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Game #5661

Aston Villa

Saturday, 8 April 2023

Won

6th (+1)

Last 5: 🟨 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩

Premier League

Attendance: 42,076

Nottingham Forest

Villa Park

Sixth place after 30 games for the first time since 2009-10, seven unbeaten, six wins, four consecutive victories, another clean sheet, and Ollie Watkins' ninth in eleven. Special times, special manager, special club.

Aston Villa

2-0

Nottingham Forest

Assist(s) | Jacob Ramsey | 90'+5 |

KEY MAN

Bertrand Traoré, a triumph for adversity.

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MATCH TIMELINE

Saturday, 8 April 2023

🔁 | 28’ Sub off, Leon Bailey, Sub on, Bertrand Traoré
🟨 | 35’ Booking, Álex Moreno for a bad foul
🕒 | HT Aston Villa 0-0 Nottingham Forest
⚽ | 48’ Goal, 1-0, Bertrand Traoré
🔁 | 75’ Sub off, Emiliano Buendía, Sub on, Leander Dendoncker
🟨 | 85’ Booking, Ezri Konsa for a bad foul
⚽ | 90’+5 Goal, 2-0, Ollie Watkins, Assist by Jacob Ramsey
🟨 | 90’+5 Booking, Ollie Watkins for excessive celebration (taking his shirt off after scoring)
🕒 | FT Aston Villa 2-0 Nottingham Forest

ON THIS DAY

Ashley Young, 37, makes his 240th appearance for the club since first joining in January 2007.

John McGinn makes his 175th appearance for the club since joining in August 2018.

Ezri Konsa makes his 130th appearance for the club since joining in July 2019.

Emiliano Buendía makes his 70th appearance for the club since joining in July 2021.

Bertrand Traoré makes his 50th appearance for the club since joining in September 2020.

Ollie Watkins scores his 40th goal for the club on his 108th appearance joining Jackie Sewell (1955-60), Davy Walsh (1950-55) and Billy Cook (1926-29) on 40.

Aston Villa

European Cup / Champions League: 🏆
League Champions: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆
League Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Last Trophy: 1995-96

Nottingham Forest

European Cup / Champions League: 🏆🏆
League Champions: 🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆
League Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆
Last Trophy: 1989-90

FIXTURE HISTORY

Nottingham Forest

Previous 5 vs. Forest: 🟩 🟩 🟨 🟩 🟨

FIXTURE DETAILS

Season | 2022-23 |
Matchday | #33 |
League Game | #30 |
Manager Game | #19 |
Saturday, 8 April 2023
Attendance | 42,076 |

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager: Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 | Hondarribia, 2022-
Referee: Anthony Taylor | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Wythenshaw, 2006-
Kick off: 3.00pm
Half Time Score: 🟨 0-0
Full Time Result: 🟩 Won
Full Time Score: 🟩 2-0
Last 5: 🟨 🟩 🟩 🟩 🟩

MANAGERIAL RECORD

Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 |

GAMES | WINS | DRAWS | LOSSES | POINTS PER GAME

🕒 19 | 🟩 | 11 🟨 | 2 🟥 6 | 1.84

Career Form:

Top 4

Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 |

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Anthony Taylor | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Wythenshaw, 2006-
Previous 5: 🟩 🟩 🟨 🟩 🟩
Last Match: 🟩 25 Feb 23, Villa 2-0 Everton (a)
Incidents: 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn.
Fourth official: Thomas Bramall.
VAR: Simon Hooper.
Assistant VAR: Matthew Wilkes.

Cards:

Villa

🟨 🟨 🟨

Nottingham Forest

🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨

Anthony Taylor

TEAM NEWS

Same team, same bench, same again please Villa.

TEAM STATS

Starting XI Average Age: | 28.05 |
Bench Average Age: | 26.33 |
Squad Average Age: | 27.19 |
Subs Average Age: | 27.80 |
Oldest Starter: RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 37.77 |
Youngest Starter: M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 21.88 |
Oldest Squad Player: RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 37.77 |
Youngest Squad Player: CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 | 19.33 |
Oldest Substitute: M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 | 28.00 |
Youngest Substitute: W Bertrand Traoré | 🇧🇫 | 27.61 |

MANAGER

MANAGER

Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 |

Steve Cooper | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 |

Aston Villa

GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 |
LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | 🟨 |
CB Ezri Konsa | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🟨 |
CB Tyrone Mings | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
M John McGinn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 |
M Douglas Luiz | 🇧🇷 |
M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔥 |
W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | 🔁 |
W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 | 🔁 |
CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | ⚽ | 🟨 |

Nottingham Forest

GK Keylor Navas | 🇨🇷 |
RB Neco Williams | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 |
CB Felipe Augusto de Almeida | 🇧🇷 |
CB Moussa Niakhaté | 🇸🇳 |
CB Joe Worrall | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🔁 |
LB Harry Toffolo | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🟨 |
M Danilo dos Santos de Oliveira | 🇧🇷 | 🔁 |
M Cheikhou Kouyaté | 🇸🇳 | 🔁 |
M Jonjo Shelvey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 🟨 | 🔁 |
M Morgan Gibbs-White | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
F Brennan Johnson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 |

SUBSTITUTES

🔁 | W Bertrand Traoré | 🇧🇫 | ⚽ | for W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | 28’ |
🔁 | M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 | for W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 | 75’ |

SUBSTITUTES

🔁 | M Remo Freuler |🇨🇭| for M Cheikhou Kouyaté | 🇸🇳 | 32’ |
🔁 | CF Taiwo Awoniyi | 🇳🇬 | 🟨 | for CB Joe Worrall | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 65’ |
🔁 | M Orel Mangala | 🇧🇪 | 🟨 | for M Jonjo Shelvey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 65’ |
🔁 | W André Ayew | 🇬🇭 | for M Danilo dos Santos de Oliveira | 🇧🇷 | 78’ |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 |
GK Viljami Sinisalo | 🇫🇮 |
LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 |
CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CB Diego Carlos | 🇧🇷 |
CB Seb Revan | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

GK Wayne Hennessey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 |
CB Scott McKenna | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 |
M Jesse Lingard | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CF Sam Surridge | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
CF Emmanuel Dennis | 🇳🇬 |

SQUAD STATS

1st XI Cost: £171.57m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 6/11
Homegrown: 1/11
Subs Cost: £30.06m
Team Cost: £201.63
Squad Cost: £274.33m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 8/20
Homegrown: 3/20

MATCHDAY SQUAD

GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 | £19.58m |
GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 | £3.15m |
GK Viljami Sinisalo | 🇫🇮 | Free |

LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 | £27.00m |
LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | £12.00m |
RB Ashley Young | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |

CB Diego Carlos | 🇧🇷 | £27.90m |
CB Tyrone Mings | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £20.60m |
CB Ezri Konsa | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £11.97m |
CB Seb Revan | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |
CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |

M Douglas Luiz | 🇧🇷 | £15.12m |
M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 | £13.50m |
M John McGinn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | £2.79m |
M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |

W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 | £34.56m |
W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | £28.80m |
W Bertrand Traoré | 🇧🇫 | £16.56m |

CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £27.72m |
CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 | £14.65m |

SQUAD STATS

1st XI Cost: £75.56m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 6/11
Homegrown: 2/11
Subs Cost: £38.25m
Team Cost: £95.81m
Squad Cost: £131.72m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 10/11
Homegrown: 2/20

MATCHDAY SQUAD

GK Wayne Hennessey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 | Free |
GK Keylor Navas | 🇨🇷 | Loan |

RB Neco Williams | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 | £18.00m |
LB Harry Toffolo | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £2.16m |

CB Felipe | 🇧🇷 | £2.00m |
CB Moussa Niakhaté | 🇸🇳 | £8.85m |
CB Scott McKenna | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | £2.94m |
CB Joe Worrall | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |

M Morgan Gibbs-White | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £26.55m |
M Danilo dos Santos de Oliveira | 🇧🇷 | £18.00m |
M Orel Mangala | 🇧🇪 | £11.70m |
M Remo Freuler |🇨🇭| £8.10m |
M Cheikhou Kouyaté | 🇸🇳 | Free |
M Jonjo Shelvey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |
M Jesse Lingard | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |

W André Ayew | 🇬🇭 | Free |

CF Taiwo Awoniyi | 🇳🇬 | £18.45m |
CF Emmanuel Dennis | 🇳🇬 | £13.32m |
CF Sam Surridge | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £1.65m |
F Brennan Johnson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 | Youth |

UNAVAILABLE

Injury | 4 |
GK Jed Steer | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Achilles
M Philippe Coutinho | 🇧🇷 | Muscle
RB Matty Cash | 🇵🇱 | Calf
M Boubacar Kamara | 🇫🇷 | Ankle

Unregistered | 1 |
CB Kortney Hause | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |

Out On Loan | 12 |
M Finn Azaz | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Plymouth
CF Wesley | 🇧🇷 | Levante
W Jaden Philogene-Bidace | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Cardiff
CF Keinan Davis | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Watford
FB Ben Chrisene | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Kilmarnock
M Tim Iroegbunam | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | QPR
CF Cameron Archer | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Middlesbrough
M Morgan Sanson | 🇫🇷 | Strasbourg
CF Louie Barry | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Salford City
M Aaron Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Middlesbrough
M Marvelous Nakamba | 🇿🇼 | Luton Town
CB Lamare Bogarde | 🇳🇱 | Bristol Rovers

UNAVAILABLE

Not Recorded

Player Positions:

GK : Goalkeeper
CB, D, B : Centre Back, Defender, Back
FB, LB, RB, WH : Full Back, Left Back, Right Back, Wing Back, Wing Half


M, CH, LH, RH : Midfielder, Centre Half, Left Half, Right Half
W, OL, OR : Winger, Outside Left, Outside Right
F, IF, IL, IR : Forward, Inside Forward, Inside Left, Inside Right, Second Striker, False 9
CF : Centre Forward

Match Symbols:

⚽ | Goal
🔥 | Assist
🔁 | Substitution

🟨 | Booking

🟥 | Sending off

🆘 | Poor refereeing performance
🟢 : Debut 🔴 : Final Game

DEBUT APPEARANCES

FINAL APPEARANCES

MATCH STATS

Possession F | 65%
Possession A | 35%
Shots F | 8
Shots A | 6
Shots on Target F | 3
Shots on Target A | 2
Corners F | 1
Corners A | 8
Fouls F | 7
Fouls A | 17

TABLE

2021-22 Matchweek 38.jpg

PROGRAMME

Quotation Marks.png

MATCHDAY QUOTES

“Kamara not available. We are waiting for his progress. His injury is more or less 10 days or two weeks. He’s not going to play tomorrow. Other players are still - Philippe Coutinho and Matty Cash - injured. Both. The same with Kamara, different injuries but are more or less 10 days, two weeks, thinking that they will come back.

“Leon, he’s working as well trying to help the team and trying to be a protagonist on the pitch. He’s not being consistent in his performance but we are supporting and helping him and trying to be demanding with him. He’s doing it.

“Of course, I am waiting for his goals and assists but, since the beginning, I’ve been pushing him to help the team defensively and being committed tactically in everything we want. He’s doing it. I’m happy with him because of his commitment to do everything that we’re demanding of him.

“When I saw Bertrand Traoré here recovering from his injury in Turkey. I asked him about his situation because we were missing a right winger.

“We were working with a talented player, Kadan [Young], who is 16, who was training every day. I was using him in the friendly matches and, really, I knew Traore’s performances with Lyon.

“When he came here, I was aware he played well in the first season. Last year, for different circumstances, he decided to go on loan to Turkey. I spoke to him and he was very committed to helping us. I told him we needed one player with his qualities in the squad.

“The players like him a lot, he’s appreciated in the dressing room. Everyone was happy for him on Tuesday. Now he’s here, it’s not enough for us. I want the best of him for the nine remaining games with us.

“Buendía I told you, Emiliano, his wishes to win. Commitment to work every day is high. His energy is 80% positive. Some days we have to stop him. He can play better. He can help us as a winger playing inside like a Jacob or like Coutinho. It is very important to us how [wingers] can understand tactically the position to get an advantage.

“His quality and skill is very important for us to try and use for an assist and to get in the box and connect with the player getting back like Alex Moreno. Their commitment every day… We create a small family inside to push and help each other. He’s one of them players.

“Ollie Watkins… I was watching his last season at Brentford. He scores goals. We are trying to use his qualities, his commitment, his power to try to add him to learn different ways to improve. He’s very humble to do it.

“Each session is very good; he’s the example. He wants to learn, improve. He listens to everything. He works on and off the pitch. He thinks only about football and watches clips of him and other strikers. It’s the way! It’s a very good example for me to use for other players. Ollie Watkins is 100 percent committed.

“We didn’t speak about it because we are very happy with him. We are involved every day with our target in front, collectively and individually. He deserves to get a new contract, to extend the contract and to get more money. He is deserving. We want to keep him with us.

“We want to improve. We are very demanding but, at the same time, we are watching how they are responding, the players. We want to get to the best level as a team and as a club and individually as well, and to add players to improve the squad.

“We need strikers. We let Danny Ings leave, we added Jhon Duran. He’s young, we’re trying to get a process with him and to accelerate that. We are testing him. If we can have him taking now or the next year, performing like we will need. It is a process.

“With Watkins, we are happy now, he’s progressing. We want to keep him. But, as well, if we can add another striker to play with him to play in different competitions, it’s the idea. I want a stronger squad with two players for each position, and to add performances to get better as a team. That is based on my experiences and we can get better here at Aston Villa.

“We won the last two at home but we haven’t improved enough [at home]. Against Nottingham, we have to be demanding and to be critical of ourselves; looking at the good things but tactically we have to improve. That is my first idea.

“I’m excited like the supporters to show our best; transmitting energy and a good control of the game.

“My message to the supporters is we have to do it together. It’s going to be difficult to be in the position we are in now and to get up in the European position.

“I want our supporters to help us and to be with us and to try to understand to keep our game plan. At home, I want to feel our supporters pushing and helping us tomorrow like they have been doing.

“We have to be very demanding and responsible about our work and be excited to be in a better position. We are doing it. From now until the end of the season we have to be consistent and strong. The next step now, the European competition. We are fighting against Liverpool, Chelsea, Brighton, Brentford. Brighton and Brentford are playing magnificently. Chelsea and Liverpool are out of their normal positions. They’re in a race. We are there, but we know we have to be very consistent, competing better than we are doing at home.

Unai Emery, pre-match.


“Happy, above all for our fans because we’re winning at home. Clean sheet. We scored two goals in each of the last four matches now. We’re going up in the table but we have to take balance as well with the difficulty we have in front. Today, the match was the same as we were thinking, very difficult. We share our moments with our supporters here, winning, playing a competitive match. We improved on some things and took more information to continue on our way to build as a team and in our ideas.

“It’s about the result first but we want to create a way how we can feel better and be competitive and closer to winning each match. Today was a match to be passionate, to defend well and to try and impose our idea on the pitch. Progressively we did better as the match went on. We win 2-0 and it was amazing, the atmosphere, that moment when Watkins scored that second goal.

“We are winning. We are adding a new target in our way. We started trying to escape from the bottom. We did it. We tried to be in the top 10 and now we are there but another target we have is to go to Europe.

“But to go to Europe we have to face other teams who are playing very well. For example, we are now sixth but it’s not real because Brighton have two matches less than us, Liverpool as well and we have to wait for their results and then of course we are going to think to be ambitious but realistic as well. Now, we can add a new target for the next match; it’s to win and we can be with the possibilities to get the European position.

“The last six or seven matches we were speaking because before we lost three matches and conceded 11 goals. Our response after that to improve was really good from the players. The confidence now comes when you are winning and when you are being comfortable on the pitch; sometimes defensively like against Chelsea or keeping the ball like against Leicester.

“Today, it was very difficult to progress. I spoke to the players to be passionate and to try to keep ball possession longer than we do usually because [Forest] were waiting in the middle trying to take our mistakes and take the transition. We didn’t concede it and defensively today was one thing I was very happy with.

“We are very happy for Ollie and Emiliano Martinez because he keeps clean sheet. But thinking about the goalkeeper and striker, we have other players in the middle. They are very, very important as well.

“Pressure is there when you’re in the bottom and you have to win. Pressure was when I was here playing against Manchester United! I remember that moment and I was a little bit under pressure!! Not now, not now. But I like it and I grew up playing under pressure as a coach. I like this, playing against the best, being very, very determined because you are playing for something to win. I want to share with the players; it’s not pressure and it’s to be ambitious and to get to being competitive to being stronger and stronger.

“The crowd are very excited and are trying to support us. I told them before, the idea before is to understand how we can play; how we want to impose and create our style. We want to be supported with this idea we want to do. The only objective is to win. When we win we connect with our supporters.”

Unai Emery.


“I think it shows that I’ve developed a lot, I’ve worked a lot on my finishing. I’ve worked hard for these moments. I don’t think I’d do that finish at the start of the season or maybe last season, dinking the keeper. I’d maybe have tried to go low and it may get saved. I’ve worked a lot on a variety of finishes and I’m happy to be scoring.

“I think [Unai Emery] telling me to be patient [has helped]. We do a lot of debriefs after the game and he’s very detailed. Just taking information in, working on the training pitch and being patient. I know my teammates are going to get the ball and look for me. It’s about being in the right areas and doing my bit, which is about trying to score.

“It [The first half] was frustrating. At times, [especially] the final ball, all of us were a little bit off it today. It was just little moments, it was about the composure in front of goal to pick a final pass or pass it in the goal. They’re key moments so I’m happy I did that today. We got a massive three points in a big week.”

“The manager gives us confidence every game. He mentions that we’ve got to respect each team, it’s the Premier League and isn’t going to be easy, and fight for three points in every game. We’ll continue to do that until the end of the season. There’s a lot of good teams we’ve got to play. We’re up for the challenge and it’s going to be really exciting in these last eight games.”

”We’re defending from the front, the midfielders are well-drilled, credit to the defenders because they’re always having to sprint back. It’s a solid team performance and I’m happy that Emi [Martinez] has got his clean sheet.”

Ollie Watkins.

*BBC Sport*
Saturday, 8 April 2023

**In-form Aston Villa maintained their push for European football next season with victory over relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest at Villa Park.**

Villa have now won 11 of 17 games since Unai Emery took charge, with victory here their fourth in succession.

It had been a testing first half for Emery’s men as the hosts struggled to get a foothold in the match, with Forest proving equal to their efforts.

Villa came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening period when Ollie Watkins forced Keylor Navas into a stop from close range but chances were otherwise limited.

The game’s opening goal could not have come easier for the hosts, though, as Bertrand Traore curled past Navas after Jonjo Shelvey cleared the ball into the path of the Villa man shortly after the restart.

Watkins sealed the result in the final minute of added time, chipping into the net after playing a one-two with Jacob Ramsey.

Forest’s poor run of form leaves them 18th, inside the relegation zone on goal difference.
Villa, meanwhile, are six points off fifth-placed Tottenham with eight games remaining.

Villa’s fortunes continue to improve

Emery has masterminded a complete turnaround of Villa’s fortunes since taking the reins in October.

They had won just two of their opening 11 matches before the Spaniard’s arrival but are now firmly in the mix at the top end of the table.

They struggled to cause any real issues in the scrappy first half, Alex Moreno’s frequent forays down the wing one of their few bright attacking sparks.

Their confidence was much-improved after Traore’s goal, though, and their performance finally sprung into life.

Emi Buendia came inches away from extending the hosts’ advantage after Moreno charged past the defence but the Argentine sliced just wide of the near post.

Watkins’ goal added to his own fine run of form, netting his ninth in 11 games.

Emery told BBC Sport: “Ollie is working very well and his commitment with the team is very important.

“When he’s scoring we’re very happy for him. He’s helping with his quality. Everybody is supporting him, trying to assist him, like today how Jacob Ramsey decided to assist him.

“Ollie is scoring and for him, [it’s] very good.”

Villa have already surpassed last season’s points tally and Emery will be hoping his side can maintain the pressure on the league’s top sides throughout the run-in.

Forest drop into relegation zone

Forest are in freefall, with Steve Cooper’s side now without a win in nine Premier League matches.

Some confidence will have been generated by the fact they shut out high-flying Villa in the first half, but they could not keep up the pace for the full 90 minutes.

They showed some moments of life, Brennan Johnson’s footwork on the right in particular causing problems for the hosts, while Shelvey provided some promising deliveries.

But they only managed two shots on target as they fell to a potentially damaging defeat for their manager.

Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis backed Cooper’s position as manager earlier this week but said that
“results and performances must improve immediately”.

Such improvements were nowhere to be seen at Villa Park, and their dire form means the pressure will continue to mount on the Forest boss.

Forest fans chanted Cooper’s name in support of the manager as the teams came out for the game.

“That’s the bit that hurts the most, that we and I are desperate to do well for the supporters and the club,” he told BBC Sport after the game.

“It makes these moments and these mistakes and these goals even more costly and even more hurtful.

“I repeat what I’ve said, we can blame nobody but ourselves because of the mistakes we made.”