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Aston Villa vs. Nottingham forest final score: Villa roar back and then settle for a draw

Aston Villa looked set to lose, charged into the lead, and settled for a draw.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Let's be brief about the first half, because you've seen it before. Aston Villa were better than Nottingham Forest by a significant margin. They created a ton of chances and gave up very few. But Ross McCormack hit the post and Jonathan Kodjia could only get the ball 50% over the line (on a brilliant header) so despite dominating the clubs went into halftime all even at 0-0. The one event of note was Pierluigi Gollini picking up a knock, playing out the half but getting subbed off for Mark Bunn in the second half.

So we all know what that means: Villa would come out and look like garbage in the second half. It started off that way, too. Forest were able to take the lead in the 57th minute on a beautiful long-range strike from Apostolos Vellios. The goal was set up initially by Gary Gardner giving away the ball in Villa's attacking third, and plenty of anger was directed at the midfielder. But after that, plenty of Villans had the chance to stop the build up and none of them did. It was a 1-0 lead that looked like it might stand because Villa didn't have a clue.

But then Villa flipped the script. Rudy Gestede came on and Villa's attack looked rejuvenated. And in the 72nd minute it paid off, as Jordan Ayew slid a nice pass (no, really) to McCormack who slotted it below the leg of a defender and into the net. Then, just two minutes later, Rudy Gestede took a beautiful flying kick and powered it home to give Villa the 2-0 lead.

From that point, Villa were in absolute control. So of course Forest equalised. Hildeberto Pereira had just gotten a yellow, so he took the ball, eviscerated Villa's midfield and passed to Henri Lansbury who scored. In the ensuing celebration, Pereira got a second yellow, but Forest were able to see it out and get the draw.

So yeah, four goals in the second half is exciting. But losing because Roberto Di Matteo left us without a midfield (while Mile Jedinak sat on the bench) is infuriating. This team is SO improved from last year, but it's still struggling to convert chances to win.

I'll take a point, but god is this irritating.