Chelsea Boost Europe Hopes With Win At All-But Safe Forest  (Sky Sports)

Nottingham Forest 2 Chelsea 3

Nicholas JacksonChelsea boosted their chances of European football next season in dramatic fashion as they scored twice in two minutes to secure a late 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest, who are still all-but safe from relegation.

Mauricio Pochettino's Blues thought they were heading to defeat as former player Callum Hudson-Odoi curled in a lovely finish to put Forest 2-1 up with 10 minutes left - after Willy Boly cancelled out Mykhailo Mudryk's strike in the opening 15 minutes - but back came Chelsea with two goals out of the blue.

Raheem Sterling sparked the comeback with a strike from the edge of the box, before fellow substitute Reece James set up Nicolas Jackson to head home from close range.

There could have been more drama as both teams hit the woodwork four times in a frantic second half, while Chris Wood produced one of the misses of the season with the scores at 1-1, blazing over from two yards out.

The result moves Chelsea level on points with sixth-placed Newcastle and three points clear of Manchester United with a vastly superior goal difference. European slots could go far as down as seventh place come the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Forest remain three points above Luton in the final relegation spot with one game left - but the Hatters would need to overturn a goal difference swing of 12 on the final day, meaning Nuno Espirito Santo's side can plan for top-flight football next season.

Player ratings

Nottingham Forest: Sels (6); Montiel (6), Boly (7), Niakhate (6), Murillo (6), Aina (6); Yates (7), Danilo (6), Gibbs-White (7); Hudson-Odoi (8), Wood (5)

Subs: Toffolo (6), Elanga (6), Dominguez (n/a), Awoniyi (n/a)

Chelsea: Petrovic (6); Chalobah (6), Silva (6), Badiashile (6), Cucurella (7); Caicedo (7), Gallagher (6), Palmer (8); Madueke (6), Jackson (7), Mudryk (7)

Subs: Gusto (6), Nkunku (6), Sterling (7), James (7)

Player of the match: Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

How Forest, then Chelsea turned it around

With Forest's safety all-but secured after defeats earlier in the day to Luton and Burnley, the City Gound was in a raucous mood - and their team nearly responded as Chris Wood tried to lob Djorde Petrovic after being played in over the top, but the Chelsea goalkeeper was equal to the effort.

Forest had the better of the opening exchanges but Chelsea struck through a moment of quality from Cole Palmer, who slipped Mudryk into the box and the Ukrainian winger made no mistake, tucking the ball past Mats Sels.

A frantic opening 15 minutes led to a Forest equaliser as Boly was found by Morgan Gibbs-White from a free-kick and the defender's header deflected in off Gallagher. VAR checked for an offside against Boly, but eventually gave the goal.

Forest nearly turned it round but Wood's header was cleared off the line by Badiashile, before the New Zealand striker also nodded over after Petrovic palmed a corner straight into his path.

Then came a big chance for Nicolas Jackson, with Palmer playing another brilliant ball into his path but Sels was equal to the close-range strike his near post. Forest nearly took a half-time lead themselves but Badiashile cleared off the line from another Boly header.

Forest came out of the blocks firing after half-time as Ryan Yates struck the foot of the post from the edge of the box, before Palmer volleyed wide from close-range at the other end.

The home side then came within inches of levelling as Gibbs-White headed onto the post from Hudson-Odoi's cross, with the rebound falling to Wood with the goal gaping. He inexplicably fired over the crossbar with Petrovic stranded.

Thiago Silva then hit the woodwork himself as he flicked on Palmer's free-kick, before Hudson-Odoi repeated the feat by striking the bar from distance.

The former Chelsea winger made it count moments later as he stood up substitute Malo Gusto before curling past Petrovic and into the far corner.

It looked like Forest would be sealing survival with that goal but Chelsea's substitute had something to say about it. Sterling scored almost a copy of Hudson-Odoi's strike as he found the far corner from the edge of the box.

Then came a shock winner as James was released down the right and he kept the ball in play to hang a cross up for Jackson, who couldn't miss this time at the far post.

Chelsea could have added to the lead but Gusto was denied a result-sealing fourth by a last-ditch tackle by Gibbs-White, but both sides came off satisfied with the day's events despite the contrasting results.

What's next?

The Premier League's final day will take place on Sunday May 19 with all games kicking off at 4pm. Nottingham Forest head to Burnley, while Chelsea host Bournemouth.


Nottingham Forest Sels, Montiel (Toffolo 72), Boly, Murillo, Niakhate (Awoniyi 87), Aina, Gibbs-White, Yates (c) (Elanga 72), Danilo, Hudson-Odoi (Dominguez 86), Wood
Subs Not Used Turner, Omobamidele, Sangare, Kouyate, Origi
Booked Niakhate, Dominguez
Goals Boly 16, Hudson-Odoi 74

Chelsea Petrovic; Chalobah, Silva, Badiashile (Gusto 58), Cucurella; Gallagher (c) (James 79), Caicedo; Madueke (Nkunku 58), Palmer, Mudryk (Sterling 73); Jackson
Subs Not Used Bettinelli, Disasi, Ugochukwu, Colwill, Casadei
Booked Badiashile, Gallagher, Jackson
Goals Mudryk 8, Sterling 80, Jackson 82

Attendance 29,708

Referee Tony Harrington

VAR John Brooks