John Egan’s late goal rescued a point for Brentford and denied Aston Villa a first win in five Championship matches.
It looked like Jonathan Kodjia’s first goal for Villa would earn them all three points but Roberto Di Matteo’s side had to settle for only one after Egan struck in the 88th minute to make it 1-1.
Kodjia, who joined Villa last month from Bristol City, began to repay his B£11million transfer fee, which could rise to as much as B£15million, with a superb goal in only his second appearance.
Following an impressive debut against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Villa boss Di Matteo said it would not be long before the French striker got off the mark and he was proved right after 19 minutes on Wednesday night, as he sent a lovely left-foot shot into the top corner of the net.
It brought the majority of a subdued Villa Park to its feet, although there was one Villa fan who would not have been so impressed.
Brentford boss Dean Smith is a boyhood Villa supporter who earned his match ticket during the club’s heyday of the early 1980s cleaning seats in the Holte End with his father, who was a steward at the stadium, and it was not the start he was looking for from his team.
Smith’s side might have been behind in the fifth minute but goalkeeper Dan Bentley blocked Kodjia’s shot at his near post after he had been set free down the right side of the penalty area by Rudy Gestede.
Kodjia’s superb effort from that side of the box found the far corner of the net to put Villa ahead and two minutes later Gestede had the chance to quickly double the lead but he shot straight at Bentley.
Di Matteo’s side were dominant and Gestede sent a header wide after getting on the end of a driven cross from Ross McCormack.
However, Brentford were almost allowed a way back into the game in the closing stages of the first half when a mistake from Villa captain Tommy Elphick let Scott Hogan in down the right side of the box but he shot straight at home keeper Pierluigi Gollini.
Then, in first-half injury time, a sliding block by Aly Cissokho repelled a goalbound Nico Yennaris strike before Josh Clarke sent the rebound over the crossbar.
Chances became few and far between until just after the midway-point of the second half when Kodjia was within a whisker of a second goal but he could not get a telling touch on Jordan Ayew’s cross while Ayew curled an effort over the bar shortly afterwards.
Kodjia showed good strength to ride a couple of challenges on the edge of the area before testing Bentley with a curling shot but a second goal for him, or Villa, was not forthcoming.
Instead there was a sting in the tail. Substitute Sullay Kaikai sent a deep cross to the far post where Egan hit a low shot into the net with the aid of a deflection.
It was the cue for boos from some home fans, reminiscent of last season, and it could have been worse had Gollini not pushed away Ryan Woods’ 25-yard strike in time added on.