Chelsea 2-2 Nottingham Forest: Sterling double not enough as Awoniyi brace boosts survival bid
Chelsea failed to pick up all three points against Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon following a 2-2 in the Premier League.
Frank Lampard’s side were unable to pick up consecutive wins in the league as they drew against Steve Cooper’s team at Stamford Bridge.
The visitors managed to find a quick opener despite the early dominance from the hosts, a good delivery fell to Taiwo Awoniyi, who headed past Edouard Mendy who came out and was unable to deal with the cross.
It was an awful start to the game for Chelsea, and although they largely controlled possession throughout the rest of the half, the Blues had very little to show for it heading into the interval.
In the second half, the west London side turned the game on its head, two quickfire goals from Raheem Sterling saw Chelsea take the lead just 13 minutes into the second half.
However, the drama was not yet over, just four minutes later, the visitors struck back, it was poor defending once again from the home side as they failed to deal with a set-piece, Awoniyi ghosted in at the back post to get his second of the game.
Both sides pushed for a late winner, but neither could find it, meaning they had to settle for just a point each.
Lampard opted to make five changes to the side that were 3-1 victors on the south coast last weekend against Bournemouth, Mendy made his first start for the Blues since November, Lewis Hall, Mateo Kovacic, Raheem Sterling and Joao Felix were all selected as well.
Chelsea started this contest in total control, dominating the possession, but the home crowd were in for an early shock following the visitors first attack. A delivery from the left hand-side picked out the head of Awoniyi, the Nigerian positioned himself in between the two centre-backs and was able to prod home into an empty net as Mendy misjudged the cross and failed to make contact.
The west London side re-established their grip on the game, but continued to look shaky whenever the away side came forward.
Despite having 73 per cent possession in the first half, there was very little created by the Blues, their best chance of the half came after a ball in from Hall, Felix managed to connect and direct his header on target, but it was dealt with by Keylor Navas.
Adding to the already painful opening 45 for Chelsea, Croatian midfielder Kovacic was forced off due to an injury and replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
It was yet another underwhelming half of football from the team that currently sits 11th in the Premier League and the players trudged their way off the field for the break disappointed with their efforts.
A big improvement was required in the second half, but the first big chance fell to Forest, a corner found its way to the back post, Moussa Niakhate was in position but could not get a clean connection and the ball flew wide.
This proved to be a costly wasted chance, as just moments later Chelsea tied up the contest. Chalobah found himself in some space down the right-hand side and pulled the ball dangerously across the box, it fell to Sterling who set himself and then fired the Blues back into the contest, scoring against Forest for the second time this season.
The pressure from the home side continued and it was the visitors who started to make sloppy mistakes. Serge Aurier was dispossessed and Loftus-Cheek broke forward, he then sent through Sterling who cut inside and beautifully netted his second goal of the game.
Chelsea’s lead did not last for long at all though, a corner was half cleared and redirected into the box by Orel Mangala, Awoniyi was left with a golden opportunity at the far post, and once again he made no mistake.
The hosts looked to try and restore their lead in the closing moments of the game, Lampard introduced both Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz.
There was no last gasp drama at the Bridge though, and the two sides came away with just a point each.
Chelsea have just three games remaining now this season and next up they take on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
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