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Nottingham Forest 1-1 Aston Villa: Emmanuel Dennis scores his first goal for hosts

Emmanuel Dennis scores
Emmanuel Dennis scored his first Forest goal since his £20m move from Watford in August

Nottingham Forest moved off the bottom of the Premier League with a hard-fought draw against Aston Villa.

The result ends a sequence of five consecutive defeats for Steve Cooper’s side, who move up to 19th in the table, a point above Leicester and four behind Villa who remain 16th.

Roared on by a vociferous City Ground crowd, Emmanuel Dennis gave the hosts the perfect start, capitalising on some poor marking to head in Morgan Gibbs-White’s free-kick after drifting across the front of a static Villa defence.

However, Ashley Young levelled seven minutes later with a superb effort from 25 yards that flew into the bottom left corner.

It was Young’s first goal for Villa since 2011 – when he was in his first spell at the club – and it was the only notable moment of attacking inspiration from two sides that otherwise struggled creatively in the final third.

Steven Gerrard’s team had an Ollie Watkins effort correctly ruled out for offside and appeals for a penalty waved away when Forest captain Ryan Yates appeared to catch Ezri Konsa, too often their final ball or shot lacked the precision to trouble home goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Forest claim welcome point

While Cooper would have wanted to celebrate his new contract at the City Ground with a victory, he will be able to take plenty of satisfaction from seeing his team arrest a damaging run of results that saw his future at the club questioned.

With Filippo Giraldi having recently been installed as sporting director to put the structures in place to help Forest compete in the top flight again, Cooper’s first job was to end a dismal run that had seen them concede 18 goals in 450 minutes of football.

Having made five changes to his starting XI from the 4-0 humbling at fellow strugglers Leicester, he was rewarded with a performance that offered more solidity and was brimming with application.

When Villa threatened to carve them open, there was always a retreating Forest defender on hand with Yates’ superb intervention preventing Ollie Watkins from tapping in at the far post.

More to follow.

Player of the match

DennisEmmanuel Dennis

Nottingham Forest

  1. Squad number25Player nameDennis

  2. Squad number26Player nameMcKenna

  3. Squad number7Player nameN Williams

  4. Squad number22Player nameYates

  5. Squad number20Player nameJohnson

  6. Squad number1Player nameHenderson

  7. Squad number15Player nameToffolo

  8. Squad number14Player nameO’Brien

  9. Squad number21Player nameKouyaté

  10. Squad number16Player nameSurridge

  11. Squad number23Player nameFreuler

  12. Squad number24Player nameAurier

  13. Squad number3Player nameS Cook

  14. Squad number10Player nameGibbs-White

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number18Player nameYoung

  2. Squad number1Player nameMartínez

  3. Squad number2Player nameCash

  4. Squad number10Player nameBuendía

  5. Squad number35Player nameArcher

  6. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

  7. Squad number5Player nameMings

  8. Squad number41Player nameJ Ramsey

  9. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  10. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  11. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

  12. Squad number32Player nameDendoncker

  13. Squad number9Player nameIngs

  14. Squad number23Player namePhilippe Coutinho


Nottm Forest

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Henderson
  • 24AurierBooked at 18minsSubstituted forN Williamsat 58′minutes
  • 3S CookBooked at 27mins
  • 26McKenna
  • 15Toffolo
  • 23Freuler
  • 22YatesBooked at 82mins
  • 21Kouyaté
  • 20Johnson
  • 25DennisSubstituted forSurridgeat 71′minutes
  • 10Gibbs-WhiteSubstituted forO’Brienat 90′minutes


  • 4Worrall
  • 5Mangala
  • 7N Williams
  • 9Awoniyi
  • 11Lingard
  • 13Hennessey
  • 14O’Brien
  • 16Surridge
  • 30Boly

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 4KonsaBooked at 45mins
  • 5Mings
  • 18Young
  • 7McGinnBooked at 50minsSubstituted forDendonckerat 77′minutes
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 41J RamseyBooked at 75minsSubstituted forArcherat 81′minutes
  • 10Buendía
  • 11Watkins
  • 23CoutinhoSubstituted forIngsat 65′minutes


  • 8Sanson
  • 9Ings
  • 16Chambers
  • 19Nakamba
  • 20Bednarek
  • 25Olsen
  • 32Dendoncker
  • 35Archer
  • 52Bogarde

Anthony Taylor


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