. The first was a clinical finish from Leon Bailey’s pass, and the second was a coolly taken penalty which he fired past David Raya. The England international is now the club's top scorer this season.
John McGinn – 5
Villa captain John McGinn failed to have any impact from the bench. The Scotsman came on in place of the impressive Leander Dendoncker, and didn’t put in the same level of performance. Perhaps some time out of the limelight, and competition for his place will help McGinn rediscover his best form.
Phillippe Coutinho – 4
The experienced Brazilian offered little to show he deserves a starting role. He gave the ball away multiple times in his period on the pitch and headed straight down the tunnel at full time.
Jacob Ramsey - 5
Similar to McGinn, Jacob Ramsey offered nowhere near as much as the players starting ahead of him. JJ looks nowhere near the player of last season. His driving runs, and goals have dried up, however he is still young so a rest may do him some good.
Cameron Archer – 5
Cameron Archer didn’t have much time to impress during his small cameo but also did nothing wrong.
Callum Chambers - 5
Chambers was also brought on late with Cameron Archer to see out the game, and keep the clean sheet, which he did.