Nottingham Forest vs West Ham: Henderson shines in goalkeeper battle
Dean Henderson triumphed over Lukasz Fabianski in a matchup of goalkeepers playing so well that it took a goofy bounce to define Nottingham Forest’s 1-0 win over West Ham United on Sunday.
And so Forest’s first Premier League home game in 23 years becomes its first PL win in that time, Taiwo Awoniyi’s fortunate goal the difference on a day Henderson stopped a Declan Rice penalty and Fabianski made five saves for the visitors.
WATCH NOTTINGHAM FOREST vs WEST HAM FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM - LINK
West Ham had a goal taken off the board by VAR review while a Forest goal mouth clearance became a handball on Scott McKenna as the cameras had their Sunday say.
West Ham had plenty of time including eight minutes stoppage to fight for an equalizer but Henderson and his backs, led by Neco Williams and Joe Worrall, stood firm.
Forest gets a win after its sleepy PL debut loss away to Newcastle, while West Ham falls to 0-2.
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What we learned from Nottingham Forest vs West Ham
VAR, good bounce gives Forest deserved lead in raucous first half
The first half of Premier League Football at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground in 23 years did not disappoint in energy or atmosphere. West Ham’s Said Benrahma led a rush that saw the ball return to him for a cool side-footed finish, but Forest had paused for just a second after Michail Antonio floored Orel Mangala. It seemed sure that Forest would win a VAR check of the offense, and it did. Moments later, a flubbed Jesse Lingard shot turned off West Ham’s Ben Johnson and then Awoniyi for 1-0 to the hosts.
Keepers shine at both ends
For all the shining done by Lukasz Fabianski in the first half -- and he was in control of his box while under duress -- baseball-capped counterpart Dean Henderson answered the bell when he quickly popped up following Pablo Fornals’ smashing off the crossbar, leaping to get his right paw to Tomas Soucek’s headed rebound.
Henderson was decent against Newcastle the previous week and it’s clear he’ll be as key to Forest’s survival bid as he was to Sheffield United’s efforts a few years ago.
It was, for the most part, a classic tale of traded possession that slowly became more and more West Ham. Forest was better in the early throes, buoyed by a huge and noisy City Ground, but West Ham then took hold before Forest’s strong finish to the first frame.
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The second half was very much about West Ham, but Henderson and more than one goal line clearance -- shoutout to Neco Williams, who again was a bright spot for Forest -- showed that Steve Cooper’s men are capable of shutting up shop against a Premier League foe.
Stars of the show
Taiwo Awoniyi: For a time it seemed he was destined to only make mentions for being offside, but his adventures in timing his runs led to his goofy goal and you can’t say it wasn’t a deserved marker for Forest and their big signing.
Dean Henderson: Good saves and box control were already on display when the Forest goalkeeper got low to stop Declan Rice’s penalty. Four saves, four high claims, and a punch for the Manchester United loanee.
Jesse Lingard: He was always going full tilt and looks the key piece of Forest’s creative football.
Lukasz Fabianski: The West Ham keeper was the reason the Irons nearly got to the break with a scoreless scoreboard, and Forest needed a couple of goofy bounces to get over the goal line.
West Ham will host 2-0 Brighton at 9am ET Sunday, while Forest travels to Everton for a 10am ET Saturday scrap.
How to watch Nottingham Forest vs West Ham live, stream link and start time
Kickoff: 9 am ET, Sunday TV: USA Network Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Nottingham Forest team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Omar Richards (calf), Ryan Yates (knee)
West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Nayef Aguerd (ankle), Angelo Ogbonna (fitness), Craig Dawson (thigh)