Villa climb into sixth as they beat Forest at Villa Park

Aston Villa made it seven games unbeaten in the Premier League and jumped into sixth position as they beat Nottingham Forest 2-0.

It also meant that Emi Martinez has kept three clean sheets in the last three matches at Villa Park.

Unai Emery stated upon his appointment that he wanted to be competing for a European spot with Villa but I don’t think even he thought it would come this season. We still have a long way to go and there will be plenty of ups and down but it is certainly nice to be in the conversation.

Report: Aston Villa 2-0 Nottingham Forest

In truth, it was hardly a classic and Villa were far from their best but they seem to be able to find a way of winning since Emery replaced Steven Gerrard as manager.

The visitors contributed to a poor game as they seemed intent on sitting back and didn’t really look like a threat all afternoon.

Villa should have taken an early lead through Ollie Watkins when the in-form forward broke free but his effort went across the goal face and just wide.

The next chance came when Leon Bailey latched on to Ashley Young’s chipped pass and crossed it for Watkins but he was unable to convert from close range.

Bailey was shortly replaced by Bertrand Traore after he appeared to pull his hamstring when crossing the ball.

Three minutes after the restart the substitute put Villa in the lead. Young played the ball to Traore who raced to the byline, his low cross was pushed back out by Forest keeper Keylor Navas, he continued his run into the box and Jonjo Shelvey played the ball into his feet as he slotted home into the corner.

The visitors tried to bounce straight back but Morgan Gibbs-White could only watch on as his effort was deflected over.

It was a frustrating afternoon and chances were few and far between.

Emi Buendia came close when he sent his first-time volley wide of the goal after an Alex Moreno pull-back.

In the end, though, Villa did find a way through to double their lead late on when Watkins chipped over Navas from close range to make it six wins from seven for the Villans.

Analysis

As I previously mentioned, it was anything but a classic and Villa will have much tougher opponents in their run-in.

However, they got the job done. This was a potential banana skin and we have watched on in the past where we have struggled to break teams down. This is a different Aston Villa though. They seem to have a never die attitude which will be put to the test next weekend when Newcastle come to Villa Park.

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