Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest played out the game of the season, as the two drew 5-5 at Villa Park. Four goals from Tammy Abraham, and what looked like to be a winner from Anwar El-Ghazi wasn’t enough to beat ten-man Forest.
John McGinn and Yannick Bolasie replaced Glenn Whelan and the injured Albert Adomah. The later hobbled off in a derby day win over Birmingham City at the weekend.
The away side stunned Villa as they lead 2-0 within ten minutes. Goals came from former Villa man Lewis Grabban and then Jaoa Carvalho minutes later.
Villa’s defensive capabilities were as poor as their attack impressive. The hosts levelled the scores six minutes after being pegged back by two goals.
Chelsea loanee Abraham was instrumental to everything his side did going forward, claiming a 36-minute hat-trick.
Bolasie’s perfectly weighted cross towards the box was firstly converted by Abraham. The forward then scrambled in a second after Grabban’s goal-line clearance was blocked.
Before he could claim the match ball from the penalty spot, Matty Cash put Forest back in front. He ran inside Alan Hutton and Axel Tuanzebe with ease before finishing past Orjan Nyland.
With the scores level at 3-3 at the interval, anything could happen in the second period – it didn’t disappoint.
Another crazy second half
Boyhood Villa fan Joe Lolley made his mark on proceedings five minutes into the half. Brilliantly striking from distance – and with Nyland motionless – the ball found it’s way into the top corner.
Villa didn’t reply within twenty minutes – a rather dull period by the entertainment value of this contest. But after Tobias Figueiredo received his marching orders for a late challenge on McGinn, the hosts wasted no time in making the extra man count.
Jack Grealish swung in an accurate delivery which again met the head of Abraham at the near post. Forest goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon couldn’t prevent a fourth goal as Villa had their tails up.
Since replacing Jonathan Kodjia, Anwar El Ghazi looked sharp and certainly up to proving a point to manager Dean Smith. He did his chances of getting back into the side no harm as he also picked out the top corner from distance. With little space to work in, the Dutchman curled a beauty with his weaker left side to finally put Villa in front.
The drama, however, didn’t end here. Grabban came back to haunt Villa for a second time. The striker wriggled away from Tuanzebe before squeezing his strike beyond Nyland at the keepers near post.
A crazy game that’ll go down as a classic, but one Smith will take positives and many negatives from. Defensively shambolic, but attacking on all cylinders is a difficult game to juggle. Although 12 goals in the last three games speak volumes about the attacking philosophy Smith demands off his players.