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Chelsea 0-1 Nottingham Forest: Elanga strike the difference against disappointing Blues



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Chelsea slumped to a dire 1-0 defeat on Saturday afternoon as they played host to Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side were in search of their third win of the week at home as they took on Steve Cooper’s team.

In the first half, chances were limited for both sides, Raheem Sterling and Enzo Fernandez had the main opportunities for the hosts and for the visitors it was Taiwo Awoniyi who looked the most dangerous.

There was no change to the score-line as the two teams headed in for the interval, it was an uninspiring opening 45 from Chelsea.

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Things went from bad to worse as the second half begun, a mistake in the midfield from Moises Caicedo and Conor Gallagher allowed Forest to counter, Awoniyi played Anthony Elanga in behind who placed his strike into the bottom right corner.

Chelsea looked to fight back, but their efforts were tame, Nicolas Jackson had a golden opportunity late on, his shot glided painfully over the bar though and the Blues came away from this contest without a point.

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Pochettino opted to stick with the same starting XI that defeated Luton Town in the Blues’ last Premier League game.

The hosts got the ball rolling from kick-off and begun the game with attacking intent. In the opening minutes, a delivery from Ben Chilwell looked to pick out Sterling but the ball was swept clear and the England international was unable to capitalise.

Chelsea continued to press Forest high up the pitch, but when they retrieved possession there were few opportunities crafted as the opening 45 progressed. Chilwell saw a half chance drift wide of the goal on his weaker right foot.

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In the 26th minute, the visitors had their first real chance of the game, a free-kick was awarded after Thiago Silva brought down Taiwo Awoniyi, the delivery from the set-piece then fell to Nigerian, but he sent his effort over the crossbar.

The 26-year-old striker continued to be a nuisance for the Chelsea’s backline, after a scuffle in the Blues’ penalty area, the ball fell to the forward, he tried the acrobatic from close range but his shot bounced wide.

With the pace of the game starting to pick up, the west Londoners had the next chance, Enzo Fernandez, who scored his first ever goal for the Blues in midweek against AFC Wimbledon, struck from the edge of the box, his attempt sailed over the bar though.

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There were few other openings as the half progressed, it had been a very lacklustre 45 minutes for the hosts and they needed to improve in the second half.

As the game got underway again, things instead got worse for Chelsea, sloppy play in midfield from Caicedo and Gallagher handed possession to Forest and Awoniyi, the forward then slotted a pass between Silva’s legs to slide substitute Elanga through and he guided his effort into the corner past an outstretched Robert Sanchez.

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As Chelsea aimed to mount a comeback, Pochettino looked to his bench for inspiration, as well as bringing on Noni Madueke, he handed a debut to transfer deadline day signing Cole Palmer from Manchester City.

While the Blues were dominating possession, they were struggling to break down the low block deployed by Forest.

With just under 15 minutes to play, both Mykhailo Mudryk and Ian Maatsen were introduced, Chelsea were in desperate need of finding a spark as the clock continued to tick down.

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Despite creating so little previously, Chelsea had a huge opportunity to tie the contest late on, after dashing down the right-hand side, Sterling cut the ball back into the box and it fell to Jackson, the Senegalese forward had the goal at his mercy but he lifted his effort over the bar.

The Blues pushed for a late equaliser, but could not find it, they head into the international break having got just four points in four games.