regular-article-logo Saturday, 23 September 2023

Chelsea drop points in top-four race after draw at Nottingham Forest

Hosts remain in relegation zone but climbed to 18th, level on 14 points with West Ham United above them

Our Bureau London, Nottingham Published 02.01.23, 04:57 AM
Raheem Sterling.

Raheem Sterling. Twitter/@Euro2020

Chelsea dropped more points in their quest to climb back up the Premier League standings as Serge Aurier earned Nottingham Forest a 1-1 draw with Graham Potter’s side on Sunday.

Fresh from their first league win in six games last time out against Bournemouth, Chelsea started well in the Nottingham drizzle, with Raheem Sterling firing them into the lead in the 16th minute.


Forest improved after the break and were desperately unlucky not to equalise early in the second half as Morgan Gibbs-White’s drilled half-volley hit the underside of the crossbar but bounced on the goal line and away.

The hosts kept coming and deservedly levelled things up as Aurier fired home in the 63rd minute from a corner and looked the more likely to go on to win the match.

Forest could not complete the turnaround with Chelsea hanging on for a point that leaves them eighth in the standings, seven points behind Manchester United in fourth.

The hosts remain in the relegation zone but climbed to 18th, level on 14 points with West Ham United above them.

Villa shock Spurs

Aston Villa increased the pressure on Tottenham manager Antonio Conte with victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

An error by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in his first game back since the World Cup allowed Emiliano Buendia to score before Douglas Luiz doubled the lead.

A lacklustre Spurs, who fell out of the Premier League top four on Saturday, have now won only two of their past seven games.

Villa have won back-toback away league games as they improve under Unai Emery.

It appeared this game would pit the two keepers who faced off in the 2022 World Cup final penalty shootout against each other, but Argentina’s spot-kick hero Emiliano Martinez had to settle for a place on the Villa bench.

It was a poor game allround for the returning finalists. Spurs’ World Cup-winning defender Cristian Romero was shown a yellow card in the first half — and fortunate not to get a second late on after barging Philippe Coutinho — while Lloris endured a shocking moment in the 50th minute.

He spilt Luiz’s long-range effort and Ollie Watkins squared the rebound for Buendia to slam home.

Perisic should have scored shortly after Buendia’s opener when the ball fell kindly 15 yards out and he scooped over the bar.

Luiz started and finished the move for 2-0, sliding a pass to John McGinn before racing on to receive the return and chipping cutely past Lloris.

Spurs striker Harry Kane also cut an irritated figure, coming deep into midfield to get the ball after barely touching it in the early periods.

Spurs set an unwanted club record of conceding at least two goals in seven successive Premier League fixtures.

Arsenal cruise

Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah grabbed early goals in each half for Arsenal as they won 4-2 away to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday in the final game of 2022 to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the table. Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli were Arsenal’s other scorers.

Arsenal top the standings on 43 points with second-placed Manchester City, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton earlier in the day, on 36 and Newcastle United, who drew 0-0 with Leeds, two points further back in third.

Written with inputs from Reuters

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