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Match Reports

Aston Villa 5-5 Forest

28 November 2018

Ten-man Nottingham Forest played out a breathtaking 10-goal thriller against Aston Villa at Villa Park as The Reds left with a point following a 5-5 draw.

A Lewis Grabban brace, Joao Carvalho, Matty Cash and Joe Lolley were all on target for Forest as they extended their unbeaten run away from home to seven games.

Tammy Abraham hit four goals, with Anwar El Ghazi also on target for The Villans who thought they had won all three points following Tobias Figueiredo's red card.

But a determined Forest gallantly fought back to earn themselves a point on a remarkable evening of Championship football.

Aitor Karanka named an unchanged side and The Reds, wearing their white away strip, made a blistering start as they took a two-goal lead inside seven minutes.

Forest were quick to break forward and Villa were caught out twice in quick succession, firstly as Carvalho charged through the middle. He teed up Joe Lolley on the right who squared across goal to Grabban who had the simple task of tapping home from close range.

Three minutes later and Forest were two to the good as Lolley was once again the provider, threading a ball through for Carvalho who prodded past Orjan Nyland and into the corner of the net.

It was a sublime start to the match and there was no let up as the home side pulled a goal back on 11 minutes through Abraham. A right-wing cross was glanced into the far corner by the Chelsea loanee to reduce the arrears, and before the quarter of an hour mark Villa levelled.

A fierce shot by John McGinn proved too hot to handle for Costel Pantilimon and despite the best efforts of Grabban on the line, the ball ricocheted off Abraham and into the net.

The first-half scoring was far from over as on 22 minutes The Reds retook the lead through a fine Matty Cash goal. With Lolley again the provider, the winger played Cash in through a gaping hole in the Villa defence and he charged towards goal to lift an effort over Nyland.

There was a 10-minute period in which there wasn't a goal after that as the game seemed to settle down, but on 36 The Villans levelled as Abraham completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot, sending Pantilimon the wrong way after Yannick Bolasie was brought down by Jack Robinson.

All square at the break, the two sides had a breather before the goals continued on 51 minutes with a sensational strike by Lolley. Picking the ball up 25 yards from goal, Lolley was urged to shoot by the sold-out Forest end and he did just that, letting rip with a dipping strike which had Nyland completely beaten as it flew into the top corner.

Another belting strike nearly saw The Reds score a fifth as Cash's venomous strike as he cut in from the left whistled past the far post before a big moment came on 68 minutes as Forest were reduced to 10 men.

Figueiredo lunged in on John McGinn on the touchline and received a straight red card, then from the resulting free kick, Abraham leapt highest to power a header into the bottom corner to restore parity once again.

Four minutes later and the home side had the lead for the first time as substitute El Ghazi received the ball on the edge of the box and curled an effort beyond the outstretched dive of Pantilimon as Villa took advantage of the extra man.

The Reds don't know when they're beaten however as they showed great fight to draw themselves level thanks to a fine Grabban finish. Lolley cut in from the right and played the front man in down the right. He turned his man and fired past Nyland at the near post to make it an unbelievable 5-5.

El Ghazi thought he had found the winner as the game headed towards injury time, but his finish with his hand was seen by the referee and it meant that on a ridiculous evening in the West Midlands, Villa and Forest shared 10 goals to earn a point apiece.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Dawson (c), Figueiredo, Robinson, Yacob, Colback, Cash (Dias 77'), Carvalho (Hefele 71'), Lolley, Grabban (Ansarifard 90')

Unused subs: Steele, Guedioura, Osborn, Janko

Goals: Grabban 3', 82', Carvalho 6', Cash 22', Lolley 51'

Bookings: Yacob 65', Darikwa 71', Colback 78'

Sent off: Figueiredo 68'

Aston Villa: Nyland, Hutton, Tuanzebe, Chester (c), Taylor, Hourihane, McGinn (Whelan 78'), Grealish, Bolasie (Elmohamady 82'), Kodjia (El Ghazi 66'), Abraham

Unused subs: Bunn, Hogan, Doyle-Hayes, O'Hare

Goals: Abraham 11', 14', pen 36', 71', El Ghazi 75'

Bookings: Bolasie 19', Hutton 71', El Ghazi 87'

Referee: Simon Hooper

Attendance: 32,368 (2,484 away)

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