Aston Villa and Brentford played out a high tempo and fiercely contested 1-1 draw at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.
In a frantic opening fifteen minutes, two stars of last season's Championship netted their first Premier League goals for their respective clubs. Aston Villa's Emi Buendia swiftly cancelled out Ivan Toney's opener to begin a breathless first half between two sides trying to close the other down.
While the tackles continued to fly in, the legs and minds grew weary and the second half became an increasingly fractious and physical, but largely even affair.
The Villa Park crowd were treated to a fleeting sight of former Brentford forward Ollie Watkins - who arrived to applause from all four sides of the stadium - dovetailing with new signing Danny Ings, but that partnership, nor anyone else, could add to the early scoring.
Aston Villa player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Emiliano Martinez (GK) - 6/10 - Hardly to blame for Toney's goal but Villa's number one had little to do otherwise.
Matty Cash (RB) - 6/10 - In a scrappy contest, Cash didn't flinch when flying into any of his numerous tackles.
Ezri Konsa (CB) - 6/10 - Captaining the side in the absence of his injured skipper, Konsa marshalled the defence well before limping off with a knock of his own.
Axel Tuanzebe (CB) - 5/10 - Given the unenviable task of replacing his captain and one half of the most common Premier League centre-back partnership last season, the Manchester United loanee couldn't entirely keep Toney quiet.
Matt Targett (LB) - 6/10 - Having been dazzled onto the sidelines by Ismaila Sarr on the opening weekend, Targett kept Brentford's Sergi Canos on a tight leash.
Ashley Young (CM) - 4/10 - Starting in his third different position in as many games this season, Young could hardly offer any meaningful impact at any stage of the contest.
Douglas Luiz (CM) - 5/10 - Sweeping behind his midfield teammates, the Brazil international was lucky to get away with some rough unseen play on Toney off the ball.
Carney Chukwuemeka (CM) - 7/10 - On his first Premier League start the Villa academy product looked comfortable at the highest level.
Emi Buendia (RW) - 7/10 - The niftily taken goal will ease some early season scrutiny and the man wearing Jack Grealish's old shirt number was haring around off the ball with added thrust.
Danny Ings (ST) - 6/10 - Played a crucial and selfless role in running the channel before teeing up Buendia's equaliser, but was guilty of a squandering a gilt-edged chance from six yards out too so mixed bag.
Anwar El Ghazi (LW) - 6/10 - Floating tantalisingly between centre back and wide player, the only Villa player to start all four games this season showed why at times in this one.
Marvelous Nakamba (CM) - 5/10
Ollie Watkins (ST) - N/A
Kortney Hause (CB) - N/A
Brentford player ratings
5. Goalkeeper & Defenders
David Raya (GK) - 7/10 - Comfortable with the ball at his feet and in his gloves, Raya made a point blank save from Ings in the first half to keep the scores level.
Kristoffer Ajer (CB) - 5/10 - Tasked with covering large swathes of space - which Villa were all too keen to target - left behind the wingback ahead of him, the former Celtic defender struggled in his toughest outing for Brentford yet.
Pontus Jansson (CB) - 6/10 - Strode across to help Ajer when possible but will remember the match more for a delicate flick to tee up Toney's opener.
Ethan Pinnock (CB) - 6/10 - Ever eager to trot forward and hurl in one of numerous long throws, the 'man mountain' looked largely untroubled when the ball was in play.
6. Midfielders & Wing-backs
Sergi Canos (RWB) - 5/10 - Too often for his defenders' liking, Canos' natural position as a winger was evident from his regular absence when Villa made their way down his flank - but used those attacking instincts to help set up Brentford's goal.
Christian Norgaard (CM) - 4/10 - Whether he missed the tackle completely or just the ball, Brentford's Danish midfielder looked decidedly off the game's blistering pace.
Saman Ghoddos (CM) - 6/10 - Drafted in as a replacement for the isolating Frank Onyeka, the Swedish-born Iranian international acted as the link between midfield and attack.
Vitaly Janelt (CM) - 6/10 - So regularly a blur of yellow flying into the back of opponents receiving the ball but his influence faded after the interval.
Rico Henry (LWB) - 6/10 - Without overlooking his defensive duties, Henry had a flurry of nice touches up the pitch but missed a decent chance having tiptoed into the box.
Bryan Mbeumo (ST) - 5/10 - Buzzing around with his customary intensity, the France youth international struggled to create anything of note for himself or his teammates.
Ivan Toney (ST) - 7/10 - After two blanks to open the campaign, last season's Championship top scorer added a goal that has been missing from his ever-industrious Premier League performances.
Yoanne Wissa (ST) - 5/10
Mathias Jensen (CM) - N/A
Shandon Baptiste (CM) - N/A
Source : 90min