It looks like Villa fans have finally turned on Steve Bruce. And to be fair, they have a point, the boss has been making less than inspiring tactical decisions and Villa are only four points higher than they were at this stage last season.
It was good to see Scott Hogan starting for once, as well as an actual centre back at centre-back in Tommy Elphick.
But a slippery surface made it hard for Hogan, through balls to the striker were skidding off the pitch and going out for goal kicks.
Brentford nearly broke the deadlock early on, Sergi Canos, who terrorised everyone down Villa’s right side, tested Johnstone with a long ranger. Soon after Albert Adomah went off injured and Josh Onomah took his place.
And things went from bad to worse when Glenn Whelan shinned the ball right to a Brentford player outside the box. The ball eventually found its way to Romaine Sawyers who drilled it into bottom corner from outside the box.
After that, Villa came into the game a little more. A brilliant passing build up led to Hogan clipping to ball back to substitute Onamah who headed in for the equalizer.
And before half-time, Hogan had the ball in the net, finishing after a one-two with Jack Grealish. However, the former Brentford striker was deemed offside.
At half time the game was finely poised, but Brentford started the second with the bit between their teeth.
Sergi Canos found shooting space inside our area but his effort came off Mile Jedinak then Elphick got a block in. Then just as it looked like Canos was going to squeeze the ball in at the back post, Elphick made a goal saving slide tackle.
We did have second half chances though. Robert Snodgrass cut inside prior to curling shot which was parried by Daniel Bentley. Luckily Onomah was there for the rebound but he sliced it horribly wide.
Over the last few games Villa have picked up a bad habit of making costly errors. Brentfords first was avoidable, but the second was even more so. Josh Onomah tried to clear a corner with his arse, but the ball deflected off Elphick before arriving to the feet of Lasse Vibe who made no mistake with his finish. 2-1.
If it was John Terry in the position of Onomah, he would’ve headed that corner away, no questions asked.
The home side so nearly wrapped it up through Sergi Canos. The 20-year-old drove inside before his shot took a nick off Elphick on its way to hitting the crossbar.
By this point Brentford weren’t resting on their laurels. The Bee’s are a young energetic side and pressed us so much so that we couldn’t get out of our own half.
Late on, Bruce rolled the dice for the final time by bringing on Keinan Davis for Whelan. It was too little to late still.
The Villans had a period of dominance before the curtain came down. But the same problems persisted. We couldn’t move the ball quick enough around the opposition box, and crosses were going in but nobody was there to get on the end of them.
Our final chance came when Hogan’s cross was temporarily blocked, ball stopping almost dead before Davis’ close range shot was blocked.
So that’s us out of the play-offs, and if we don’t win again soon we’ll have a lot of ground to make up to get back in there.
Tommy Elphick – Some on twitter slated him, but I think that’s just down to the result. The former Bournemouth captain had a solid game alongside Chester and made a goal saving tackle on Sergi Canos.