Steven Gerrard frustrated with lack of ‘grit’ as Brentford stun Aston Villa

Villa were without captain Tyrone Mings and striker Ollie Watkins, but Gerrard made no excuses

Andy Sims
Sunday 02 January 2022 16:59
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Steven Gerrard could not believe his side were beaten at Brentford (Steven Paston/PA)
Steven Gerrard could not believe his side were beaten at Brentford (Steven Paston/PA)

Steven Gerrard was left scratching his head at how Aston Villa came away from Brentford empty-handed.

Villa were leading through an early Danny Ings goal, but a stunner from Yoane Wissa pulled Brentford level and a first senior goal from Mads Roerslev secured a 2-1 win for the hosts.

“I couldn’t believe we were level at half-time because the performance was really strong,” said Gerrard.

“It seemed to be a matter of when the second goal was going to come. In the second half we had a lot of possession, we created chances, but I’m really disappointed how we conceded the second goal. It’s a catalogue of errors.

“When I first come into this job we got some positive strong results because there was a lot of grit and people were putting their bodies on the line. I didn’t see that for the second goal.

“They’ve had three good attacks today and scored two goals. That’s not good enough from our point of view.”

Villa were without captain Tyrone Mings and striker Ollie Watkins, but Gerrard made no excuses.

“We had four or five people not available for different reasons, and you are going to miss their attributes, they are big players for this club,” he added.

“But I thought we had enough quality to win this game. We should never have lost that game.

“I won’t sit here and say there’s a lot of positives today because there isn’t. We lost the game. We have to be more aggressive and harder to play against.”

Axel Tuanzebe was also absent, with the Manchester United defender set to end his loan spell from Manchester United and move to Napoli.

“I’d like to keep the player until the end of the season at least,” said Gerrard.

“But this is a case of it’s totally out of my hands, it’s in the hands of Axel, his representatives and Manchester United and we should know by the end of play today.”

Villa went ahead when Emi Buendia spun away from Christian Norgaard in the middle of the pitch and slipped a perfect ball through to Ings, who fired home his first goal since October.

But Wissa equalised with a stunning strike from the edge of the area after being teed up by Roerslev, who then grabbed his unlikely winner seven minutes from time.

The 22-year-old Dane is another product of Brentford’s successful scouting system, and head coach Thomas Frank said: “It’s a fantastic Brentford story and classic us.

“We buy a young player who had never played a full season for any team. Now he has four or five starts in the Premier League, he’s growing and he got a great goal and an assist today.

“I think it was a very even game. Probably more a draw, a tight game and we nicked the win in the end. I’m very pleased with that.”

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