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Key Takeaways: Douglas Luiz Bags Brace As Aston Villa Sweep Nottingham Forest Aside

Aston Villa, Villa Park Outside View

Douglas Luiz scored his ninth goal of the season as he bagged two in the first half to give Aston Villa victory over Nottingham Forest at Villa Park. 

Aston Villa Secure Top Four Spot Following Forest Victory

Douglas Luiz Continues His Impressive Goal Scoring Exploits At Villa Park

Luiz’s record at Villa Park this season is nothing short of remarkable. He has nine goals in his 25 appearances, all of which have come at home. Luiz bagged two against West Ham in October, which took him to six consecutive home games with a goal beating Dwight Yorke’s record set in 1996. For a defensive-minded player to have 11 goal contributions this season is sensational. Only James Ward-Prowse can rival him with his five goals and six assists.

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However, it was not just Luiz’s goalscoring exploits that impressed during the game. It was the fluidity of Villa’s central three. Between them, Luiz, Youri Tielemans and John McGinn rotated in the centre of the park and fulfilled each other’s roles comfortably, allowing Luiz to roam into attacking positions largely unnoticed. This allowed him to find space for his goals – which required great awareness and intelligence from the Brazilian.

Leon Bailey Impresses Again As Aston Villa Thrive Going Forward

Bailey is in the form of his life at the moment and has to start every game for Unai Emery going forward. His bursts of pace and skill were far too much for Forest’s backline as he dominated Villa’s attacking presence. Alongside Ollie Watkins, he is beginning to form one of the most formidable partnerships in the league. Watkins was once again on the score and assist sheet and now has the same amount of goal contributions as Mohamed Salah.

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But, the talk of Villa’s attack was certainly Bailey. A little harsh on Luiz, but Bailey pulled the attacking strings for Villa. He eventually got his goal in the 61st minute after assisting Watkins. It seems mad to think that all the chat at the start of the season was about Moussa Diaby. He was bought in to replace Bailey in the side after the Jamaican international failed to stamp his authority on Villa Park since joining from Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Yet now, Bailey is proving one of the most exciting and captivating wide players in the league.

Villa’s Injury List Has Reached Boiling Point

Whilst The Villans’ attacking exploits continue to peak, the defensive resources are dwindling. Pau Torres failed to return after half-time, leaving Emery with no choice – but to play Callum Chambers alongside Clement Lenglet in the second half. These are Emery’s last two recognised centrebacks, who have considerable experience playing at this level. Should another one go down, or Pau Torres’ injury be considerable, it could prove more than detrimental to their season.

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Villa’s injuries seem to be all that anyone is writing about, but the signs are so glaringly obvious – that they are impossible to ignore. Villa rode their luck in the second half against Forest, and although the forwards continue to shine, Villa have been sloppy at the back and are conceding goals with too much ease playing their risky high line. At this point, their free-scoring forwards are keeping the injury issues at bay, but should Watkins, Luiz and Bailey’s form start to drop, The Villans could come crashing back down to earth with a thump. With Ezri Konsa and Diego Carlos only weeks away from returning, Emery will be desperate to get through the next few matches unscathed as crunchtime looms.

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