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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Three minutes they led, but that’s as good as it got for Chelsea who were held 2-2 by Forest

By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 2 v Nottingham Forest 2

For three minutes, the roar from the Chelsea faithful was like the good old days - the Blues went ahead 2-1 and it looked like back-to-back three points.

The Bridge was a cauldron of sound, the away section was silent, as would be expected.

But the game is 90 plus minutes and for the rest of the time, the Chelsea faithful, were subjected to the horrible, insipid low-risk passing and downright terrible defending that is a hallmark of Hackney Marshes mud-heap encounter on a Sunday morning.

The away side snatched a deserved goal after those three minutes and 2-2 was the correct outcome, which does nothing for Frank Lampard reputation as a manager - that’s five defeats one win and a draw to show for his caretaking tenure at the Bridge.

Chelsea remain 11th in the Premier League, Forest stay out of the bottom three and were more than happy to take the point.

An absolute disaster of a goal was conceded by the Blues on 13 minutes.

A regulation lifted ball from Renan Lodi on the left into the six yard box, looked like it was certain that Mendy, restored to the starting 11 by Lampard would just punch the ball away.

Yet somehow, with Thiago Silva and Benoit Badiashile also looking at the ball, it was Forest striker Taino Awoniyi, who managed to get between the triangle of bemused players and nodded the ball into the empty net to put relegation-haunted Nottingham Forest into the lead.

Chelsea’s first effort of note, came on 34 minutes. Left back Lewis Hall beat Serge Aurier on the left before sending in a wonderful left-footer - Felix was the only Chelsea player in Forest’s penalty area, and he managed to glance the ball, goal-bound. But Keilor Navas was alert to the flight of the ball, and snaffled it out of the air.

Mateo Kovacic’s game lasted until three minutes from the break, when he was forced off with an injury - Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaced him.

There were no changes by either side at half-time.

With Chelsea’s first attack of the half, they scored. And it was the right wing combination of Trevoh Chalobah and Noni. With the winger cutting back a byline cross to the path of Raheem Sterling who saw his first time shot, deflected off the prone Ryan Yates and into the back of the net. The turnaround was competed on 58 minutes when Loftus-Cheek gave the ball to the advancing Sterling on the left.

The England forward still had work to do, but with a Forest defender sliding past Sterling, the space opened up and he took a touch to his right, and unleashed a venomous right-footer that arrowed past Navas and into the top left-hand corner of his net.

But this is Chelsea and within three minutes, Forest were level.

VAR had a look at the header Awoniyi from six-yards out but stood by referee Paul Tierney’s decision to award the goal.

Lampard sensing that Forest could snatch all three point attempted to turn the game around again by bringing on Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz. Off went Noni and Felix on 73 minutes.

But substitutions have not been too successful for Lampard this game was no exception.

While they had the majority of possession right up to the final whistle, the home side never really looked like breaking Forest defence down.

The Blues have the daunting trip to Manchester City next Sunday to contend with.

Teams: Chelsea, Mendy, Chalobah, Silva, Badiashile, Hall, Kovacic, Enzo Gallagher, Madueke, Felix, Sterling, subs: Kepa, Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Mudryk, Ziyech, Forfana, Azpilicueta, Havertz, Forfana

Forest, Navas, Worrall, Felipe, Niakhate, Aurier, Mangala, Danilo, Lodi, Yates, Gibbs-White, Awoniyi

Subs, Lingard, Hennessey, Toffolo, Sturridge, Johnson, Kouyate, Freuler, Boly, A Ayew.

Referee: Paul Tierney


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