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2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season

Battling Bees hold Villa to goalless draw

Battling Brentford produced an excellent performance to collect a valuable away point from a goalless Sky Bet Championship draw with Aston Villa.
Brentford have never won at Villa Park. They have now made six visits and this was their fourth draw - a fine performance in view of their winless early season form.
Villa had been seeking only their second win of the season and this latest display did little to mark them out as serious promotion contenders as it was a frustrating and indifferent performance.
There was a somewhat mediocre first-half showing from Villa which persisted across the game.
Keinan Davies, who had a tremendous debut against Norwich, was not so conspicuous on this occasion.
The reason being that Brentford's skipper, John Egan, stood on little ceremony facing the youngster and as a result Villa's attack was somewhat blunted.
Their best opportunity to snatch an early lead fell to young Josh Onomah. But the on-loan player from Tottenham conspired to screw his shot wide following a low, left-wing cross from Andre Green.
Brentford, to their credit, engineered several promising attacks. The diminutive Ryan Woods was usually involved with some astute passes in particular out to the right bringing Sergi Canos into the game on his first appearance of the season.
Unfortunately Canos was forced to limp off after only 30 minutes when he got involved in a tangled tackle on Green.
Ominously there was some sloppy defensive play by Villa and Neal Maupay had a couple of real chances to open Brentford's account only to fluff both openings.
The Bees were buzzing as Villa struggled to find some shape. Their youngsters, in particular Green and Onomah, experienced difficulty shrugging off Brentford's tenacious play.
Villa's tip-tap football invariably got them into trouble as illustrated when an attack broke down and substitute Josh Clarke found himself clear down the right only to be foiled by a defiant Sam Johnstone.
Villa's expected changes materialised on the hour with newcomer Robert Snodgrass and Scott Hogan taking over from Green and Davies.
They were quickly followed by Gabby Agbonlahor, who took over from a struggling Onomah as Brentford gained in confidence to take up a more positive attacking role.
Johnstone again demonstrated his skill with another fine save. Spreading himself wide he pushed away a powerful Clarke effort to keep Villa in the game.
Dan Bentley was not to be outdone as he made a last-ditch save against James Chester to prevent a late Villa goal.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 West Bromwich Albion 16 +12 33
2 Preston North End 16 +14 31
3 Leeds United 16 +12 31
4 Swansea City 16 +6 29
5 Nottingham Forest 15 +7 28
6 Bristol City 16 +4 28
7 Fulham 16 +7 26
8 Sheffield Wednesday 16 +7 25
9 Brentford 16 +8 24
10 Queens Park Rangers 16 -4 24
11 Charlton Athletic 16 +3 22
12 Hull City 16 +2 22
13 Birmingham City 16 -5 22
14 Cardiff City 16 0 21
15 Millwall 16 -3 21
16 Derby County 16 -3 21
17 Reading 15 -1 18
18 Blackburn Rovers 16 -4 18
19 Huddersfield Town 16 -6 16
20 Wigan Athletic 16 -11 15
21 Luton Town 16 -8 14
22 Middlesbrough 16 -8 13
23 Stoke City 16 -12 11
24 Barnsley 16 -17 9