In a tightly contested affair in west London, Brentford were able to snatch all three points against Aston Villa thanks to an 83rd-minute winner from Mads Roerslev with his first league goal for the club.
Danny Ings had opened the scoring for Villa but it was cancelled out by a superb curling effort from Yoane Wissa before half-time. In a second period in which chances were few and far between, it was the Bees who got the lucky break when Roerslev's first shot was parried straight back to him to power home and send the Brentford Community Stadium wild.
Story of the game
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank made two changes to the side which was defeated by Manchester City here on Wednesday, one of them enforced as Dominic Thompson dropped to the bench having limped off in midweek, his place taken by Sergi Canos. Christian Norgaard also returned to the starting line-up in favour of Shandon Baptiste after serving his one-game suspension.
Meanwhile, there were three changes to the Villa team which lost to Chelsea last time out, with manager Gerrard reverting to a 4-3-3. Tyrone Mings missed out through suspension so Kortney Hause stepped into defence, with John McGinn returning to captain the side while Bertrand Traore replaced Ollie Watkins in attack.
It was a fairly uneventful opening ten minutes, the best chance of the period falling to McGinn on the half-volley about 30 yards from goal — the skipper was always going to have a tough time directing that on target.
Villa were having the better of the match early on, enjoying most of the ball, and could've taken the lead when Emi Buendia fed Ings on the edge of the box. The striker did well to evade the challenge of Mads Bech Sorensen and unleashed at goal on his left foot, but Sorensen got his leg on the ball to deflect it behind for a corner which came to nothing.
However, it would indeed be that duo who gave Villa the lead just a few minutes later. Buendia received the ball in midfield and skipped past Norgaard with a beautiful turn before sliding Ings through on goal once more. The striker took the shot on first-time, drilling accurately into the far bottom corner and giving Alvaro Fernandez absolutely no chance.
The Brentford Community Stadium was watching one-way traffic thus far as Brentford failed to trouble Villa when they had the ball and looked frightened by their opponents' attacking prowess without it. Ings was causing numerous problems running in behind and on one occasion set up McGinn for a strike from 25 yards; the midfielder did well from so far out but again failed to trouble Fernandez.
Villa nearly caught their hosts off-guard with a quick free-kick on the hour mark with Buendia feeding Jacob Ramsey's unmarked run into the box, but Pontus Jansson did well to intercept and clear the young Englishman's cut-back.
They might have been on the back foot thus far, but Brentford needed just the one chance to level the scores. Roerslev played a neat one-two with Mathias Jensen down the right and outmuscled Ramsey to get to the edge of the box. The Dane then played a ball into Wissa on the edge of the box who followed up a sublime first-touch with an equally impressive finish on his weaker left foot.
Jansson headed wide from a corner with the final chance of the half. The hosts had certainly been second-best on the whole but did well to wrestle themselves back into the contest as Villa got leggier. Therefore, it was all to play for after the break.
They'd dipped a little in the closing stages of the first 45, but Villa restarted proceedings the brighter of the two sides, and nearly regained their lead when Buendia picked up the ball on the left edge of the box before arcing an effort towards the far top corner, but it whistled just wide of the post with Fernandez watching on gratefully.
The visitors worked together another chance for themselves when Douglas Luiz clipped a ball over the Brentford defence to Matt Targett running into the box on the left. A cross-cum-shot from the full-back nearly caught the goalkeeper out, but Fernandez adjusted his footing in time to make a comfortable save.
Truth be told, though, whilst Villa were seeing most of the ball, both sides were really struggling to break each other down in a second-half which had chances few and far between.
In the first half-an-hour after the restart, Brentford worked the best of them. A super flick from the generally Ivan Toney fed Frank Onyeka's surging run through midfield. The Nigerian latched onto the ball and drove towards goal before powering an effort towards the near post, but Emi Martinez got down brilliantly to touch the ball wide of the target.
Gerrard's men should have taken the lead when a vicious free-kick from McGinn was glanced straight at Fernandez by Ezri Konsa, and they would be made to pay for their profligacy just moments later as Brentford went straight down the other end.
After good work by Saman Ghoddos down the left, Baptiste spread the ball to Roerslev at the back post and the Dane finally rifled home after two bites at the cherry — the first effort had powered right into Martinez but the Argentine parried it right back to Roerslev who made no effort with his second attempt.
Villa weren't defeated just yet. Ings was given a superb chance to level the scores once more with a shot from the penalty spot but it was straight at Fernandez, and Jansson did brilliantly to tackle the ball behind before the striker could gobble up the rebound.
The final goalscoring opportunity of the match came when Buendia headed across goal from a McGinn corner, but Fernandez stretched every fibre of his being to touch it wide and keep his side ahead.
And that was how it would finish here; a massive win for Brentford and a minor but nonetheless disappointing set-back for Gerrard's Villa.
Brentford: Fernandez; Pinnock, Jansson [c], Sorensen; Roerslev, Jensen (Baptiste 61'), Norgaard, Onyeka (Janelt 80'), Canos (Ghoddos 54'); Toney, Wissa.
Unused subs: Cox, Stevens, Ajer, Thompson, Bidstrup, Forss.
Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Hause, Targett; McGinn [c], Luiz, Ramsey (Sanson 69'); Traore (Trezeguet 80'), Ings, Buendia.
Unused subs: Steer, Feeney, Chukwuemeka, Iroegbunam, El Ghazi, Philogene-Bidace, Archer.
Referee: Craig Pawson