Nottingham Forest 2-3 Chelsea: Reece James returns as Blues fight back to keep European hopes alive

Back: Reece James (Mike Egerton/PA Wire)
Back: Reece James (Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

Chelsea continued their late surge for European qualification with a frantic 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest, who missed the chance to confirm their Premier League survival in style.

Goals from Mykhailo Mudryk, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson made it three successive wins for Mauricio Pochettino's side, who are now level with sixth-placed Newcastle with two games to go.

Pochettino, who has said his future at the club will be decided "in one week", could yet lead the Blues into the Europa League or Europa Conference League, depending on Manchester United's final league position and whether they win the FA Cup or not.

Forest had looked like sealing their top-flight status with a win after goals from Willy Boly and Callum Hudson-Odoi put them 2-1 up, but they are still all but safe from relegation.

They are three points above 18th-placed Luton and 12 goals better off with one game left, so it would take some turnaround for them to go down on the final day.

Given their four-point deduction for breaking Premier League financial rules and resentment at the refereeing decisions they feel have gone against them this season, Forest will see survival as a defiant response to the Premier League.

No one will be happier than Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis, who has enjoyed quite a week, having being in Athens on Thursday night to see his other club Olympiacos beat Aston Villa in the Europa Conference League semi-final and reach a first ever European final.