Aston Villa 4-0 Brentford: Villans shake off malaise with thumping win

Danny Ings and Leon Bailey were both on the scoresheet for Villa
Danny Ings and Leon Bailey were both on the scoresheet for Villa / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Aston Villa kicked off the post-Steven Gerrard era in style as they cruised to a 4-0 win over Brentford.

Having sacked Gerrard in mid-week following a humiliating defeat at the hands of Fulham, assistant manager Aaron Danks was in the dugout for the Midlands club as they sought to kick-start their season.

And it became clear that this was a very different Aston Villa after just two minutes, when Leon Bailey connected with Douglas Luiz' cutback to put the hosts in front.

Things got even better for Villa a few minutes later, when Ashley Young put Bailey through with a delicious pass and the Jamaican squared the ball for Danny Ings to fire home from close range.

It was already a better start than Villa could have possibly hoped for, but they weren't done yet. With 12 minutes on the clock, Tyrone Mings was pulled to the ground by Kristoffer Ajer, leaving referee Darren England with no choice but to point to the penalty spot.

Ings duly converted the penalty to put Villa three goals up inside the first quarter of an hour.

Former Brentford forward Ollie Watkins completed the rout for Villa just shy of the hour mark, getting on the end of Bailey's whipped cross and scoring past David Raya at the third attempt after his first two shots were blocked.

The scoreline only served to emphasise Villa's total superiority over the visitors. From the first whistle, Danks' side sought to dominate the ball and leave their mark on the game, hardly giving Brentford a sniff as they continued to burst forward time and time again.

Villa's attacking quartet of Watkins, Ings, Bailey and Emiliano Buendia played their best football of the season to date, causing serious problems for the Bees' defence with their quick interchanges and positional fluidity.

Who the next Villa manager will be remains to be seen, but if this was Danks' audition, he passed with flying colours. This was an Aston Villa we hadn't seen in a long time, and if they can string together a few more performances like this one they'll avoid relegation at a canter.

For the time being, Danks and his side move up to 14th in the Premier League table, just two points behind 10th-placed Brentford.