Aston Villa 5-5 Nottingham Forest: Reds end 153-year wait as hosts make history

Jack Grealish
Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish takes a moment to reflect after final whistle on Wednesday

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith probably summed it up best when he called his side’s 5-5 draw with Nottingham Forest “a very tough one to summarise”.

In short, Villa battled back from being 2-0 down inside the opening six minutes to go in level at 3-3 at the break before taking a 5-4 lead against a then 10-man Forest with 15 minutes to go, only for ex-Villan Lewis Grabban to score the 10th goal of the game in the 82nd minute.

Additionally:

  • Villa striker Tammy Abraham netted his first professional hat-trick, plus a fourth to boot, for the home side.
  • Nottingham Forest scored with all five of their shots on target.
  • Villa had two goals disallowed with the score at 5-5.

BBC Sport takes a look at what else made the 135th meeting between the two teams a game that will live long in the memory.

Not my first rodeo

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson (right) gets involved in the celebrations after Fraizer Campbell put Hull City 5-4 up at Bristol City

It might have been the first 5-5 between the two sides but for some of the players, Wednesday’s scoreline was nothing new.

Excluding the play-offs, there have been four 5-5 draws in the Football League since 2010 and, remarkably, Nottingham Forest’s starting XI included players who had been involved in each of the previous three.

For skipper Michael Dawson this was a second 5-5 draw this year. The former England man was in the Hull City team that shared 10 goals with Bristol City in April.

Midfielder Claudio Yacob was in the West Brom team that helped end Sir Alex Ferguson’s glittering spell as Manchester United boss in style, as the Baggies and Red Devils played out the only 5-5 of Ferguson’s 26-year spell as United boss in May 2013.

On a slightly more tenuous note, Reds full-back Tendayi Darikwa was an unused sub for Chesterfield when they evenly split 10 goals with Crewe in October 2010. Presumably he used his time on the bench to take notes.

Like Dawson, Villa midfielder John McGinn has now been involved in two 5-5 draws this year. The Scotland international was in the Hibernian team that blew a three-goal lead before scoring a last minute equaliser against Rangers in the Scottish Premiership. In fact, last night’s score means McGinn has been involved in more 5-5s in 2018 than 0-0s.

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Aston Villa 5-5 Nottingham Forest: Watch Villa’s John McGinn play in previous 10-goal draw

A dream come true – of sorts

Last night will certainly live long in the memory of in-form Forest forward Joe Lolley.

The Villa fan played a key role for his side, setting up four and scoring the other of their five goals at the ground he used to go to as a supporter.

His tally of four assists is the most recorded by a player in a single match this season by anyone in the top four leagues.

On a personal level, his second visit to Villa Park as an opposition player was certainly more fruitful than his first trip. He was subbed off after 45 minutes of Huddersfield’s 1-1 draw there in August 2016.

Joe Lolley
Aston Villa fan Joe Lolley enjoyed a great night in the Nottingham Forest attack

The history boys

In the 121 years since Aston Villa started playing home games at Villa Park in 1897 this is the first time they have drawn 5-5 in front of their own fans.

The Villans have previously been involved in two 5-5s though you’ll need to be pretty… experienced to remember them given one was away at West Ham in 1931 and the other at Tottenham Hotspur in 1966.

For Nottingham Forest, Wednesday was the first time one of their competitive games has finished 5-5 in their 153-year history.

Villa Park
Villa Park in 1907 – just 111 years before the home team drew a game 5-5

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