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  • Writer's pictureBy Dan Evans

“You never know what is going to happen in football” – Frank reacts as Brentford denied at the death

Thomas Frank was left ruing the random nature of football as his Brentford side was denied a first win in six by a late goal from Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Brentford had much the better of the game against Unai Emery’s Champions League contenders, deservedly going ahead in the 65th minute courtesy of Ivan Toney’s 19th goal of the season.

However, Luiz’s late finish at the end of a penalty box scramble meant Brentford missed out on three points that would have moved them closer to a Europa Conference League qualification spot.

“You never know what is going to happen in football,” said Frank after the game. “You never know if somebody is going to score a worldie from 35 yards or if there is going to be a deflected shot, but it happened.

“It is football. I don’t think you can get around randomness. Of course, you can train well and keep doing the right things. We just need to keep going.

“Our level is very good, but we don’t quite have the ‘Top Six’ quality players that maybe in some moments put some of those chances away.

“How do you train ruthlessness? If someone can give me that magic formula I would buy it.”

Frank’s frustration at the late setback was evident as he hurled a bottle of water across his technical area in the aftermath of the goal, but he said he was annoyed at himself rather than his team.

“I’m a person with a lot of emotions,” he said. “I try to control them, but part of my emotions is the determination and the drive to get better and keep going. In a moment like this, of course they are bubbling inside of me.

“[The frustration] was not at my team, it was at myself. I should have made another decision I think. Not about a player [substitution]. I will need to look back.

“The calm, cool part of me looks at this performance and thinks it was close to a complete performance except for a blip.

“I’m feeling for the players because I think they have put an unbelievable effort in. The way we dominated the game was incredible.”

Former Arsenal boss Emery agreed with Frank that his side had been fortunate to come away with anything from the game.

Villa arrived in west London on a five-match winning streak, but Luiz’s late goal was one of only two shots on target they mustered throughout the 90 minutes as the in-form Ollie Watkins had a quiet afternoon on his first return to Brentford.

“It is a very good point,” Emery said. “We respected them (Brentford) before and I have to respect the match as well because they are a very competitive team.

“They are very good here [at the Gtech]. They have only lost two matches, against Arsenal and Newcastle.

“Before the match we knew it would be very difficult and it was like that.”


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