23 years since their last top-flight appearance at the City Ground, Nottingham Forest picked up a famous 1-0 victory at home against West Ham on Sunday afternoon.
Backed by a vocal and emotional home support, Taiwo Awoniyi’s ricocheted effort in first-half injury-time helped Steve Cooper’s side get their first Premier League points on the board.
On the flip side, with England international Declan Rice miss from the penalty spot just after the hour mark, West Ham will be feeling like they missed out on a golden opportunity.
Watching both Pablo Fornals and Said Benrhama hit with woodwork with a pair of long-range efforts, the Hammers failed to put away a string of golden chances.
In what was an enjoyable affair on Sunday afternoon, we have taken a look at the main talking points.
A dream City Ground return for Forest
After marking their long-awaited Premier League return earlier in the year, Sunday’s showdown at the City Ground was always likely to be an emotional affair for Forest fans.
Opening up the 2022/23 campaign with a 2-0 loss away at Newcastle last weekend, Cooper’s side managed to find an immediate response here.
While the one-time European champions might have felt that they were a tad fortunate to leave with maximum points, the former Swansea boss has given his side a platform to build off.
Embarking on what has been quite the squad overhaul this summer, Forest simply have their sights set on trying to extend on their Premier League status this season.
Picking up an eye-catching scalp here thanks to their 1-0 victory against last season’s Europa League semi-finalists, Sunday’s display will be remembered as one of the most iconic in their recent history.
With their first points now on the board, Cooper’s men will be next seen when they make the trip to Goodison Park on August 20th.
Moyes’ struggles continue
After reaching the semi-finals of last season’s Europa League, David Moyes had made it clear over the summer that he was desperate to capatalise on West Ham’s recent success.
However, after opening the 2022/23 campaign with a deserved 2-0 loss at home against defending champions Manchester City, the Hammers have the feel of a side seeking a much-needed boost.
Missing a string of golden chances here and watching Benrhama’s first-half strike get ruled out by VAR due to a controversial Michail Antonio foul in the build-up, Moyes’ squad depth is still a major issue.
Unable to fill their substitutes bench and with just a single fit central defender in their squad, the ex-Manchester United boss will find some growing pressure on his shoulders.
Still with one of the smallest squads in the Premier League, the arrivals of Gianluca Scamacca and Maxwel Cornet don’t answer all the problems that Moyes must find a solution to.
On the lookout for a new left-back, central midfielder, winger and center-half, time is really starting to tick away for the European hopefuls.
Another hectic week for Forest?
Although it might be West Ham who are in desperate need for new arrivals before the transfer window slams shut on September 1st, Forst have enjoyed a remarkable summer at the City Ground.
Alongside announcing the arrivals of Cheikhou Kouyaté, Remo Freuler and Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis prior to Sunday’s showdown, Cooper’s men have welcomed 15 new faces through the doors this summer.
Watching club-record signing Awoniyi bag Forest’s first strike of the season here following an £18.5million move from Union Berlin, it doesn’t look like Forest are done quite yet.
Almost with a completely different squad to their play-off final success against Huddersfield back in May, we could be in for another hectic week at the City Ground.
Along with it looking likely that Brighton striker Neal Maupay will be making the move in a fee worth £15million, Cooper’s side are also inching closer to a stunning swoop for Lyon playmaker, Houssem Aouar.
Nottingham Forest: Henderson, Worrall, Niakhate, McKenna, Williams, Mangala, O’Brien, Toffolo, Lingard, Johnson, Awoniyi
Subs: Cook, Cafu, Surridge
West Ham: Fabianski, Coufal, Zouma, Johnson, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Fornals, Benrahma, Bowen, Antonio
Subs: Scamacca, Lanzini, Cornet
Goals: Awoniyi 45+2′
Yellow Cards: Nottingham Forest: Henderson, McKenna, Surridge – West Ham: Rice
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Robert Jones
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