Nottingham Forest thought they were on for yet another bright result away to Brentford. They took the lead through Danilo’s opener but ultimately collapsed to a 2-1 defeat. Forest, though, are still just one point in front of 18th place with one extra game played.
Although Saturday’s weather at Brentford was mild, Brentford’s duel with Nottingham Forest seemed surprisingly physical. The emotion that ran through the match was reflected in the game’s stakes. Fresh off a big 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, the Bees were on top of the world. Forest, meanwhile, had just claimed a surprise 3-1 win at home against Brighton.
Brentford had virtually nothing to play for. The Bees will not be relegated nor be able to secure a spot in a European competition. Meanwhile Nottingham Forest are facing an agonizing battle against the drop.
Nottingham Forest gained early success on the counter
Although Brentford kept a lot of possession during the game, Nottingham Forest soaked up pressure, invited Brentford to get overaggressive, and then pounced on the counter. Their conservative approach paid off towards the end of the first-half.
Their opening goal came in the dying moments of the first-half. After Moussa Niakhaté’s long throw ping-ponged in and out of the box, it fell to Forest midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White. The 23-year-old Englishman attempted to strike a long shot, but defender Ben Mee deflected it. Danilo was there to scoop up the rebound and power it past David Raya.
Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas was a brick wall throughout. He came up with a series of big saves during the game and was the main reason Brentford didn’t run riot.
Despite Navas’ best efforts, Brentford eventually found an equalizer through a superb Ivan Toney free-kick in the 81st minute. His rasping strike found its way through the wall and narrowly snuck past Navas.
Just before the game ended, in the 89th minute, Danilo limped off the field with an apparent hamstring injury, and because Forest had no more subs left they were forced to continue the game with only 10 players.
It’s impossible to pick who will be relegated from the Premier League
The climax of the match can be summed up by both a valiant rally from Brentford and the impact of fatigue on Nottingham Forest’s defense. A characteristically dramatic Premier League finish was to follow as Joshua Dasilva scored.
With time running out, Dasilva took on Renan Lodi, beat him with a stutter step before shooting from a very difficult angle. Again, the ball barely squeaked past Navas, and after a tense VAR check, the goal was deemed to be onside.
Nottingham Forest now sit 17th in the Premier League. They will continue their attempt to stay out of the Championship in a pivotal match against 20th-placed Southampton on Monday. A loss at City Ground would likely put them into the bottom three. FiveThirtyEight gives Nottingham Forest a 66% chance of getting relegated, but they will look to turn the tide next weekend, despite yet another setback.
Photo credit: IMAGO / Focus Images
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