Nottingham Forest 1-1 Chelsea, Premier League: Post-match reaction
Chelsea started the new year the same way we finished the year before, at least as far as our starting line-up was concerned, which saw only one forced change: César Azpilicueta replacing injured Reece James.
Unfortunately the game itself was a little less enterprising than against Bournemouth, although Forest defending with massive ranks (and the referee letting the teams off with a fair amount) certainly had something to do with that too . They let our two centre-backs have the ball unchallenged and focused on closing spaces in their defensive third – while looking for counters using Brennan Johnson’s blistering speed.
This game plan worked almost perfectly in the first half, but Kepa made a good save on a clear chance from Johnson and Chelsea got a lucky rebound on Willy Boly’s heel and then the crossbar for the goal by Raheem Sterling.
Things changed drastically at half-time, and suddenly it was Forest. Kepa made another stellar save before Gibbs-White hit one over the crossbar and down – the rebound once again favoring Chelsea. But our luck turned on the hour mark as Forest converted from a corner which we failed to clear despite the first ball, with former Spurs man Serge Aurier scoring his first for his new club .
Chelsea tried to turn things around with a triple sub, and although we stemmed the tide from the forest, we couldn’t change the flow beyond that. Aubameyang wasted a great chance on a Ziyech cross but otherwise Chelsea created little danger.
Azpilicueta’s 495th appearance, overtaking Petr Čech for sixth place all-time! Chelsea stick to 4-2-3-1 all through the new year, same old terrible officiating New year, same old homophobic chants New year, same old frustrations 1 out of 7 wins in the league. Chelsea in the eighth. Three points behind sixth place Liverpool. Next stop: Manchester City at home on Thursday, then City away again in Sunday’s FA Cup 3rd round KTBFFH