Two second-half goals were enough to secure a 2-1 win for Aston Villa against Brentford at Gtech Community Stadium.
Keane Lewis-Potter’s first Premier League strike put the Bees ahead, before headers in the second 45 minutes from Àlex Moreno and Ollie Watkins completed the turnaround.
There were two red cards after the break, as Ben Mee was sent off for a dangerous tackle, before Boubacar Kamara was dismissed for a headbutt in the closing stages. Emiliano Martínez was also fortunate to still be on the pitch at full-time after manhandling Neal Maupay.
Lewis-Potter’s first Premier League goal puts Bees ahead
Thomas Frank made three changes and switched Brentford’s system following the 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United last time out: Zanka, Mikkel Damsgaard and Mads Roerslev came in for Frank Onyeka, Shandon Baptiste and Maupay.
For Aston Villa, Moreno and Jacob Ramsey made their first Premier League starts of the season, as they replaced the injured Lucas Digne and suspended Douglas Luiz. Matty Cash and Moussa Diaby also came in for Leon Bailey and Youri Tielemans.
Villa dominated the opening five minutes of the game as they racked up four corners. Two chances fell to left-back Moreno; one was saved and the other went comfortably over Mark Flekken’s crossbar.
A few minutes later, Brentford had their first opportunity of the game. Some good work from Lewis-Potter and Vitaly Janelt down the left saw the latter cross into the box. The ball evaded Yoane Wissa but fell to Mikkel Damsgaard, but his shot inside the area was saved comfortably down low by Martínez.
Aston Villa were next to test their luck, as Watkins knocked down Diego Carlos’s lofted pass to Jacob Ramsey. The midfielder picked up the ball inside the area but, with Ethan Pinnock pressuring, he skewed wide.
Just before half-time, Ghoddos’s whipped corner into the box missed the main collective of Bees players and fell to Lewis-Potter. The forward took a touch to tee himself up under pressure from Moreno and lashed a half-volley into the back of the net for his first Premier League goal.
Wissa thought he had instantly doubled the hosts’ lead when he also had the ball in the back of the net, but Villa’s ever-present offside trap was made to good use again, as they caught the centre-forward in an illegal position.
Moreno and Watkins complete Villa turnaround as tempers flare at Gtech Community Stadium
Just like in the opening stages of the first half, Aston Villa had the lion’s share of possession, but failed to create much from it. A glut of corners is all they could muster, which led to a header from Kamara but it sailed wide.
A Brentford set-piece then eventually found its way to Damsgaard out wide, where he whipped a delicious ball into Wissa, but his header was kept out well by Martínez.
Ben Mee was sent off in the 71st minute after a VAR check, which led to David Coote going to the pitchside monitor. It was a high-speed tackle which just caught Leon Bailey, and the referee decided it was enough to issue a red card.
Moments later, VAR didn’t intervene as Maupay went down inside the penalty area. The substitute manoeuvred himself between Ezri Konsa and the ball and, despite the former Bee nudging him in the back, referee Coote decided to wave play on.
Villa equalised with 15 minutes to go, when Moreno ghosted in at the back post and nodded in from close range.
And the visitors were ahead soon after, when a corner fell to Watkins inside the penalty area and he got the better of Vitaly Janelt to head home from inside the six-yard box.
With 10 players, the Bees were still pushing. A back pass from Konsa was misjudged by Martínez and it narrowly went wide of his post, before a pair of chances came around from the subsequent set-piece.
Villa were shown the second red card of the game deep into stoppage-time; Martínez somehow avoided one for dragging Maupay up by his shirt, before Kamara was dismissed for moving his head towards Yehor Yarmoliuk during the following fracas.
Brentford: Flekken, Roerslev (Olakigbe 88), Mee (sent off 71), Pinnock, Zanka, Ghoddos, Janelt (Yarmoliuk 88), Nørgaard, Damsgaard (Onyeka 68), Wissa (Collins 76), Lewis-Potter (Maupay 68)
Subs not used: Strakosha, Goode, Peart-Harris, Baptiste
Aston Villa: Martínez, Konsa, Diego Carlos, Pau (Zaniolo 81), Àlex Moreno, Cash (Bailey 65), Kamara (sent off 90+7), Ramsey, McGinn, Diaby (Durán 65), Watkins
Subs not used: Marschall, Proctor, Chambers, Lenglet, Dendoncker, Iroegbunam
Frank on the decisions that went against his side
Thomas Frank gave his thoughts on the Bees’ defeat to Aston Villa, as well as the decisions that went against his side.
“I’m proud of the players’ performance, effort, mentality and work rate – we were fantastic in many ways,” he said. “It’s a little bit frustrating when we’re standing here after and we didn’t get anything out of it.
“Today, there were a few situations that didn’t go our way. That makes it more difficult to take or accept, but that’s part of football. It is what it is, we need to live with that.
“There were two situations for me: one was the penalty for Neal Maupay, I think it’s a clear penalty, which will make it 2-0. And then there’s the red card to Ben Mee and, for me, it’s not a red card.
“We need the consistency. We need to help the VAR system to be better, and there is only one way that can happen, and that is to learn from mistakes and to develop. I still believe in that.”
Lewis-Potter ‘over the moon’ with first Premier League goal
Keane Lewis-Potter said that he was “over the moon” to score his first Premier League goal against Aston Villa.
“I’m buzzing with it… but it’s one of those where I’m still disappointed because we didn’t get the three points,” he said.
“The ball dropped, I nicked it in front of him [Moreno] and put it in the back of the net. It was a great feeling.”
The former Hull City man added: “I’ve waited long enough for that, I think! To celebrate with the fans and the boys on the pitch was great. Saman [Ghoddos] gave me a few whacks when I was down there!”
Sophie Anderson, a UK-based writer, is your guide to the latest trends, viral sensations, and internet phenomena. With a finger on the pulse of digital culture, she explores what’s trending across social media and pop culture, keeping readers in the know about the latest online sensations.