Nottingham Forest make Manchester City pay for wasted chances to snatch draw
Nottingham Forest delivered another twist in the Premier League title race as Chris Wood’s late goal saw them snatch a 1-1 draw against Manchester City at the City Ground.
City looked prime to return to the top of the table after Arsenal’s lunchtime win over Aston Villa when they went ahead through Bernardo Silva’s first-half stunner.
But a string of missed chances after the break, including two from Erling Haaland, proved costly and Wood’s first goal for Forest in the 83rd minute saw them take a point.
The draw, which should have been off the table for the hosts, means the Gunners now hold a two-point lead over City at the top of the table with a game in hand.
FULL-TIME Nott’m Forest 1-1 Man City
Chris Wood’s late equaliser cancels out Bernardo Silva’s opener and gives the hosts a share of the points at City Ground#NFOMCI pic.twitter.com/aXG54dqNnt
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 18, 2023
How big these two dropped points will be in the title race remains to be seen, but Pep Guardiola will be sick to the stomach that the game was not wrapped up.
Forest will consider this a deserved point considering they were able to keep Guardiola’s side within touching distance going into the final 10 minutes and the draw extends their unbeaten run at home to eight Premier League games.
Arsenal’s late show 50 miles down the M42 at Villa Park put the onus on City to respond and unsurprisingly they were quick on to the front foot and tested Forest’s defensive capabilities, without really creating anything meaningful in the opening half-hour.
Jack Grealish had a shot blocked and Kevin De Bruyne sent two tame efforts wide as Forest, who threatened on the break with the pace of Brennan Johnson, held firm.
It took a more direct approach for City to fashion their best chance in the 33rd minute as Rodri put a free header from De Bruyne’s cross inches wide.
The chances began to rack up and Silva curled an effort just wide from the edge of the area.
Shortly after, in the 41st minute, he gave City the lead in style. Grealish recycled a corner and teed up the Portuguese, who unleashed an unstoppable swerving drive from the edge of the area that was too good for Keylor Navas.
City fluffed a huge chance to make it 2-0 soon after the restart as Phil Foden raced clear but lost control as he tried to square to Haaland, with Felipe intervening at the last second.
An even bigger opportunity came moments later as Aymeric Laporte was completely unmarked from De Bruyne’s corner, but headed straight at Navas, who was able to snaffle the loose ball on his line.
The City pressure was incessant and they thought they should have had a free-kick when Haaland went down after Joe Worrall tugged at his shirt when he was through on goal.
A point against the reigning @premierleague champions. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/r8czpwRYe3
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) February 18, 2023
Referee Graham Scott did not give anything, though, and the only card he waved was a yellow to Guardiola for his apoplectic reaction.
Guardiola’s frustration heightened moments later as Haaland missed two sitters.
Navas spilled Foden’s shot from the edge of the area and the Norwegian looked prime to score the rebound, but he somehow hit the crossbar. He had another go from the second rebound but was even worse with that attempt, firing over from inside the six-yard box.
When Navas tipped over De Bruyne’s fizzing free-kick in style it looked like one would be enough for City, but Forest had other ideas.
Having barely threatened all afternoon they snatched a goal with seven minutes left as they worked the ball well down the right, with Morgan Gibbs-White sending a low cross in for Wood to tap in at the far post.
City threw everything forward in search of another twist in the tale but Forest saw it out.