Aurier Earns Forest Deserved Point Against Chelsea

Raheem Sterling’s opener was his 50th away goal in the Premier League across his time at Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea

Nottingham Forest’s comeback point against Chelsea in the Premier League is a “step in the right direction”, says midfielder Ryan Yates.

Right-back Serge Aurier showed terrific composure to cancel out Raheem Sterling’s goal with a fine equaliser.

It is the first point Steve Cooper’s side have taken after going behind this season and extends their unbeaten home run to six games in all competitions.

“To show the resilience to come back is very good,” Yates told Sky Sports.

“I thought we were unlucky to not win based off the second half.

“It is a step in the right direction. The manager just said ‘believe in yourselves more’ at half-time. It is something to build on – we’re not satisfied with drawing games at home but it is a start.”

The point means Forest move above Wolverhampton Wanderers into 18th and are only behind fourth-bottom West Ham United on goal difference.

Chelsea, who have now only won successive league games once under Graham Potter since he was appointed on 8 September, climb above Brighton into eighth but are seven points behind Manchester United in fourth.

Crowd drive Forest to draw

In the first half Forest were keen to use the pace of Brennan Johnson in behind the Chelsea defence and he came closest for the hosts in a one-on-one with Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Despite falling behind early on, the atmosphere at the City Ground built throughout the half, inspired in part by the crowd becoming frustrated by the performance of referee Peter Bankes.

Cooper’s team then leapt out of the blocks after the break, with Johnson having an effort saved before Gibbs-White rattled the underside of the bar with a wonderful strike.

The runs of Johnson and Taiwo Awoniyi in the channels caused Chelsea problems throughout the game, but as has been the case throughout the season – they have only scored 12 goals in 17 league games – they lacked cutting edge in the final third.

It took a superb piece of finishing from defender Aurier to earn them a point but with signs of Cooper settling on his best 11 and a vocal fan base, they look as if they will make a good fist of preserving their top-flight status.

Speaking to Match of the Day, Cooper said: “Everything we do at the moment is about us, how we grow the team, the spirit and identity.

“I know we didn’t win today but it was a good reference point that we can play against the big teams in the league.

“We’re in control of our destiny and we have to keep building.”

Chelsea’s away day blues continue

Chelsea went into the game knowing anything but three points would leave them further behind the top four after wins for Manchester United and Liverpool in the previous 48 hours.

They began with good intent and Mason Mount produced two threatening efforts before Sterling reacted quickest to smash Chelsea ahead after Boly – who was under pressure from Kai Harvetz – inadvertently back-heeled a Christian Pulisic cross onto the bar.

But the visitors were then lacklustre and failed to have a shot on target after the break despite Potter using all five substitutions in an attempt to change the game.

That said, one of the players introduced, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, could have won Potter’s side the game but he failed to make proper contact with a header after a wicked cross from substitute Hakim Ziyech.

It leaves Chelsea, who struggled to cope with Forest’s second-half pace and intensity, with one win in their last five games in all competitions, and without a victory in five Premier League away matches.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Potter said: “It is a hard-earned point, against a team that are set up well. They put us under pressure second half.

“Our performance level wasn’t good enough to take the three points. We didn’t move the ball fast enough, not enough movement.

“Forest played a good game but we’re disappointed with our performance over the 90 minutes and concerned we didn’t deserve the win.”

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