Douglas Luiz’s 87th-minute goal earned Aston Villa a share of the spoils at the Gtech Community Stadium.

After an even opening 45 minutes, Brentford were far the better side after the break and deservedly took the lead when Ivan Toney fired home Bryan Mbeumo’s deep cross just past the hour mark.

Thomas Frank’s side had other chances - Kevin Schade, Mbeumo and Frank Onyeka passing up the best of them - and were punished late on as Luiz converted from six yards out in the closing stages.

Janelt for Dasilva Brentford’s only change

Vitaly Janelt was Thomas Frank’s sole alteration to the starting line-up from last weekend’s defeat to Wolves.

The German midfielder replaced Josh Dasilva for his first start since mid-March.

Aston Villa’s team news was even simpler with Unai Emery naming an unchanged XI following their 3-0 victory over Newcastle United last time out.

Brentford: Raya; Hickey, Pinnock, Mee, Henry; Norgaard (Onyeka 46), Janelt (Damsgaard 76), Jensen (Dasilva 90+2); Mbeumo, Schade (Wissa 77), Toney

Subs not used: Cox, Zanka, Ghoddos, Baptiste, Roerslev

Aston Villa: Martinez (Olsen 46); Young (Chambers 66), Konsa, Mings, Moreno (Digne 66); Dendoncker (Traore 66), Luiz; McGinn, Buendia, Ramsey; Watkins

Subs not used: Sinisalo, Carlos, Duran, Revan, Patterson

Attendance: 17,098

Toney goes closest during an entertaining first half

The game didn’t take long to spark into life.

David Raya made a superb low save to turn Emi Buendia’s shot around the post inside the opening 120 seconds after the Villa man has run unchallenged to the edge of the box.

At the other end, Mbeumo cut inside Alex Moreno easily but then hit his half-volley too close to Emi Martinez.

Brentford pressed with great intensity throughout the first half, Mathias Jensen and Christian Norgaard biting into challenges in midfield and getting the ball to the front three in promising areas.

Villa stuck to their gameplan of trying to play through the press which made for an entertaining spectacle. When Emery’s side could get through Brentford’s press, Buendia, John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey were quick to get up in support of Ollie Watkins.

Luiz took the ball off the toe of Schade as he looked to fire Ethan Pinnock’s knockdown goalwards.

Villa’s holding midfielder was then taken totally out of the game by a Jensen nutmeg on the right touchline. Schade’s ball in looked set for Toney in the middle but Villa’s World Cup winner in goal dived in bravely to cut it out.

Jensen’s influence on the game was growing. From his cross-field pass, Toney fed Janelt down the left and the German midfielder delivered a ball across goal towards Mbeumo, only for Moreno to slide in and divert to safety before the finishing touch could be applied.

The Danish midfielder dragged a shot side and had a wide free-kick saved, either side of a blocked Rico Henry effort, as Brentford started to force the issue.

The Bees’ best chance of the half came 10 minutes from the interval. Schade’s low cross was met sweetly by Toney on the edge of the six-yard box but Martinez spread himself and made a big save.

Villa did cause Brentford a couple of moments of concern late on in the half, but Moreno slashed his shot well wide before Raya got the merest of touches to tip Buendia’s curling effort around the post.

Douglas Luiz denies Brentford at the death

It had been an entertaining and even first half but the second period was much more in Brentford’s favour.

Attacking the west stand, Robin Olsen, who was a half-time replacement for the injured Martinez, was kept busy.

He comfortably dealt with Toney’s looping header but then should have been punished for an error eight minutes into the half.

Schade timed his run in behind perfectly and met Mbeumo’s lofted ball with a flicked header at goal. Olsen got down to make the save but was slow to get back up for the rebound allowing Schade back onto the ball. With nobody between him and the goal, Schade had more time than he thought but rushed his shot and, off balance, screwed it into the side netting from eight yards.

Mbeumo had a shot deflected behind and Aaron Hickey dragged wide before another big opportunity went begging. Mbeumo got onto Toney’s dinked ball before Mings but, leaning back on the penalty spot, he scooped it over the bar.

Eventually though, Brentford did take one of their chances. The move started with Raya clipping a ball down the right touchline to Mbeumo. The winger cut inside Moreno with ease and delivered a cross to the back post which begged to be put away and Toney did just that from close range for his 20th of the season in all competitions.

Villa rang the changes after the goal, but Brentford held them at bay comfortably as the clock ran down.

A Jacob Ramsey effort spooned over the bar was all an in-form Villa frontline could muster as Brentford looked set to record a first win in six.

And those three points should have been secured with six minutes remaining. Mbeumo was the architect again, lifting an out-swinging ball to an unmarked Frank Onyeka at the back post. However, the finish lacked conviction as the ball skimmed off his foot and tamely behind.

Two minutes from the end of the 90, Brentford were made to pay for those missed chances. A long period of pressure in and around the Bees box eventually saw the ball teed up for Luiz who steered home from eight yards past a helpless Raya.

Frank made his displeasure at conceding obvious, but that heartbreak almost turned to joy instantly as Wissa ran through and curled past Olsen only for the assistant’s flag to go up for offside.

The away side had the afternoon’s final efforts on goal, Luiz flashing a shot wide from range and Ollie Watkins looping a header over the bar, as Brentford were made to reflect on a game of missed opportunities in the west London sunshine.

Frank: There should have only been one winner

Thomas Frank said he was 'so pleased' with his side’s performance at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Toney: We dropped two points

Ivan Toney rued Brentford’s missed chances against Aston Villa.