By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Oh dear, three points down the drain for the Blues as Nottingham Forest produced the classic sucker punch goal to nab a 1-0 victory at the Bridge this afternoon.
In truth the Blues never looked like scoring and Nottingham Forest showed greater understanding and high discipline
Chelsea by contrast are work in progress. But progressing in the Premier League can leave you looking in the wrong way in the table pretty quickly.
Forest’s winner came three minutes into the second half.
Winning the ball in the centre circle saw substitute Antony Elanga outpace the Chelsea rearguard before calmly slotting home.
But it all started relatively well for the home side.
A brilliant last-ditch save by Ala Aina prevented the Blues from taking an early lead as Nicolas Jackson was about the slide the ball home from close range, by the ex-Chelsea wide man did his defensive duties.
A highly defensive display by the opposition started to frustrate Chelsea.
Conor Gallagher tried to take measures I to his own hands, and opted for n edge of the penalty are left-footed on 15 minutes, that just inched wide of Matt Turner’s crossbar.
Like many opposition before and till to come, Forest relied on counter-attacks and set pieces to attack the Blues defence.
A set-piece free-kick on 19 minutes, looked good from the set-up but ultimately fell apart when the kick was overhit and the in-running player at the far post Ryan Yates was left looking slightly annoyed.
They were almost successful with their second attempt on 25 minutes. The ball bobbled about causing Chelsea defence to panic and Taiwo Awoniyi was unfortunate to see his close-rang snap shot go over the crossbar.
Forest started as they did in the first, nibbling at Chelsea, forcing them to make a simple back pass, generally keeping them at arm’s length and looking to counter as quick as they could.
And that’s just what happened on 49 minutes. Forest won the ball in midfield. It was passed quickly to substitute Anthony Elanga. He zipped to the edge of the Chelsea penalty area, before caressing a smooth right-footer wide of Robert Sanchez and into the right-hand corner of his net.
Head coach Mauricio Pochettino quickly realised changes were needed and opted to bring on wide players Noni and new boy Cole Palmer on 61 minutes.
Off went Gallagher and Ben Chilwell. Enzo was given the captain’s armband.
There was a notably increase in intensity from the Blues as a result.
But that soon disappeared and Pochettino was forced into brining on Mykhailo Mudryk, whose form has been questionable and thus out of the starting 11.
He came on along with youngster Ian Maatsen. The two sacrificed were Moises Caicedo and Malo Gusto on 78 minutes.
Quite how Jackson missed a sitter with seven minutes left on the clock is anybody’s guess.
A quick counter of their own involving impressive Palmer and Sterling saw the ball cut back from the byline. Jackson just had to stab it home, but instead stabbed it o er the bar from six yards out.
Lots of possession without a cutting edge meant that the eight minutes of additional time dragged on for the home fans.
The away fans were confident that their defence was not going to be breached – and they were right.
Teams: Chelsea, Sanchez, Disasi, Silva, Sterling, Enzo, Jackson, Chilwell, Gallagher, Caicedo, Colwill, Gusto
Subs: Bergstrom, Cucurella, Mudryk, Noni, Ugochukwu, Palmer, Petrovic, Maatsen, Washington
Forest: Turner, Worrall, Mangala, Awoniyi, Gibbs-White, Yates, McKenna, Danilo, Boly, Aina
Subs Horvath, Tavares, Kouyate, Wood, Felipe, Niakhate, Elanga, Montiel, Aguilera
Referee: Tim Robinson
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