Unai Emery finds Nottingham Forest defeat 'hard to accept' as Aston Villa boss opens up

Aston Villa Nottingham Forest Unai Emery

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has shed light on his side's 2-0 Premier League defeat to Nottingham Forest on Sunday

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 05/11/2023

- 16:35

Updated: 06/11/2023

- 07:48

The Spaniard's side have missed the chance to temporarily rise above Liverpool in the Premier League table

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has opened up after his side's 2-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest on Sunday afternoon - and admitted he finds the result 'hard to accept'.

The Villans went into the game looking to continue their excellent start to the season and leapfrog Liverpool in the Premier League table.

However, Steve Cooper's side were superior and picked up all three points following a strong performance at the City Ground.

Ola Aina opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a cool side-footed effort that sailed beyond the reach of Emiliano Martinez.

Aston Villa Nottingham Forest

Aston Villa fell behind against Nottingham Forest when Ola Aina opened the scoring in the fourth minute


And Orel Mangala then struck two minutes after the interval to spark wild celebrations around the ground.

Villa pushed for a leveller but, in the end, were kept at bay and consigned to a third Premier League defeat of the season so far.

Emery is happy with the way his side performed.

But he bemoaned conceding goals early in each half and has admitted he finds the result 'hard' to take.

"It is very hard to accept the result. We made some mistakes," he told Sky Sports.

"We conceded early, but for another 80 minutes we played with a good mentality, to try and score.

"The second half they scored another early goal.

"After this we were controlling the game, creating chances and getting corners.

"It is very difficult when the other team scores first. They defended deeply.

"We are fifth in the league, we have 22 points, of course if we could achieve the three points today we would be better.

"I am proud of the players, before this match I was very proud of the players.

"We took this match as a challenge to get the top four teams, we didn't achieve it and there is still work to do to try and correct the things we did today with some mistakes."

Aston Villa star Moussa Diaby also spoke about the defeat - and expressed a belief they didn't perform well enough to take anything from the defeat.

"Today was not a good game," said the midfielder.

"We conceded the first goal too early, we tried to come back but then in the second half we conceded another early goal.

"It is difficult to come back here when you are 2-0 down.

"We have to keep our heads up and continue to work for the next game.

"Nottingham Forest played well in defence. We are very fast on the counter-attack but they defended very well and it was difficult to find the space behind.

"We have to work and find the solutions for the next game. When you play it is always difficult.

"Thursday we play at home and we have to get the win to have more confidence for the next Premier League game."


Aston Villa news Nottingham Forest

Aston Villa news: Nottingham Forest celebrate scoring their second goal of the game at the City Ground on Sunday


Forest boss Steve Cooper, meanwhile, hailed his side for getting the job done.

"It's a really good win. We came up against an in-form Aston Villa side with really good players," he stated.

"We were committed to the plan and we've scored two goals from where we could create chances.

"Villa had a lot of the ball and we were okay with it because I never felt like we conceded any chances.

"[Goalkeeper] Odysseas Vlachodimos made saves that he should be making. I never felt we were in danger of conceding today."

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