Nottingham Forest handed Aston Villa their first Premier League win in seven games on Sunday as Ola Aina and Orel Mangala struck in a deserved 2-0 victory. The teams came into the game in very different form as Villa’s six-match unbeaten league run took Unai Emery’s men fifth in the table. However, Villa made a terrible start when Aina found the bottom corner from outside the box after five minutes and the visitors never came back.
Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez scooped the award for best goalkeeper in the world at the Ballon d’Or ceremony earlier this week for his heroics in helping Argentina to World Cup glory last year.
But a Martinez error gave Forest their second goal early in the second half.
Martinez got a hand to Mangala’s strike from long range but did not do enough to divert the ball to safety as it curled back into the goal.
A much-needed win at Forest eases speculation that Steve Cooper was in danger of becoming the first Premier League manager to be sacked of the season.
“It’s a very good win. We knew we were coming up against an in-form team with very good players,” said Cooper.
“I am very grateful to the players for sticking to the plan and being committed to it”
Forest climb to 12th in the table, eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Villa missed out on a chance to climb into the top four as they finished fifth.
“We took this game as a challenge to get the top four teams, we didn’t achieve it and there is still work to be done to try to correct the things we did today with some mistakes,” said Emery.
Liverpool can move into second place later on Sunday if the Reds beat Luton.
Luis Diaz was included among the representatives in Liverpool despite the ongoing search for his father, who has been kidnapped by a guerrilla group in his native Colombia.
“It’s still quite emotional but Luis decided three days ago that he wants to try training again,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said.
“I’ve said it before, the training ground, the football field is the safe place for the boys. He can behave normally and for a few minutes at least forget what’s going on.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
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