Nottingham Forest gained their first win in seven matches with a victory over in-form Aston Villa at the City Ground.
Ola Aina gave Forest a fifth-minute lead with his first goal for the club, powerfully side-footing into the net from 25 yards after Anthony Elanga’s burst down the left was followed by Harry Toffolo’s pass.
Villa would have gone third in the Premier League with the three points, but instead they lost in the league for the first time since 3 September when they were beaten 3-0 by Liverpool at Anfield.
At 1-0, Nicolo Zanolo had a chance to grab an equaliser for the visitors, but his shot was parried by Forest debutant goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos who also saved from Ollie Watkins.
Forest doubled their lead just after the restart when Orel Mangala’s powerful 25-yard strike embarrassed Villa’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Martinez, winner of the Yashin Trophy best goalkeeper prize at the Ballon d’Or awards last Monday, got a strong hand to the effort from Mangala, but the Argentine could not stop the ball crossing the line.
The victory takes Forest up from 16th to 12th in the Premier League table, while Villa stay fifth.
“It’s a win we really wanted,” said Forest boss Steve Cooper. “We knew it was going to be a really tough game.
“We had to be really clear on the plan. It’s pleasing for us to score two goals in the way we thought we could create chances.