Premier League

Player ratings as Jackson strikes late to keep European hopes alive

Player ratings as Jackson strikes late to keep European hopes alive

Chelsea kept their European dream alive with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening.

Mykhailo Mudryk put Chelsea ahead early on before Willy Boly tied things up, and former Blue Callum Hudson-Odoi looked to have fired Forest to victory with a lovely goal 15 minutes from the final whistle.

However, a quick-fire double from Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson secured all three points for Chelsea, with the victory also ensuring Forest’s wait for mathematical safety in the relegation battle will carry over to the final day of the season.

How the game unfolded

Djordje Petrovic had to bat away an attempted lob from Chris Wood inside the opening 90 seconds as Forest made a bright start, but Chelsea weathered the early storm and took the lead eight minutes in.

Mudryk was played through by Cole Palmer and the Ukraine international needed just one touch before slotting his effort beyond Matz Sels to fire Chelsea ahead.

The lead did not last long, however, as Boly rose highest to meet a Morgan Gibbs-White free kick, with his header ending up in the back of the net after a deflection off Conor Gallagher.

Sels got down well to deny Nicolas Jackson after another through-ball from Palmer, before Conor Gallagher avoided a red card scare when he dragged down an advancing Hudson-Odoi. Marc Cucurella was deemed to be providing sufficient cover at the back and so Gallagher escaped with only a yellow card.

Benoit Badiashile crashed over from range as Chelsea continued to struggle for clear-cut chances. The Blues dominated possession in the first half – 71% to Forest’s 29% – but managed just five shots on goal compared to ten from the hosts.

Chelsea found themselves through on goal almost immediately after the restart but seemed to play one pass too many as they once again failed to ask any real questions of Sels in the Forest net.

Ryan Yates clipped the outside of the post with a strike from the edge of the penalty area, before Gibbs-White headed against the same piece of woodwork from just two yards out.

Chelsea struck the post themselves on the hour mark after Thiago Silva met Palmer’s free kick and the close-calls kept coming when Hudson-Odoi’s curling effort thumped against the top of the Chelsea bar.

There would be no stopping Hudson-Odoi 75 minutes in as the former Blue bent a lovely effort into the side netting to put Forest into a lead which few could argue they did not deserve.

However, just a few minutes later, substitute Sterling responded with…

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