Fabulous Forest Hit Fulham For Three

Nottingham Forest 3-1 Fulham (Premier League) 02.04.24

Forest got redemption on Tuesday night under the floodlights of the City Ground, as they smashed Marco Silva’s Fulham by three goals to one – superb teamwork & collective mentality, on and off the pitch, spurring them on.

The first half

It was fascinating. Forest had awoken; the Forest that was always there, but just needed to be brought out – seems as though Nuno did just that. As games go, an early goal seemed like it would be so important, and it was.

Striking on eight minutes, Callum Hudson-Odoi showcasing further glimpses of the star that shone out of Cobham academy just a few years ago. He’s re-found that player, he plays with confidence, and puts the setbacks behind him – it’s a truly wonderful story to watch. Forest is the next chapter, and tonight was another exciting page he’s written in that book. Gibbs-Whites magical pass found him, and it was straight into the bottom right corner – Leno had no chance. 1-0.

Then, after just 11 minutes, Chris Wood received a horizontal ball from half way, from Murillo. Showing his pedegree, Wood checks the defenders, the view of the keeper, and fires it into the bottom left corner. Leno had his vision impaired by the towering Fulham defenders, and Wood saw it as the perfect opportunity. Intelligence at its best. 2-0. Wood nets his 8th in 9 games – 11th in the league this season.

Half time was now on the horizon, Forest albeit not possession-dominant were certainly the better side – Fulham’s best efforts squandered by a clocked-in Forest side.

Two minutes into added time, Danilo receives a ball on the edge of the ‘D’, Gibbs-White running in the penalty area. You know what happens next. A sliding, wet, through ball to Gibbs-White, finished with precision and passion. Forest’s flare player, and superstar, erupts in passion, sliding, fingers in his ears. “Shut everything out, and play your game,” was the pre-match tifo. Well, Gibbs-White and his merry men took that personally; just a joy to watch.

Forest the better side – the scoreline, in a way, still doesn’t do it justice. Maybe the best first half of football all season. 3-0.

The second half

Marco Silva is a friend of Evangelos Marinakis, following his time at Olympiacos, but tonight they were enemies – Marinakis had the “one up”, and Silva took that personally, whatever was said at half time was strong, and had immediate impact.

After making three substitutions inside 30 minutes of the first half, Fulham changed the game plan. More experience entered the pitch (Willian, Cairney, Traoré), and now the second half was the perfect time to build momentum and unveil ‘Plan B’. They threw everything at it, with fullbacks getting high, trying to cage Forest into their own box – but it would be a set piece, once again, that hits Forest hard.

Tosin Adaribayo, Fulham’s one-to-watch skyscraper of a centre-half runs away from his man – Gibbs-White – and heads it pasts Sels. Forest made it too easy, and just four minutes into the second half, Fulham found a goal. They’ve come back before, and can always score a goal or two if needed. This wasn’t the way Forest wanted to start the half.

That being said, Forest didn’t make it a burden, but rather a lesson. Learned. It was a tougher half, the experience Fulham added with the subs made it more tough, and Willian caused some scares, but Forest stayed in the game. Notably, a Sels super save at the far post caught the eyes of many. He’s been a real revelation since joining from Strasbourg – some questioned his quality, but now you know why fans of the French club were so upset at his departure. He really is a quality, quality goalkeeper. Crucial again for Forest.

A solid game from Forest to say the least. A fantastic team effort, Gibbs-White rightfully MOTM, but Danilo was so good. An assist, and some superb defensive midfield-ing, made him a strong contender for the award in my eyes.

Special nights on Trent side have been seldom seen for much of this season, but when they come about, no Forest fan can ignore the magic – you just have to indulge. So, so special. Tonight was one of those nights, one of the best since promotion.

What a game. Forest 3, Fulham 1.

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

*Main image @NFFC celebrations after a first half performance blew Fulham away.

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