Aston Villa made it three wins on the trot after defeating Nottingham Forest 3-1 at the City Ground. A John McGinn brace and Kortney Hause’s first goal for the club was enough to complete a comeback after Forest lead from the third minute.
Dean Smith rotated the side that’ll play three games in six days and after a second city derby win at the weekend. John McGinn replaced Glen Whelan, whilst Albert Adomah made way for Andre Green.
Forest take an early lead
Within the opening exchanges of the game, Joe Lolley showed his quality on the ball, gliding inside the pitch with confidence against his boyhood club. The former Huddersfield man then picked a pass towards the left wing where Jack Colback stood up a cross to the far post. With Jed Steer retreating towards his goal-line, the ball looped over him and nestled into the back of the net, in what was a freak way to open the scoring.
Villa’s reaction was that of a side hunting for that play-off place, that only weeks ago looked so far away. The dynamism between McGinn, Conor Hourihane and Jack Grealish produced a catalyst for the away side to thrive off. Villa fought back within five minutes of falling behind.
Ahmed Elmohamady bent a ball down the right channel, John McGinn got the better of Colback. The Scottish international drove towards goal and fired beyond Costel Pantilimon at the near post. Villa weren’t behind for long.
Villa turn the game on its head
It wasn’t long until they got a second and turned the game on to its head as McGinn grabbed another. Neil Taylor’s venture forward came to little reward as his shot was marched down. Yet the ball fell to the feet of the Scottish midfielder, who drove from 20 yards. Finding the inside of the post, McGinn claimed his fourth of the season in claret and blue.
A third was on its way as Villa continued to push for more goals. Tammy Abraham’s movement inside the box created his best chance of the evening as he struck across Pantilimon. But the Romanian ‘keeper reached towards the far post to keep the deficit to one goal.
After Forest pushed for an equaliser before and after Mike Dean blew for half-time, Villa and McGinn almost found a third on the counter-attack. Andre Green’s cross was floated towards the Scot, but he failed to find the bottom corner with a header.
Although, Villa found a two-goal advantage moments later. A tenth assist of the season for Hourihane provided Hause at the far post, as the Irishman whipped in a wicked free kick. Hause converted to end the game on the hour mark.
Before Villa could claim their third successive victory, McGinn almost grabbed the match ball and his first hat-trick in his professional career. He powered past Colback before slamming against the base of Pantilimon’s post with his weaker right foot.
Aston Villa will now entertain Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough before heading into the final international break of the season.