What the papers say: Nottingham Forest v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Reaching their first League Cup semi-final since 1992, Nottingham Forest beat Wolverhampton Wanderers in a dramatic penalty shoot-out after 90 minutes of normal time. Here’s what the national newspapers had to say

The Guardian

Dean Henderson, fresh from a match-winning penalty shootout save, hurtled towards the Brian Clough Stand and slid on his backside, arms outstretched before the home supporters, wrapped up in savouring Nottingham Forest’s progress to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup. Henderson cupped his ears after saving Wolves’s first spot-kick, from Rúben Neves, prompting the Forest faithful to serenade him before the rest – “Deano, Deano!” – so he was hardly going to go shrivel into his shell after diving down to his right to deny the substitute Joe Hodge and clinch victory.

Henderson channelled Brice Samba, the former Forest goalkeeper whose shootout heroics sealed passage to Wembley last May, by referring to a water bottle scribbled with his homework on the opposition penalty takers while the celebrations of the former Wolves forward Morgan Gibbs-White, who joined Forest last summer, had shades of Emmanuel Adebayor’s infamous sprint towards Arsenal fans at the Etihad Stadium in 2009.

Henderson darted in one direction, Gibbs-White another, sliding towards the Wolves fans behind the goal. After scoring his penalty Gibbs-White made a point of swivelling towards the Wolves support and putting his fingers in his ears.


The Times

Dean Henderson was named man of the match even before the penalties, and the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper deserved the honour even more after his performance in the shoot-out. As he celebrated with his customary lack of restraint, and as Forest fans chanted “Deano, Deano”, the sweet moment was soured by the realisation that Henderson will be ineligible for the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester United unless his parent club give him written permission. The likelihood of that is somewhere between improbable and impossible. So is the likelihood of him being sold to Forest this window.

It is a rule that is often debated by players and managers. Proud professionals like Henderson are hardly going to go easy on their parent club: they would want to prove a point and should be available. The real loss of integrity is in a club like Forest being weakened.

Steve Cooper, the Forest manager, said: “I have only just thought of that [Henderson being ineligible]; it is frustrating. He is so invested in the group and how we work. It has put a dampener on it for me tonight.”


The Telegraph

Trips to Wembley in this competition once felt like annual events under Brian Clough, and Nottingham Forest can dream again after an evening of high drama.

Dean Henderson was Forest’s hero with two saves in the penalty shootout, first from Ruben Neves and then young Wolves midfielder Joe Hodge, to take the club into their first League Cup semi-final in 31 years.

Yet, in a cruel twist of fate, Henderson will not be eligible to play in the semi-final after Forest were drawn against his parent club Manchester United.

These nights at the City Ground, when the floodlights beam onto the River Trent, can often be special and they left it late in their first cup quarter-final since 1994.

Clough won the League Cup four times, also finishing runner-up twice, and it is a record Steve Cooper has been determined to tap into. Before the game he staged a history lesson in front of his players to remind them of the rich history Forest possess in this competition.


The Independent

Dean Henderson was the hero for Nottingham Forest as he saved two penalties in a shootout against Wolves to send his side through to the Carabao Cup semi-final.

The on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper kept out spot-kicks from Ruben Neves and Joe Hodge as Forest emerged 4-3 winners after it had ended 1-1 in normal time.

Willy Boly scored against his old club to put Forest ahead but Raul Jimenez levelled after the break in a bad-blooded encounter that saw a mass brawl on the pitch at the end of the penalty shoot-out, which is sure to land both clubs in hot water.

Forest are in the last four of a competition that they have special memories in, having won it four times, and now a return to Wembley looks a real possibility as they will play Manchester United in the two-legged last-four tie.

Steve Cooper reverted to their strongest XI, having made 10 changes for the FA Cup defeat at Blackpool on Saturday, and their intent to try and progress was clear from the off.


The Mail

After regaining their place in the top flight for the first time this century, Nottingham Forest’s appetite for Wembley trips is returning with a vengeance.

Steve Cooper’s men beat Wolves 4-3 on penalties after the sides could not be separated in normal time and are 180 minutes from a first League Cup Final since 1992, less than a year after they beat Huddersfield at the national stadium to seal a Premier League spot. 

The finale was marred by a brawl involving most players and staff, after former Wolves player Morgan Gibbs-White celebrated provocatively in front of the away fans when victory was sealed, and an FA charge for both clubs seems inevitable.

Goalkeeper Dean Henderson was the hero for Forest, saving kicks from Ruben Neves and Joe Hodge, who missed the final effort for Wolves.


The Sun

Dean Henderson produced two stunning penalty shoot-out saves to send Forest through to the semi-finals for the first time in three decades.

But there was mayhem at the end when both sets of players allowed their emotions boil over and there was an ugly centre-circle bust-up between celebrating Forest players and their opponents.

Former Wolves man Morgan Gibbs-White and Adama Traore appeared to get involved and had to be separated before order was restored.

It was a chaotic end to a chaotic cup tie which saw Raul Jimenez’s equaliser cancel out Willy Boly’s opener to take the game straight to penalties after 90 minutes.

Jose Sa brilliantly saved Sam Surridge’s first spot kick to give Wolves an early advantage.

But Henderson immediately saved Ruben Neves’ next attempt and the next seven penalties all ended up in the net.


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