Wolves battle back to frustrate, draw Nottingham Forest
Brennan Johnson scored once again for Nottingham Forest, but Wolves hit back late to steal a point in a 1-1 draw at the City Ground on Saturday.
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The result will certainly frustrate Nottingham Forest (27 points), who would have climbed four places into 12th and been five points clear of the relegation zone with 10 games left to play, had they held on (instead, 14th, three points clear). Wolves (28 points) take another baby step toward safety, now four points above the drop zone with nine games left.
Forest took the lead in the 38th minute, when Danilo dinked a through ball into the penalty area and found Johnson making a run wide of Jose Sa’s left-hand post. The ball bounced once before Johnson hammered it hard toward the far post, rippling the inside netting and taking the 21-year-old’s season tally to eight goals this season.
That’s four goals in eight games for Johnson, who scored 18 and had 10 assists in the EFL Championship a season ago. Any questions over whether his production would translate to the top tier, and the best leave in the world, have been answered.
Daniel Podence took Wolves’ rare sight of goal and made something out of nothing in the 83rd minute. After an unthreatening shot from outside the box was blocked, the ball fell to Podence on the left side of the penalty area. He cut inside and hooked the ball past Keylor Navas to make it 1-1.
Wolves no longer defend well enough to attack this poorly
Once again this season, Wolves have gone for the “defensively solid, but offensively deficient” approach, only this time their defensive record (42 goals conceded) is just as poor as the goal-scoring output (23 scored). The goal they conceded on Saturday saw too many white shirts standing and watching the ball inside their own penalty area.
Creating scoring chances is like pulling teeth for Julen Lopetegui’s side. Even their late equalizer came as a result of a blocked shot that turned into a through ball, rather than any kind of cohesive build-up.
Stars of the show
Nottingham Forest have another big week coming up, with a trip to Elland Road to face Leeds (26 points - 16th place) on Tuesday (2:45 pm ET) before heading to Villa Park to face Aston Villa (38 points - 11th place) on Saturday (10 am ET). Wolves, meanwhile, will host Chelsea at Molineux Stadium on Saturday (10 am ET).
Nottingham Forest vs Wolves final score: 1-1
How to watch Nottingham Forest vs Wolves live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10 am ET, SaturdayOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & star players
No side in the Premier League has scored fewer goals than Forest (or Wolves - 22 each), and only Bournemouth (54) have conceded more than Steve Cooper’s newly promoted side (49). All of which is to say, the Reds are in the thick of the relegation scrap based on merit. Injuries have certainly played their part, though, with as many as 14 players either confirmed out for the weekend, or an injury doubt. 21-year-old Brennan Johnson (7 goals, 2 assists) has been something of a revelation in his first PL season and Taiwo Awoniyi has four goals of his own, but no one else has more than two on the season (Morgan Gibbs-White and Emmanuel Dennis).
Once again this season, Wolves have gone for the “defensively solid, but offensively deficient” approach, only this time their defensive record (41 goals conceded) is just as poor as the goal-scoring output (22 scored). Like Forest, only two players (Daniel Podence and Ruben Neves) have scored more than two goals (Adama Traore) en route to 22 goals scored in 28 games.
Nottingham Forest team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Taiwo Awoniyi (groin), Scott McKenna (thigh), Willy Boly (thigh), Dean Henderson (thigh), Giulian Biancone (knee), Omar Richards (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Brennan Johnson (groin), Chris Wood (thigh), Cheickou Kouyate (thigh), Andre Ayew (knee), Serge Aurier (knock), Wayne Hennessey (knee), Ryan Yates (shoulder)
Wolves team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Hugo Bueno (hamstring), Matheus Nunes (suspension), Diego Costa (knee), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Jonny (suspension), Hee-Chan Hwang (undisclosed), Chiquinho (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Boubacar Traore (groin)