Costel Pantilimon stretched enough to deny Villa’s Tammy Abraham with a shot on the turn with the home side creaking before Martin O’Neill’s team rallied against his former club, Pele hitting the woodwork. There were some feisty exchanges, not least at pitch side, where Forest’s Roy Keane and Villa’s John Terry had words after Forest’s Karim Ansarifard, already booked, got away with a wild challenge on Neil Taylor. Keane’s conduct prompted a lecture from referee Mike Dean later.
Forest continued to press in the second half. Yohan Benalouane had a goal ruled out for a push and it felt like an equaliser was imminent until Villa claimed their third goal in the 62nd minute, a soft one from a Forest perspective as a static defence allowed Hause to slip into the six yard box and simply stick out his chest to divert a Conor Hourihane free kick into the net. O’Neill used all three substitutes, but to no avail.
Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon; Darikwa, Milosevic, Benalouane, Osborn; Yates (Goncalves 75), Pele (Guedioura 70), Colback; Carvalho, Lolley; Ansarifard (Murphy 61).
Substitutes not used: Steele (gk), Watson, Wague, Bonatini.
Bookings: Ansarifard, Milosevic, Colback.
Aston Villa: Steer; Elmohamady, Hause, Mings, Taylor; McGinn, Hourihane, Grealish (Whelan 86); Green, Abraham (Kodjia 71), El Ghazi (Adomah 63).
Substitutes not used: Kalinic (g), Whelan, Carroll, Jedinak, Bjarnason, Kodjia, Adomah.
Bookings: Hause, Taylor.