January 31, 2023

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Chelsea with one win in seven after draw against Nottingham Forest

2 min read

Serge Aurier stunned Chelsea with a clinical equaliser as Premier League strugglers Nottingham Forest secured a 1-1 draw at the City Ground.

A frenetic New Year’s Day game saw Raheem Sterling fire Chelsea into a 16th-minute lead, but Forest had several good chances and hit the crossbar before Aurier pulled them level just after the hour.

Chelsea had lost their last three games on their travels, so they at least avoided a fourth successive defeat away from Stamford Bridge.

However, the point leaves them seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United as head coach Graham Potter battles to put the Blues back in the hunt for a Champions League place.

The best early chance went to Forest in the 10th minute when Brennan Johnson ran in behind the Chelsea defence, forcing Kepa Arrizabalaga to make a sharp save before the goalkeeper gathered a half-hit follow-up attempt.

Yet Chelsea took the lead when Christian Pulisic’s cross from the left was looped up against his own crossbar by defender Willy Boly, under pressure from Kai Havertz, with the ball bouncing out for Sterling to drive in from five yards.

Forest squandered another good opportunity early in the second half when Johnson elected to shoot from a narrowing angle rather than centre to an unmarked Taiwo Awoniyi, who was furious there was no pass.

They went even closer in the 55th minute when Morgan Gibbs-White sent an 18-yard drive crashing against the underside of the bar, but had their reward eight minutes later.

Former Tottenham right-back Aurier was an unlikely hero and his finish was excellent after a scramble on the edge of the six-yard box, controlling the ball with his chest when Boly headed to his fellow Ivorian before rifling powerfully past Kepa.

Substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a late chance to win it for Chelsea, who cannot afford to be dropping points against teams battling to avoid relegation.

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