Aston Villa's Emiliano Buendia, right celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Brentford, at Villa Park, in Birmingham, England, Saturday Aug. 28, 2021. (Barrington Coombs/PA via AP)

Promoted Brentford stays unbeaten in Premier League

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Ivan Toney maintained promoted Brentford’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season as the Bees earned a deserved 1-1 draw at Aston Villa on Saturday.

The striker’s first goal of the campaign ensured Thomas Frank’s side continued its seamless adaptation to life in England’s top flight.

Emi Buendia leveled for Villa with his first goal since a club-record move from Norwich. That pegged Brentford back, but five points from its first three games — one more point than Villa — represents a healthy return as the Bees denied former boss Dean Smith victory at Villa Park.

Villa fell behind after just seven minutes after failing to clear Saman Ghoddos’ corner. Sergi Canos had time to cross low for Pontus Jansson to flick on. He found Toney unmarked and the striker smashed his first Premier League goal high into the corner from 10 yards.

The 25-year-old Toney has now scored in each of the top four tiers of English football.

But Brentford’s lead lasted just six minutes when Buendia officially announced himself to Villa Park.

Danny Ings scampered down the left and found the Argentine in plenty of space on the edge of the area as Rico Henry backed off. Buendia needed no second invitation and expertly curled the ball past David Raya.

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The Associated Press