NOTTINGHAM, U.k. — Aston Villa is difficult to beat but much more difficult to watch.
Nottingham Forest's Ryan Yates, center, defends against Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins during the English Premier League soccer match between Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa at Nottingham's City ground on Monday, October 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)(Rui Vieira / Associated Press)
After a poor start to the English Premier League, Villa held Nottingham Forest to a 1-1 draw on Monday in a low-quality contest that will do nothing to relieve pressure on manager Steven Gerrard.
Villa extended its undefeated streak to four games, but Gerrard was disappointed with his team's offensive style against a squad that began the game in bottom position. The visitors, who had two attempts on goal, have only scored seven goals in nine games, with only Wolverhampton scoring less in the top flight.
Villa drew 0-0 at 10-man Leeds last weekend and had previously won 1-0 at Southampton.
"We're grinding right now," Gerrard remarked. "We are on the verge of turning draws into victories, but we need big players to come up and give us a little more quality in the last stretch of our game."
Forest moved off the bottom of the table, above Leicester, but will rue losing just seven minutes after taking the lead in the 15th through Emmanuel Dennis' header from Morgan Gibbs-free White's kick.
Ashley Young's wonderfully hit strike from 25 meters gave Villa a point.
Forest plummeted to last place on goal difference after losing 4-0 at Leicester on Monday, but has since risen above its Midlands rival, who was defeated at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Forest manager Steve Cooper seems to be safe in his post after receiving a contract extension last week, and he may return to fundamentals.
"The fact is that we have conceded far too many goals and chances, and I haven't really liked us out of possession with our positioning and duels, picking up second balls, and going with runners," Cooper explained. "For all of the tactical stuff, I enjoyed the team fight, and I think we executed it better tonight."
"Is this my preferred style of play?" No. But it seemed appropriate for tonight."
Villa is fifth-to-last with two victories.
"There's a lot of frustration in our locker room," Young said. "When you have that much possession and enter the final third, things simply don't come together."
"That's exactly what's been going on lately. We only need something to go our way, and I believe the objectives will follow."