Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa trade early goals in 1-1 draw
Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa recap: The Reds raced out to an early lead but settled for a 1-1 draw with precious few scoring chances at the City Ground on Monday.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
Emmanuel Dennis headed home his first Premier League goal for Nottingham Forest (5 points - 19th place), as the former Watford striker redirected Morgan Gibbs-White’s corner kick in the 15th minute. The advantage lasted all of seven minutes, until Ashley Young uncorked a low, long-range laser through a sea of bodies to pull Aston Villa (9 points - 16th) level.
The draw snaps Forest’s five-game losing skid, and give Villa a four-game unbeaten run (1W-3D-0L).
What we learned from Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa
Forest full of fight, not ideas
They so nearly got there in the end, but Forest and Villa never quite managed to combine for a full 1.0 xG on Monday (they topped out at 0.95), where neither side could string anything together in the final third. It was a slog from start to finish, particularly for Forest, who accounted for just 0.28 of the xG total. Dennis’ goal seemed to come too early for Nottingham Forest, who immediately shrunk and became timid when the challenge of defending a one-goal lead (unlikely to score again as they were) called for courage and confidence to be the aggressors. Thus the response from Aston Villa came almost immediately and the prospect of scoring a second goal seemed even more unlikely than the first one.
How to watch Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 3 pm ET, Monday TV channel: USA Network Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
There were murmurs that Steve Cooper’s job might be in jeopardy if Forest don’t start picking up positive results, but owner Evangelos Marinakis moved rather quickly to put the speculation to bed. Rather than give his manager the dreaded “vote of confidence,” Marinakis instead gave Cooper a new contract through the summer of 2025.
“It puts clarity on speculation,” Cooper said this week. “If there is talk about that it can stop. It doesn’t mean we are going to win the next match and everything is going to be OK.”
As for Aston Villa, it took a bit of time but things are moving in the right direction as Steven Gerrard appears to have emerged from his first serious case of managerial hot seat. Two draws and a win have pushed Villa up to 14th in the table, but the goal-scoring woes have persisted despite picking up points. Only Wolves (3) and West Ham (5) have scored fewer goals than Aston Villa this season (6).
Nottingham Forest team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Omar Richards (calf), Moussa Niakhate (thigh)
Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Diego Carlos (achilles), Lucas Digne (ankle), Boubacar Kamara (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Leon Bailey (undisclosed), Calum Chambers (illness)