Forest Come Back To Take Deserved Point Off Lacklustre Chelsea  (Sky Sports)

Nottingham Forest 1 Chelsea 1

Raheem SterlingSerge Aurier's first Nottingham Forest goal cancelled out Raheem Sterling's strike and earned the Premier League strugglers a deserved 1-1 draw against a lacklustre Chelsea at the City Ground.

Forest went into the game knowing a victory would move them out of the relegation zone and, while they were unable to claim all three points, Steve Cooper will be delighted with the much-improved second-half performance that saw his side claim a valuable point.

As for Chelsea, a win would have seen them move to within five points of the top four and they looked well on their way to doing so when Sterling gave them a half-time lead.

But Graham Potter's side produced a dreadful display in the second 45 minutes that saw them hand the initiative to Forest and leave themselves eighth in the Premier League before a daunting trip to Manchester City on Thursday.

How Forest came back to leave Chelsea on the ropes

Forest may have slumped to a 3-0 loss at Manchester United earlier this week, but their form before the World Cup break demonstrated their ability to compete with the biggest sides in the Premier League.

Liverpool and Tottenham were both beaten at the City Ground before the mid-season break and Chelsea nearly had their name added to that list after a spirited fightback from Cooper’s side.

Chelsea barely got out of second gear in the first half and could have been behind when Brennan Johnson burst clear, but Kepa Arrizabalaga did well to keep out the Wales international’s effort.

The Blues took the lead shortly after when Willy Boly contrived to turn Christian Pulisic’s cross onto his own crossbar, leaving Sterling to tap in the rebound from just yards out (16).

But that was pretty much it from Chelsea in an attacking sense, with Potter’s side coasting towards half-time before finding themselves dominated by Forest in the second period.

Morgan Gibbs-White, back in the starting XI after a calf injury, almost drew the hosts level with a cracking effort from the edge of the area that crashed against the crossbar before just failing to cross Kepa’s line.

But Aurier was able to beat Kepa just after the hour mark when Chelsea produced some less-than-convincing defending from a corner, leaving the former Tottenham full-back to control the loose ball before volleying it under the goalkeeper (63).

Forest appeared happy to settle for a point as the game ticked towards full-time, allowing Chelsea the opportunity to re-establish an element of control, and they should have scored a late winner when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang somehow failed to meet Hakim Ziyech’s sumptuous right-wing cross.

But the Blues were forced to accept a point that does far less for their hopes of finishing in the top four than it does for Forest’s chances of avoiding a return to the Championship.

What's next?

Nottingham Forest's next match is against Southampton at St Mary's on Wednesday, with the Premier League game kicking off at 7.30pm.

Steve Cooper's side then travel to Blackpool for their FA Cup third-round fixture on Saturday - kick-off at 3pm.

Chelsea's next outing is against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, with the Premier League clash live on Sky Sports from 6.30pm - kick-off at 8pm.

The Blues then travel to the Etihad for a rematch with City in the FA Cup third round on Sunday - kick-off at 4.30pm.


Nottingham Forest Henderson, Aurier, Worrall (c), Boly, Lodi, Mangala (Colback 78), Freuler, Yates, Johnson (Sturridge 82), Awoniyi (Williams 88), Gibbs-White
Subs Not Used Hennessey, Toffolo, Cook, McKenna, O’Brien, Dennis
Booked Yates, Lodi
Goals Aurier 63

Chelsea Kepa, Azpilicueta (c), Silva, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Jorginho (Ziyech 72), Zakaria (Kovacic 61), Mount (Aubameyang 73), Sterling (Gallagher 73), Havertz, Pulisic Chukwuemeka 87)
Subs Not Used Bettinelli, Hall, Chalobah, Hutchinson
Booked Azpilicueta, Gallagher
Goals Sterling 16

Attendance 29,229

Referee Peter Banks

VAR Andre Marriner