Match Report: Nottingham Forest 2-3 Chelsea

by 24britishtvMay 11, 2024, 9 p.m. 24
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Chelsea moved level on points with sixth-placed Newcastle United after coming from behind to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2.

Goals from Mykhailo Mudryk and Willy Boly saw the teams go into half-time level at the City Ground.

And it looked as though former Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi could have secured the winner when he curled a shot in to make it 2-1.

But Mauricio Pochettino’s substitutes paid off to great effect as Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson scored in the space of two minutes to end our winless run away from home.

Mauricio Pochettino selected the same starting line-up as last week’s emphatic 5-0 victory over West Ham United, although Reece James and Lesley Ugochukwu did return to the Chelsea squad for the first time since our EFL Cup win over Blackburn Rovers on January 11, as Alfie Gilchrist and Deivid Washington dropped out.

With this fixture kicking off at 5.30pm BST, Forest went into the contest knowing they only needed a point from their final two matches to guarantee their Premier League safety following defeats for Burnley and Luton Town. Prior to kick-off, the Tricky Trees were three points ahead of 18th-place Luton with a 13-goal superior goal difference.

The hosts had a great chance inside the opening two minutes as Chris Wood was put through, but Djordje Petrovic came out and saved the striker’s lobbed effort from the corner of the penalty area.

Forest enjoyed more possession early on but it was the Blues who took the lead on eight minutes when Cole Palmer produced yet another moment of real quality, as he picked out the run of Mudryk with an incisive pass from deep.

The Ukraine international showed impressive acceleration to get in behind the centre-half and full-back and calmly slid his shot to the left of the diving Matz Sels.

Forest equalised just after the quarter of an hour mark when an in-swinging free-kick from Morgan Gibbs-White was headed in, via a small deflection, at the far post by Willy Boly.

Chelsea could have regained our lead when another slide-rule pass from Palmer released Nicolas Jackson but Sels rushed out to expertly save the Senegalese’s low shot with his legs.

Benoit Badiashile had a long-range drive glanced over by Murillo and Wood had a tame shot saved as the half drew to a close and both teams had to settle for going into the break level.

The second half started with Ryan Yates hitting the outside of the post from long range and Palmer volleying wide from inside the area, following an exquisite chipped pass by Moises Caicedo.

Forest arguably should have scored when some fine wing play from Hudson-Odoi saw the Chelsea academy graduate stand a cross up at the far post and Gibbs-White’s header from a tight angle hit the post, with Wood then sending the rebound from point-blank range over the bar.

Chelsea struck the post not long after, as Palmer’s free-kick was glanced goalwards by Thiago Silva, and the woodwork was rattling yet again when Hudson-Odoi cut inside and curled a shot from 20 yards against the bar.

The effort ended up being a range-finder as with a quarter of an hour remaining, Hudson-Odoi received the ball on the edge of the area, cut inside onto his right foot and curled his shot into the bottom right corner.

But Pochettino’s second-half substitutes proved to be the catalyst for a remarkable turnaround.

Seven minutes after coming on, Raheem Sterling also cut inside just inside the penalty area and curled the ball into the far, bottom corner.

Then two minutes later, another replacement, James, got in behind Harry Toffolo after a fine Caicedo pass and our captain picked out Jackson at the far post to head in from close range and make it 3-2.

The Blues almost scored a classy fourth in the second minute of injury time when a slick move ended with Sterling passing to Malo Gusto but Sels produced an outstanding one-handed save.

Not to be undone, Petrovic showed his own quality deep into the additional minutes when despite taking a big hit from Wood, he claimed a dangerous corner which probably would have been headed in by the striker.

And when Gibbs-White volleyed an effort wide soon after, the game’s final chance was gone and the three points were heading back to London.

Chelsea’s victory and Newcastle United’s 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion means the Blues join the Magpies on 57 points, although the Geordies have a ten-goal superior goal difference.

Manchester United are three points and 15 goals behind us in eighth, with their game in hand coming against Arsenal tomorrow afternoon.

What is next

The Blues head to Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday night (kick-off 7.45pm BST), before our season concludes at home to Bournemouth on Sunday 19 May (4pm BST).

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