Nottingham Forest win seven-goal thriller to all-but relegate Southampton
Nottingham Forest beat Southampton 4-3 in one of the games of the Premier League season to boost their survival hopes and all but relegate the Saints.
After 11 years in the Premier League the Saints are surely marching down to the second-tier as anything other than a win at home against Fulham on Saturday will see them relegated.
Taiwo Awoniyi put Forest 2-0 up with two quickfire goals in the first half but Carlos Alcaraz made it 2-1 as a spirited Southampton dominated most of the first half. However, they went in 3-1 down at the break as Morgan Gibbs-White dispatched a penalty kick.
Lyanco made it 3-2 early in the second half and Southampton had chances to draw level but Danilo delivered made it 4-2 to send the City Ground faithful wild. James Ward-Prowse made it 4-3 in stoppage time via a penalty kick as the Saints, much to their credit, never gave up.
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The win puts Nottingham Forest on to 33 points for the season as they sit three points above the relegation zone with three games to go. Southampton sit rock bottom on 24 points and are eight points from safety with three games to go.
Forest embrace the chaos of the relegation scrap
This was a game neither team deserved to lose as Southampton were the better team for large chunks but came away with nothing. Forest took all three points and embraced the chaos of the situation for the second win in 14 games. This wasn’t about style of play or sparkling individual skill but more about reading the game and doing whatever it demanded. Forest were excellent on the counter attack and Steve Cooper got his tactics spot on with Brennan Johnson causing problems with his pace and Awoniyi on hand to finish twice to set them on their way. Was it shaky? Yes. Were Forest a bag of nerves? Yes. But that is what this part of the season is all about and Forest came through this high-pressure situation with the win they needed and a cushion above the relegation zone. They now travel to Chelsea, then host Arsenal before heading to Crystal Palace on the final day. It wasn’t pretty but Forest proved they are up for the scrap and are ready to do whatever it takes in a game-by-game situation to stay in the Premier League.
Stars of the show; Nottingham Forest vs Southampton player ratings
Romeo Lavia: So calm and composed on the ball in midfield. The teenager has a very bright future.
Brennan Johnson: Won a penalty kick, set up one and involved in the fourth as his pace caused so many problems on the counter. He and Morgan Gibbs-White have a great connection.
Danilo: Scored the all-important fourth goal and was a dominant force in central midfield.
Nottingham Forest head to Chelsea on Saturday, May 13. Southampton host Fulham on the same day.
How to watch Nottingham Forest vs Southampton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 3pm ET, MondayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
FULL TIME: Nottingham Forest 4-3 Southampton - A huge win for Forest as they give their chances of staying in the Premier League a huge boost. Southampton are pretty much down.
GOALLL! Nottingham Forest 4-3 Southampton - James Ward-Prowse slams home a penalty kick after Lavia was fouled. What. A. Game. Plenty of time left for an eighth goal...
GOALLL! Nottingham Forest 4-2 Southampton - Danilo finishes after a cross from Johnson is brilliantly flicked on by Gibbs-White. That should be that.
SAVE! This is chaos. After Lyanco nods a corner down, Che Adams almost bundles home from close range but Keylor Navas punches clear. Southampton look so dangerous from set piece situations.
Kamaldeen Sulemana is on for the Saints. 30 minutes to go. Can they find an equalizer?
Two chances right away for Southampton to equalize. Lyanco almost gets another and then Che Adams is close to scoring. Southampton well on top now.
GOALLLL! Nottingham Forest 3-2 Southampton - Lyanco heads home early in the second half. His first goal for Southampton and he celebrates wildly. Game on!
We are back underway in the second half and Ward-Prowse whips in a dangerous free kick that Che Adams heads wide.
HALF TIME: Nottingham Forest 3-1 Southampton - What a crazy first half. Forest are 3-1 up but Southampton have added plenty to this encounter.
GOALLL! Nottingham Forest 3-1 Southampton - Morgan Gibbs-White puts his penalty kick down the middle and that feels like a huge moment in the game.
PENALTY KICK! A penalty to Nottingham Forest after a foul by Ainsley Maitland-Niles on Brennan Johnson. Maitland-Niles kicked the back of Johnson’s foot as he just nipped in ahead of him.
CLOSE! Theo Walcott tries to poke an effort into the far corner but it skips just wide.
CHANCE! What a block from Jan Bednarek. After Forest launched another great counter, Johnson caught out Bella-Kotchap but couldn’t beat Bednarek who slid in perfectly. Bella-Kotchap injured his hamstring trying to catch Johnson and Lyanco is on.
Forest are really dangerous on the counter attack but Southampton pushing hard to get level before the break. What a game we have here. The City Ground is getting a bit nervy before the break.
After Everton’s 5-1 win at Brighton, Fulham’s 5-3 home win against Leicester and now the three goals early in this game, we are setting records with 17 goals scored. What a magic Monday... so far!
17 - The 17 goals scored (so far) today is the highest on a single day of Premier League football with three games or fewer played. Glut.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 8, 2023
GOALLLL! Nottingham Forest 2-1 Southampton - Che Adams leads a superb counter attack as he finds Stuart Armstrong and he sets up Carlos Alcaraz to slot home. Game on! Southampton have been really good early on and deserve that goal.
CLOSE! Stuart Armstrong’s shot is blocked and Theo Walcott’s header from the resulting corner flies just over.
GOALLL! Nottingham Forest 2-0 Southampton - Taiwo Awoniyi slams home on the turn. What a finish. 2 goals in 3 minutes for Awoniyi.
CLOSE! Carlos Alcaraz curls wide as Southampton look for an immediate response.
GOALLL! Nottingham Forest 1-0 Southampton - One long ball over the top and Brennan Johnson sets up Taiwo Awoniyi to slam home. Southampton had been well on top but Forest strike on the counter.
CLOSE! Theo Walcott flicks on a corner at the near post but it misses everyone and flashes wide.
CLOSE! A counter for Forest and Brennan Johnson drags his wide of the far post. That’s more like it from the hosts.
CHANCE! What a block from Felipe. Carlos Alcaraz and Theo Walcott combine to find Adams but Felipe with a crucial block.
OVER! Che Adams curls a shot over bar as Southampton have started well. My word, Romeo Lavia is some player. What a ball in the build up to that chance.
We are off at the City Ground for an absolutely massive game! For Forest and Southampton their season pretty much comes down to this game.
Key storylines & star players
This one’s focused on two hyphenated stars capable of controlling and/or changing a game on any given day.
Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse only need a sliver of light to belt his side open, especially if it’s a free kick situation, while Morgan Gibbs-White can deal out incisive passes almost as well as his Southampton counterpart.
Nottingham Forest team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Neco Williams (head), Dean Henderson (thigh), Chris Wood (thigh), Cheikhou Kouyate (thigh), Giulian Biancone (knee), Omar Richards (calf), Gustavo Scarpa (knee), Jack Colback (concussion), Jonjo Shelvey (undisclosed)
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Juan Larios (thigh), Mohammed Salisu (pelvis), Romain Perraud (surgery), Valentino Livramento (other)