In the first few minutes, Villa seemed to be on a bit of a hangover from Sunday’s derby win over Blues. Nottingham Forest took full advantage, and within the first 3’, Lewis Grabban did what he did so much of last season, and scored at Villa Park. Unfortunately this time for Villa, it was against them.
Then, three minutes later, the same kind of build up play from Forest saw Joe Lolley dash clean through the center of the pitch and slot one through to João Carvalho, who finished nicely past Ørjan Nyland. Villa would respond, however.
Tammy Abraham got on the end of a Yannick Bolasie cross in the 11’ to start the comeback, and a game to remember for the young Chelsea-loanee. Three minutes after that one, a nice little play from Jack Grealish to Jonathan Kodjia saw the latter’s shot blocked, and ended up with a corner for Villa. From that ensuing corner, the ball bounced out to the dangerous John McGinn, and his deflected shot was cleared off the line right into Tammy Abraham, who had the ball pelted off his mid-section and into the net. A 2-2 match, only after 14’ played.
This half just didn’t want to end that way, and in the 22’, the same kind of attack for Forest, yet again, came through Joe Lolley and the middle of the field, and he finds Matty Cash as he finishes for Forest’s third of the match.
Another good response for Villa, as they didn’t keep their heads down, and Yannick Bolasie continued to be dangerous, put his head down, did a step-over, and darted into the box, making the Forest defender dive in and commit a penalty. Tammy Abraham stepped up, just as he did Sunday against Blues, and put the spot kick from 12 yards out into the back of the net. After 36’, Tammy Abraham had three goals, and the match was tied at 3 at the half.
To start the second half, Villa came out on the front foot, but yet again, early on Forest find a goal. A rocket from Joe Lolley in the 51’ make it 4-3 to Forest as the Villa defense just did not want to step forward to the ball, and after seeing a different angle, Nyland should have probably saved it. Four shots on target and four goals for Forest at this point
A few chances for each side back and forth, and in the 66’, Dean Smith made his first change of the match for Villa as Anwar El Ghazi came on for Kodjia. Not three minutes after, John McGinn is clabbered and a straight red card is shown to Tobias Figueiredo in the 69’.
Off the ensuing free kick, Jack Grealish whipped a ball in which found Tammy Abraham for his FOURTH goal of the match, and Villa were level at 4-4 just like that, with 20 minutes to play a man-up to find a winner.
Villa do just that. A ball came from the wing that found El Ghazi, as another man on loan finds a way to make a name for himself. An absolute stunner of a goal in the 75’, curled from just outside of the box, to the top corner past the keeper, put Villa in front.
In the 79’, John McGinn was subbed off for Glenn Whelan, to lock things down for Villa, and give some rest to McGinn, who missed Sunday’s match with a calf injury.
The Villa lead only lasted a little more than five minutes, as Lewis Grabban once again found the back of the net in the 82’, as he slotted it past Nyland’s near post, as another soft goal was let in by the keeper. Villa had already planned to bring on Ahmed Elmohamady for Bolasie before the goal, and they went ahead with the substitution even after the equalizer. 5-5 after the 80th minute.
Two goals for Villa were disallowed in the last 10 minutes, as El Ghazi hit one in with his hand and saw a yellow card for it, and in the last gasp of the game, Elmo got free at the back post, seemingly onside, and fired one off the keepers hands and in, which was smashed over the line by Tammy. Still not sure why that one was called off, but it was, and Villa and Forest split the points in an absolutely crazy game, that ends 5-5. 63 percent possession for Villa, along with 26 total shots to Forest’s 8, and one point each.
We use this game and move on to look forward to Saturday’s trip to 3rd placed Middlesbrough, and continue this tough run of matches.
Up the Villa!