Date: 14th March 2019 at 8:00am
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Nottingham Forest suffered a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Wednesday evening and Karim Ansarifard was one of many who underperformed at the City Ground. The 28-year-old was given a rare start up front after scoring in a cameo appearance against Hull City on Saturday, but he struggled to make an impact in midweek and was hauled off by Martin O’Neill after an hour.

Against Villa, Ansarifard made 20 touches, 10 passes with 70% accuracy and registered one shot on target. He failed to make a tackle, interception or successful dribble and didn’t create any chances either. The Iran international was booked for simulation which won’t go down well with the management.

He was making his eighth appearance for Forest since joining on a free transfer in November 2018, keeping Leo Bonatini and Daryl Murphy on the bench, but O’Neill’s trust wasn’t vindicated on the night. Murphy replaced Ansarifard in the 61st minute, but he couldn’t chance Forest’s fortunes either.

The defeat leaves the Reds 10th in the Championship, three points adrift of the top-six with nine games remaining. O’Neill’s men were in decent form ahead of the visit of Villa, but they’ve now lost two of their last three.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

Nottingham Forest midfielder gets valuable minutes ahead of Aston Villa clash

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