Lessons To Be Learned From Villa Loss

Aston Villa 4-2 Nottingham Forest (Premier League) 24.02.24

A frustrating encounter in the West Midlands was on show for Forest fans, as Nuno’s Reds were beaten by Emery’s Villa side who look to amend previous mistakes and put the record straight.

The first half started in disastrous fashion. Villa had already tried it, and now it worked; a ball down the left hand side from McGinn, a super one too, finds Leon Bailey who, for a second, looks like he might be stopped by Murillo, but luck is on his side. He skips forward and puts a ball across the penalty area where the goal-hungry Ollie Watkins is ready to fire it past Matz Sels. Early goal for Villa.

Matty Cash would start the move for a second against his former club though as he tips a ball off to Jacob Ramsey who, in a panic, flicks it to Douglas Luiz. The Brazilian feels no pressure, and hits it well. Another goal for Aston Villa – floodgates open for Forest. They looked well and truly lost, a fragment of what they looked like just a week ago.

There was more salt to rub in the wound though for Villa as McGinn, with all his experience, puts in another fine cross, and Douglas Luiz ones again rockets it past Selz. Forest made it too easy, again.

Forest did get one before half time to cushion the blow though, with Gibbs-White’s corner finding the head of Awoniyi who puts it across the box, and Niakhaté chests it in. 3-1. Half time.

Easily one of the poorest halves Forest have played this season. Too many mistakes, so many fouls, and losing the ball far too often – ball retention today was Forest’s major weakness. Unfortunately Danilo’s ‘raw’ character shone through – he’s still young, and has lots to learn – evading pressure he’s still getting to grips with in the English game. A poor first half. The goal the only positive.

The second half stated with more promise though – Forest made three changes: Origi, Toffolo & Omobamidele for Felipe, Murillo & Awoniyi – hold statement made, and it almost paid off.

Forest got off the mark early, with Origi’s ball to Dominguez ending in a sublime forward pass to find the on-running Gibbs-White who chips it over Emi Martinez to cut the deficit once more. 3-2. Hope in sight?

Well, unfortunately not. The game slowly reverted back to previous ways; Origi remained active, and Williams got more involved too, but it wasn’t enough. Villa would add another with Leon Bailey converting – in fairness, he has a great game, and deserved it, but again Forest respected him too much.

Late subs of Yates & Reyna added some more energy, but again, not enough. The game was done in the last ten minutes, heads went down. Villa are a class side, but Forest made it too easy, and did themselves ultimately a disservice.

Lots to learn, and some important fixtures coming up soon. But today was one that cannot be accepted – completely off-par.

*Article provided by Jamie Martin (Head Nottingham Forest Correspondent).

*Main image @NFFC Morgan Gibbs-White scores but help can’t stop Forest defeat.

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