Reds Beaten But Give City Scare

Nottingham Forest 0-2 Manchester City (Premier League) 28.04.24

Forest’s record against City remains winless since their Premier League return, but like the reverse fixture, it wasn’t a sour end – and, I feel, Forest can find solice in their latest performance.

The first half

It started with promise. Aina broke, tried something, and it didn’t quite work. The Reds attempted to make their presence known early on – and while City did grow into the half, it left some marks, and made fans, and perhaps players, realise that beating the Treble winners wasn’t so impossible as once thought in this run-in.

City did however ultimately make their presence known, and unfortunately for the Reds, with a goal. Once again, a set piece – a corner – to the near post, read well by Gvardiol who runs past his man in Gibbs-White, and fires it in near post. 1-0 City.

Chances came and went for both sides, Chris Wood could’ve equalised when Montiel kept the ball in somehow, and fired it across the penalty area – Wood failed to control it, passing through his legs in what would’ve been a perfect open-goal opportunity for the Kiwi.

Another chance came for young Defender Murillo, who without proper sight flicked his ankle at the ball, but put it high of the cross bar – an unfortunate outcome for what could’ve been an equalising moment.

Boly had a superb first half, his leadership raised the collective standard. But work was still needed.

The second half

Forest once again started with conviction, pushing forward early, but again couldn’t make chances pay off – a shame for Chris Wood especially who missed golden opportunities.

Chances came again with Wood, but he scuppered them – unfortunately off the pace. Forest’s dependence on wood with the absence of Awoniyi shows, and if anything, it looks like the New Zealand star needs a rest.

One player who had his rest was Haaland, coming on as a sub, and was straight back into it. His ex-Forest father watched on, as he took the ball on the edge of the box, opened up his body, tricking Murillo, and scooping the ball forward with his left foot before moving forward and firing it past Sels. Classic Haaland goal, and now any chance of Forest coming back was dead.

Forest’s persistence remained, but would later slow – and the game ended with a City win.

The fans of Forest can find solice – the performance showed, for the most part, great defending, and some good work on the counter. Unfortunately, the need to be more clinical was clear – Wood is tired, Elanga looks unfit, it’s not quite peicing together – but a huge final three games remains, and now is the chance for those to find their form.

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

*Main image @NFFC action from the City Ground during a good performance by Forest.

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