Forest out of bottom three after draw against Palace
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Forest out of bottom three after draw against Palace

Mar 31, 2024
Chris Wood heading the ball for Nottingham Forest
Chris Wood has scored 10 goals in the Premier League this season

Nottingham Forest fought back to secure a point against Crystal Palace at the City Ground and move out of the Premier League relegation zone.

The hosts fell behind in their first match since being docked four points for financial rules breaches, with Jean-Philippe Mateta slotting home Eberechi Eze’s perfect lay-off.

But Chris Wood equalised just after the hour mark, nodding Morgan Gibbs-White’s floated pass over oncoming Palace keeper Dean Henderson for his 10th goal of the season.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Forest had dropped into the bottom three after their points deduction, but this point moved them up to 17th – above Luton on goal difference.

Forest, who are winless since beating West Ham on 17 February, nearly fell to a fourth defeat in five leagues games late on but Daniel Munoz’s 90th-minute header hit the post.

England winger Eze proved the danger man for Oliver Glasner’s Palace throughout, forcing Forest keeper Matz Sels into two outstanding saves when one-on-one either side of half-time.

But the visitors failed to make the most of their chances and could not secure a fourth away win of the season, as Forest remained unbeaten against Palace in the Premier League.

Display of defiance from Forest

Forest came out fighting on the field after the deduction which dropped them into the relegation zone – and the home fans followed suit.

A banner in the Trent End before kick-off displayed the words “we shall fight and we shall overcome”.

Forest have already announced they will appeal against their punishment, but it is on the pitch where they need to start winning points if they want to distance themselves from the bottom three.

Battling back to draw on Saturday is a start and allowed them to gain ground on two relegation rivals, as Luton succumbed to a late loss at Tottenham and Everton were beaten by Bournemouth after Seamus Coleman’s injury-time own goal.

Eze playing himself into Euros contention?

Palace talisman Eze was named in Gareth Southgate’s provisional England squad for the Covid-delayed Euros in 2021, but he ruptured his Achilles tendon the same day he was given the news and was ruled out for 12 months.

Three years on, the midfielder looks to be returning to the kind of form which could see him in contention for the Euros once again.

An injury-disrupted campaign may have contributed to him missing out on Southgate’s latest squad, but Eze’s talent was on full display here and it was only some superb keeping from Sels which kept him off the score-sheet.

There are nine games left in Palace’s campaign, and if the 25-year-old stays fit and continues to spark the Eagles’ attack he will give Southgate plenty to ponder.

Player of the match

A WhartonAdam Wharton

Nottingham Forest

  1. Squad number20Player nameReyna

  2. Squad number15Player nameToffolo

  3. Squad number21Player nameElanga

  4. Squad number7Player nameN Williams

  5. Squad number11Player nameWood

  6. Squad number14Player nameHudson-Odoi

  7. Squad number10Player nameGibbs-White

  8. Squad number26Player nameSels

  9. Squad number40Player nameMurillo

  10. Squad number18Player nameFelipe

  11. Squad number43Player nameAina

  12. Squad number22Player nameYates

  13. Squad number27Player nameOrigi

  14. Squad number6Player nameSangaré

Crystal Palace

  1. Squad number20Player nameA Wharton

  2. Squad number10Player nameEze

  3. Squad number14Player nameMateta

  4. Squad number12Player nameMuñoz

  5. Squad number16Player nameAndersen

  6. Squad number8Player nameLerma

  7. Squad number3Player nameMitchell

  8. Squad number26Player nameRichards

  9. Squad number9Player nameJ Ayew

  10. Squad number30Player nameHenderson

  11. Squad number2Player nameWard

  12. Squad number15Player nameSchlupp

  13. Squad number17Player nameClyne

  14. Squad number19Player nameHughes

Line-ups

Nottm Forest

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Sels
  • 7N Williams
  • 18FelipeBooked at 49mins
  • 40Santiago Costa dos Santos
  • 43AinaSubstituted forToffoloat 84′minutes
  • 22Yates
  • 6SangaréSubstituted forElangaat 45′minutes
  • 27OrigiSubstituted forReynaat 60′minutes
  • 10Gibbs-White
  • 14Hudson-Odoi
  • 11Wood

Substitutes

  • 1Turner
  • 15Toffolo
  • 16Domínguez
  • 20Reyna
  • 21Elanga
  • 28Danilo
  • 29Montiel
  • 32Omobamidele
  • 37Duarte Ribeiro

Crystal Palace

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 30Henderson
  • 2Ward
  • 16Andersen
  • 26Richards
  • 12Muñoz
  • 20A WhartonSubstituted forHughesat 80′minutes
  • 8Lerma
  • 3MitchellSubstituted forClyneat 90+4′minutes
  • 9J AyewSubstituted forSchluppat 66′minutesBooked at 70mins
  • 10Eze
  • 14Mateta

Substitutes

  • 5Tomkins
  • 15Schlupp
  • 17Clyne
  • 19Hughes
  • 29Ahamada
  • 31Matthews
  • 52Ozoh
  • 55Umeh-Chibueze
  • 61Mathurin

Referee:
Chris Kavanagh

Attendance:
29,520

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