Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa: Premier League – live | Premier League
86 min: Diaby deliberates as the ball is headed to him, and can’t find a teammate.
85 min: Murillo has class on the ball but he takes the sensible action of clattering the ball as far out of defence as can.
84 min: Douglas Luiz, who has been so good this season, has been closed off and chased down. The ball is lost and Gibbs-White almost releases Danilo, only for another offside to be waved.
82 min: Forest change: Awoniyi for Danilo, back in the Forest squad after missing six matches.
80 min: Yet another Forest offside. This time it’s Gibbs-White.
79 min: Another Villa change. On comes Diego Carlos for Kamara. Murillo heads behind as Tielemans shoots. Then Luiz takes a poor corner. It’s still all Villa.
78 min: Another Villa miss. The ball comes out to Digne who can’t keep his shot down.
77 min: Bailey jumps up to head wide, not long after Luiz had been splattered by Morgan Gibbs-White.
76 min: Vlachodimos is down, having been clattered. Did Digne get fouled by a flying Sangare? VAR says no. And the keeper is eventually OK to continue.
74 min: Forest fans – presumably – are singing “Ingerlund Ingerlund Ingerlund:. Do they know Steve Cooper is Welsh?
72 min: Robbie Robinson gets in touch: “As regards someone joining his local choir as a soprano that could be an expensive procedure whereas it would only cost a little snip to join as a castrati.”
Michelle Brooks in Adelaide on Paul McCartney: “You’ll find him down under. He’s playing some rather odd venues. More accessible for those outside Sydney or Melbourne than T. Swift.”
71 min: Forest change: Toffolo for Aurier, who has been solid rather than his chaotic Spurs self in the east Midlands.
70 min: Diaby and Bailey seems to be occupying the same space, off the right-hand side, and then, as the ball comes out, Tielemans steps forward and hoofs it wide.
68 min: Diaby, the ball dropping to him on the edge of the box, turns and shoots and Vlachodimos makes another fine save. This can’t have made pleasant viewing for poor Matt Turner. Then Bailey heads over. Villa can’t catch a break.
66 min: Digne and McGinn link but Aina again steps in before Niakhate comes out to smash the ball clear. All Villa now, but Forest ready to pounce on the counter.
65 min: Kamara booked for cropping down Elanga. A fair ball.
63 min: Pau Torres attempt to play in Digne but Aina had it covered. Then, Torres does a neat spin to send Awoniyi the wrong way.
62 min: Forest compressed once more. Everyone in 2/5ths of the pitch. And Forest throwing in blocks and tackles aplenty.
60 min: That’s a Villa sub. Off goes Matty Cash, to warm enough applause from fans of his old club. Youri Tielemans arrives, and is greeted with “Leicester reject”.
59 min: Every player bar Martinez is pinned into Forest’s half and it’s as congested as the M1 at rush hour in there. Villa finally find space and Leon Bailey is laid up, only to whack the ball high and wide. Oh dear.
56 min: Forest try to escape on the counter again but Villa, who live dangerously, keep catching them out in being offside a few yards into their own half.
55 min: A golden chance for Watkins, the ball fizzed in from the left by Digne, and he misses. That was not the expected outcome.
53 min: McGinn wins a corner. Luiz will take, and Watkins flicks over. Niakhate has been outstanding in the Forest defence.
51 min: Unai Emery has the face of a man who has smelled something very off. His team have been rocked by Forest’s muscle.
50 min: Meanwhile, Dominguez had a shot saved by a far stronger Martinez hand, and then at the other end, Mangala falls on Watkins and treads in a very delicate place. Watkins may well be eligible to rejoin his local choir as a soprano.
48 min: The goal was scored in the same 47th minute Forest fans applauded for Adam Johnson, the Nottingham Panther who died so tragically last week. VAR’s intervention was as untimely as ever.
Oh that’s a howler from Martinez, he tried to stop Mangala’s shot from the edge of the box and used one hand. But was Toffolo offside in playing the ball inside? No, the goal stands.
46 min: Leon Bailey is on for Villa, with Nicola Zaniolo making way. There’s time for a blast of Mull of Kintyre. Whatever happened to Paul McCartney? You never hear much from him these days…Villa force the issue from the get-go, and Watkins fires wide.
Joe Pearson is back: “Weather update: the sun has come out! In other news, I have been googling Vlachodimos while listening to Chaka Demus and Pliers. Generally though, why is changing keepers such a big deal? I mean all the other players are rotated to some extent. It just seems like a lot of unnecessary drama.”
Half-time reading from The Wils.
Jeremy Boyce gets in touch: “Flag down on the play ! I’m in a very windy and yesterday very wet south of France, and was interested in EP’s views on VAR, especially as what is going on at the moment is clearly a load of boll…er..not working properly. What about trying the cricket version, where each team has a maximum number of reviews they can ask for, after that the ref’s decision is final. Personally speaking, I was much happier when the ref’s decision WAS final, however many mistakes they make. In cricket it is amazing how often the VAR confirms the umpire’s decision, in a game where the action takes place in a split second at 90mph. A friend once did a 3 month umpiring course, at the end of which they said “At the end of the day, you can only give what you see.” Very true.”
That’s been an entertaining half in which Unai Emery the tactical master has been frustrated by the organisation Steve Cooper has instilled in his team. And Forest might have been more than a single goal up. Villa haven’t been poor, but they’ve been prevented from being their usual standard.
45+2 min: Now Villa want a penalty. Did Murillo handle it? There’s a VAR check going on as Villa pass the ball around. The ball goes out of play and despite Villa’s hopes of a penalty. Toffolo also accused but it looks like it his chest. That’s the end of the half.
45+1 min: Forest want a penalty, as Awoniyi is brought down. There’s an offside call, which is very very marginal….referee Gillet wanted to give that but was pulled back by his assistants. It’s the right call but again, as so often, so marginal that we have to wonder.
45 min: Digne trying to overlap but being pushed back and back. Really strong defence and organisation from Forest here. Ball played into Watkins but he has no hope of beating Niakhate.
43 min: Villa corner forced by Zaniolo, who’s been busy but not too productive. The corner is much the same. Villa not at the races, yearning for home comforts.
41 min: Diaby fouls Sangare. It’s getting a bit more stop-start.
39 min: Aina, on one of his forward runs, beats Zanilolo, and Dominguez, just as in the first minute, can’t stop his shot heading for the River Trent.
38 min: Villa corner. Vlachodimos punches clear under pressure. Impressive goalkeeping so far. No Greek tragedy.
35 min: Gibbs-White and Elanga down the left. Toffolo loses it by overdeliberation. And Villa break at high speed. Watkins beats Murillo, and Diaby plays it left to Zaniolo, whose shot is saved well, by the knees of Vlachodimos.
34 min: Aina heads a Diaby ball clear. It’s all Villa at the moment but Forest are defending well, and strongly.
32 min: Niakhate launches a Challinor of a long throw and there’s a brief spell of panic in the Villa area.
30 min: Lucas Digne has been Villa’s most potent attacker and from his cross inside Zaniolo slips and makes a mess of what was a passable, if tough opportunity. Diaby, too, played in by Luiz then overdoes a lob and misses the target. Unai Emery is even more animated than normal. Matty Cash is being blasted for not joining the attack.