Everton Impose More Forest Suffering

Toffee’s taste sweet victory, as Reds left out in the cold…

A hopeful Nottingham Forest soon became distraught, as Cooper’s Reds lose once again at home, in a game that was certainly not kind on the eye – a game in which, really, seemed a battle between relegation candidates, based on the performance.

The First Half:

Interestingly, Forest started the first half seeking to use a bit of a different approach to previous games: more possession, build up slower, and build strong foundations. This would only last so long though, as numerous misplaces passes & individual errors gave Everton a plethora of opportunities; either squandered by Murillo’s excellence, or completely fumbled by Everton’s forwards.

One major opportunity for the Toffees came as Willy Boly’s attempted forward pass hits his colleague, and bounces behind him – a pass soon meets Beto, who fires it high and wide. A perfect opportunity for an early lead, completely wasted. Probably the best chance of the game. Couldn’t execute.

Forest would have their chance though, as Aurier’s cross, threaded in by Gibbs-White on the right-hand side, finds Anthony Elanga who, despite the bobble on the ball, manages to secure good positioning, before striking the ball – unfortunately for the Reds, just missing the post. A first real opportunity for Forest so far.

McNeil had the chance to open the scoring with another superb opportunity, as some rather poor attempts at a clearance on the near-side, next to the touchline, lead to a Doucure breakthrough, a superb pass to McNeil, who shoots with composure, only for Forest’s Brazilian starboy, Murillo, to clear it off the line. Forest saved, once again.

A poor half from both sides. Anyone could take the next half by the reigns, everything for the taking. Nothing really separated either side.

The Second Half:

To start the half, Forest replaced Willy Boly for Felipe, who makes his first appearance since the Arsenal win to secure Premier League survival in May. Boly hobbled for the last 15 minutes of the first half, seemingly taking a knock earlier on.

Forest once again didn’t seem to start particularly well in this second half, but did have a goal opportunity denied in that while a corner was taken, Ryan Yates was pulled down in the box by Doucoure, in an evident penalty situation — referee Paul Tierney opted for no VAR check. Forest denied a penalty.

Everton would comeback stronger from a poor start also to the second half, as Jack Harrison’s cross finds Dwight McNeil, who takes one touch, and superbly rockets the ball into the top of Forest’s goal with real conviction. A 67th minute goal, in front of the Trent End, nightmarish half for Forest.

Forest’s last hopeful shot came from that of Anthony Elanga, as a ball received on the edge of the box from Chris Wood is fired past the right-post of Everton’s goal. No effort needed from Jordan Pickford, full-time closing in.

Cooper would opt for three at the back, and increase attacking duties by bringing on Origi, but these efforts wouldn’t be enough. Forest’s looseness on the ball and failure to effectively transition cost them; basics were Forest’s downfall, the pressure is well and truly on. At this stage, Forest shouldn’t rule themselves out of a relegation scrap. Money spent doesn’t outdo complacency – Forest need to pick up points, and soon. 

*Article provided by Jamie Martin (Head Nottingham Forest Correspondent).

*Main image @NFFC Harry Toffolo in action for Forest.

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