Nottingham Forest secured a historic Premier League away victory, marking their first since January, as they triumphed over a lackluster Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Throughout the match, the Tricky Trees found themselves under immense pressure from the hosts. However, a spirited defensive display effectively limited Chelsea’s goal-scoring opportunities.
Steve Cooper’s squad consistently posed a threat on the counterattack, and it was during one of these breaks that Anthony Elanga, in his debut as a Forest player, seized the pivotal moment to net his maiden goal. Despite some late offensive pushes and a glaring miss by Nicolas Jackson, Mauricio Pochettino couldn’t secure consecutive league victories as the Blues’ manager.
Chelsea initiated the game with great intensity, with Ben Chilwell delivering a dangerous low cross that might have led to a scoring opportunity for Raheem Sterling, had it not been for Ola Aina’s last-ditch challenge.
Conor Gallagher registered the first significant shot for the hosts after some intricate play involving Sterling on the right flank, yet the former Crystal Palace midfielder narrowly missed the target.
As the first half progressed, Forest gained momentum and could have taken the lead when Chelsea failed to clear their lines from a set-piece situation. However, Taiwo Awoniyi’s hasty attempt from 10 yards out failed to hit the mark.
Despite dominating possession, Chelsea struggled to seriously threaten the Forest goal, managing only one shot on target during the opening 45 minutes.
At halftime, Cooper’s team was forced into a substitution, with Anthony Elanga entering the contest at Stamford Bridge due to Danilo’s hamstring injury.
It took just three minutes for the exciting Swedish talent to break the deadlock in West London, and Pochettino would be disappointed with the defensive lapse that allowed Forest to score. Moises Caicedo lost possession in the midfield, and the ball found its way to Awoniyi, who slipped an inviting pass to Elanga, culminating in a composed finish that beat Robert Sanchez.
In pursuit of an equalizer, Chelsea brought in new signing Cole Palmer and former PSV Eindhoven player Noni Madueke, replacing Gallagher and Chilwell.
The Blues had to wait until the final 10 minutes for their first clear-cut chance of the game. Sterling maneuvered his way to the byline and delivered the ball to Jackson, but the striker’s attempt from close range sailed over the crossbar.
With just one win in their first four Premier League matches and four points collected, Chelsea faces a challenging international break ahead of their upcoming clash with Bournemouth on September 17.
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest’s impressive performance at Stamford Bridge propelled them into the top half of the league standings. They will look to build on this success when they face newly-promoted Burnley on September 18.