Thursday, May 23, 2024

Nottingham Forest 2-3 Chelsea: Reds made to wait for safety after late collapse

SoccerNews in English Premier League 11 May 2024

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Nottingham Forest must wait to make mathematically certain of their Premier League status after conceding two late goals in a dramatic 3-2 home loss to Chelsea.

Forest began Saturday’s thrilling game knowing a point from their final two matches would be enough to secure safety after Luton Town’s 3-1 loss at West Ham and Burnley’s 2-1 defeat to Tottenham.

After Willy Boly cancelled out Mykhailo Mudryk’s strike inside the opening 16 minutes, Callum Hudson-Odoi thought he had won the game with a delightful 74th-minute curler against his former side.

However, Chelsea silenced the City Ground through quickfire goals from Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson in the final 10 minutes.

Chelsea’s third win in a row keeps them seventh and level on points with Newcastle United in sixth, while Forest are three points better off than Luton with a game to go, but they are 12 goals better off in terms of goal difference.

Mudryk controlled Cole Palmer’s defence-splitting pass and finished across Matz Sels to give Chelsea the lead, but Boly levelled for Forest with a free header from Morgan Gibbs-White’s free-kick delivery – the ball taking a touch off Conor Gallagher on its way in.

Jackson had a chance to restore Chelsea’s lead before the interval, but his effort was kept out by Sels when played through by Palmer.

Forest also created plenty of opportunities at 1-1 as Ryan Yates clipped the outside of the post and Gibbs-White did likewise from a close-range header, with the rebound dropping to Wood.

The Forest striker somehow blazed over in one of the misses of the season, which almost proved costly as Thiago Silva clipped the post at the other end soon after.

Hudson-Odoi was next to hit the frame of the goal, but it did not appear to matter when he cut inside Malo Gusto and curled the ball away from Petrovic.

Then came a late twist, though, as substitute Sterling scored a similar curler at the opposite end in the 80th minute, before fellow replacement Reece James – returning from a lengthy lay-off – crossed for Jackson to head home a dramatic winner.

Palmer in Lampard and Drogba territory

Palmer brilliantly assisted Chelsea’s early opener and would have had another had Jackson been more clinical in front of goal.

The England international now has 31 direct Premier League goal involvements in his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge, which no player in the division can better.

He is also just the third Chelsea player to both score 20 or more goals (21 in total) and provide 10 or more assists (10 in total) in a Premier League season for Chelsea after Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, who both did so in the 2009-10 campaign.

Hudson-Odoi belter not enough

Hudson-Odoi was playing in the Premier League for the 100th time and he marked that landmark in style against his former side, with whom he made 72 of those appearances.

The eight goals he has scored this season are the most by an English player for Forest in a single Premier League campaign since Jason Lee netted eight in 1995-96, while it is twice as many as he managed for Chelsea across all those appearances.

That goal remarkably was not enough, though, thanks to Sterling and Jackson, meaning Forest technically still need a point to confirm their safety. Baring a truly remarkable swing on the final day, however, they will be safe for another year.

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