Premier League Review: Nottingham Forest Stun Chelsea

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Premier League Review: Nottingham Forest achieved an impressive victory in the Premier League, breaking their winless away streak since January, by defeating a lacklustre Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge.

Throughout the match, the Tricky Trees faced intense pressure from the home team, but their spirited defensive display limited the Blues to few clear-cut opportunities. Forest consistently posed a threat on the counter-attack, and their pivotal moment arrived when Anthony Elanga, with his first goal for the club, seized a crucial chance.

Despite a late flurry of attacks from Chelsea and a glaring miss from Nicolas Jackson, Mauricio Pochettino couldn’t secure back-to-back league wins as Blues boss.

Chelsea began the game with promise, with Ben Chilwell delivering a dangerous low cross that could have set up Raheem Sterling for a scoring opportunity if not for a last-ditch challenge from Ola Aina. Conor Gallagher later had the hosts’ first notable shot, but his attempt narrowly missed the target.

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As the first half progressed, Forest found their footing and nearly took the lead from a set-piece situation, though Taiwo Awoniyi couldn’t keep his rushed effort on target from 10 yards out. Despite holding the lion’s share of possession, Chelsea struggled to seriously threaten the Forest goal, managing just one shot on target in the first 45 minutes.

At halftime, Cooper’s side was forced into a substitution due to Danilo’s hamstring injury, and it took just three minutes for the new arrival, Anthony Elanga, to break the deadlock.

Chelsea made offensive changes in the latter stages, bringing on new signing Cole Palmer and Noni Madueke, but their first clear-cut chance arrived in the final 10 minutes when Sterling’s setup for Jackson ended with the striker narrowly missing from close range.

Chelsea now head into the international break with only one win from their first four Premier League matches, collecting four points thus far. 

Pochettino addressed reporters at a press conference, stating, “Today I think we create chances, I think we dominate the game but at the end we were not clinical enough in the last third.” He added, “Yes, disappointed but not frustrated. This time in the process, always you need some luck in some situations.”

The Argentine manager also pointed out, “This type of game will help us to be more mature and learn the competition. It is not only to have quality; after it’s about to compete in a different way.” Pochettino emphasized the importance of matching aggression, energy, and desire, recognizing that Chelsea had performed well but lacked the finishing touch.

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest’s standout performance at Stamford Bridge has propelled them into the top half of the league standings. 

Steve Cooper commended his Nottingham Forest team for their unwavering belief in their ability to secure victories against top Premier League sides on the road. “For the guys to continue to believe in what it takes to win a game like today, they deserve a lot of credit,” he said.

Cooper acknowledged the challenges they faced in previous away matches against Arsenal and Manchester United but expressed satisfaction with their resolute approach. He noted, “We did have a game plan. Great credit to the players for the way they executed that.” Their game plan focused on creating chances while maintaining defensive solidity.

Regarding Taiwo Awoniyi’s contribution and Anthony Elanga’s goal, Cooper stated, “Taiwo has been scoring regular goals for us, but we need other players to contribute as well, and we really believe that Anthony has the ability to do that.”

Chelsea’s next challenge awaits on September 17th with a trip to Bournemouth while Nottingham Forest return to action on September 18th with a clash against newly-promoted Burnley.

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