Nottingham Forest 0-4 Fulham: Three goals in seven minutes as Marco Silva’s men advance to victory at the City Ground and return to second place
- Fulham beat Nottingham Forest 4-0 at the City Ground on Sunday
- Djed Spence’s own goal in the seventh minute gave Fulham the lead
- Three second-half goals in seven minutes led Marco Silva’s men to victory
- Fulham returns to second place, five points behind league leaders Bournemouth
Fulham returned to the places of automatic promotion this afternoon after a 4-0 win at the team in division form, Nottingham Forest.
An Aleksandar Mitrovic double was added to an own goal and a Neeskens Kebano goal as Marco Silva’s Fulham passed a significant test on a team that had won four and drawn another in new boss Steve Cooper’s first five games.
The London squad have won four of their last five, with a rare 4-1 beating at Coventry in the middle of that run, and one would be a fool to bet against them instantly returning to the Premier League.
Fulham players celebrate after Djed Spence’s own goal gave them a seven-minute lead in
These three points take them to second place, behind only Bournemouth, still undefeated under former Cottager boss Scott Parker.
However, it was not an easy victory, as Forest was the best team for the better part of an hour and only a clinical finisher to level the contest.
Much of the pre-game talk was about how Cooper is starting to wake up the ‘sleeping giants’ Forest and although it’s early, a deafening rendition of Mull of Kintyre before the game painted a picture of a fanbase capable of coming back. to believe.
But there were only seven minutes left on the clock when they were silenced and hit with a strong dose of reality. Rome wasn’t built in a day and despite all the positives from Cooper’s start, defensive mistakes can’t be eradicated overnight.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 14th goal of the season doubled Fulham’s lead in the 58th minute
MATCH FACTS AND CLASSIFICATIONS
Nottingham Forest (3-4-3): Samba 6; Worrall 6, Figueiredo 6 (Mighten 60, 6), McKenna 6; Spence 5, Yates 6, Colback 5.5 (Garner 51, 6), Lowe 6; Johnson 7.5, Grabban 6, Zinckernagel 6 (Lolley 62).
Unused subs: Horvath, Bong, Ojeda, Taylor.
Admonished: Colback, Zinckernagel, Garner, Yates, Samba.
Coach: Steve Cooper 6.5.
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Rodak 6; Odoi 6 (Tete 77), Adarabioyo 6, Ream 7, Robinson 6; Seri 6, Cairney 6; Wilson 6.5, Decordova-Reid 6, Kebano 6 (Onomah 71); Mitrovic 8 (Muniz 73).
Unused subs: Gazzaniga, Hector, Reed, Stansfield.
Admonished: Odoi, Ream, Wilson.
Coach: Marco Silva 7.
Referee: Matthew Donohue 5.
When Fulham’s Jean-Michael Seri sent a corner from the left, Forest’s defense was statuesque and shoddy. Mitrovic slipped through the near post, unmarked, and simply kicked the ball into goal with his left foot. In the melee of the bodies in the six-yard area, the ball was deflected into the net, which was later awarded as an own goal by Djed Spence.
“We cannot continue to give the teams an advantage with these sloppy goals,” said a Forest fan from under the press box. Forest had come from behind to win twice in Cooper’s first five games, but repeating that against Fulham is a bigger task than doing it against Barnsley and Bristol City.
Fulham’s Neeskens Kebano (center) celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game
However, Cooper’s team responded well and attacked with pace and determination. Brennan Johnson, the 20-year-old academy graduate, was the shining light – he was constantly driving in Fulham’s defense but like most of his teammates, the end product was off.
Johnson swung and missed a shot of his own late in the first half, and on the first attack of the second period, Lewis Grabban was unmarked about 12 yards away, but his rod shot went into the top tier of Trent End.
Forest remained the team on the rise, but took a sucking hit when Fulham scored three goals in eight minutes to put the game to bed.
Mitrovic scored his second of the game from the point after Odoi was brought down in the area.
Defenders Scott McKenna and Tobias Figueiredo accidentally collided and fell to the ground, the ball landing directly on Mitrovic, who hid six yards away. Bad luck.
Then Harry Wilson raised Kebano, who unleashed a strong shot low to the near post for 3-0. Game over.
Mitrovic had four from the spot minutes later, after Denis Odoi was involved while lining up a shot. Capitulation.
So this was a dose of reality for Forest but, for Fulham, the kind of hard-won victory that sends a tough message of not ruling out the rest of the division.
Marco Silva (right) will be delighted with his team’s performance at the City Ground