2017/18 English League Championship, 2017/2018 English League Championship
  • Scott Hogan (18')

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Aston Villa

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Aston Villa: Hogan spoils Karanka's debut (1:03)

Scott Hogan's lone goal handed Aitor Karanka a defeat in his first game in charge of Nottingham Forest and moved Aston Villa up to fourth in the Championship. (1:03)

Aitor Karanka's Nottingham Forest tenure began in frustrating fashion as Aston Villa claimed a comfortable 1-0 win at the City Ground.
Steve Bruce's side were rarely troubled once Scott Hogan's 18th-minute header gave them the lead.
Kieran Dowell forced a fine save from Sam Johnstone late on, but the Villa keeper was otherwise relatively untroubled as the visitors defended stoutly - and Forest looked short of ideas.
It meant a disappointing start for former Middlesbrough boss Karanka, who agreed to become the permanent replacement for Mark Warburton on Monday, while Villa moved up to fourth in the Championship.
The first half was a story of Forest dominating possession but Villa creating the better chances.
With John Terry marshalling things in the centre of defence, Forest were finding it hard to carve out opportunities.
Ben Brereton failed to properly connect with a headed chance when picked out by a whipped in cross from Eric Lichaj.
And Matty Cash failed to muster enough power in his low shot to trouble Johnstone, who made a simple save.
A superb cross from Robert Snodgrass, along with some questionable Forest defending, was to prove to be the first-half turning point, as keeper Jordan Smith and the rest of his defence hesitated while Hogan ghosted in unmarked to head Villa into the lead.
Snodgrass was the architect again when he picked out Terry, with the former England captain rattling the crossbar with a thumping header.
Ben Osborn and Cash both had shots well blocked on the edge of the box as Forest attempted to muster a response. But the closest they came to an equaliser before the break was a curling free-kick from Kieran Dowell, which bent a little too much as it fizzed wide of goal.
Smith had to make a fine save to deny Villa early in the second half, when Snodgrass bent in a vicious free-kick towards his near post.
Forest sub Barrie McKay had the chance to make an immediate impact as the Villa defence backed off on the edge of the box but his shot lacked the power to trouble Johnstone, who made another simple save.
A Dowell free-kick delivery then picked out Cash, but his header was wayward. Some clever hold-up play from Brereton carved out another chance for McKay, but his shot was hit right at the keeper.
Dowell came even closer to an equaliser with a fine solo effort struck from 25 yards, but keeper Johnstone was just about equal to it to make an awkward-looking but important save to claw away the ball, which was bound for the top corner.
But that was as close as Forest came as Villa secured a third straight league win.

English League Championship Standings

1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 44 +46 98
2 Cardiff City 44 +28 86
3 Fulham 44 +34 85
4 Aston Villa 44 +31 82
5 Middlesbrough 44 +20 72
6 Derby County 44 +19 71
7 Millwall 44 +12 69
8 Brentford 44 +12 68
9 Preston North End 44 +9 67
10 Bristol City 44 +10 66
11 Sheffield United 44 +7 66
12 Leeds United 44 -6 57
13 Norwich City 44 -8 57
14 Ipswich Town 44 -7 56
15 Sheffield Wednesday 44 -5 53
16 Queens Park Rangers 44 -12 53
17 Nottingham Forest 44 -13 52
18 Hull City 44 +2 48
19 Reading 44 -18 43
20 Birmingham City 44 -30 43
21 Bolton Wanderers 44 -34 40
22 Barnsley 44 -23 38
23 Burton Albion 44 -44 38
24 Sunderland 44 -30 34

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