Nottingham Forest defeated 2-1 by Leeds United

Nottingham Forest slipped to yet another away defeat at Leeds United in a crucial battle at the bottom of the Premier League. George Edwards reports from the Elland Road

An unchanged XI was named by Steve Cooper from his side’s draw against Wolves, with his supporters showing their vocal support for the Welsh manager from the off. Leeds United were looking for their first win in seven games against Forest, with ex-Red Patrick Bamford amongst the starters.

A ferocious, end-to-end start concurred with both sides looking up for it and, after looking the better team early on, the visitors took the lead on the 12-minute mark. Left winger Emmanuel Dennis was found by Danilo and sent in a low ball towards the edge of the box. Orel Mangala collected and tucked his shot accurately into the corner, giving Forest first blood and sending the away end into bedlam.

As always seems to be the case, instead of continuing with the momentum after the goal, Forest sat back and allowed Leeds to come back onto them. That pressure took its toll as the Whites grabbed an equaliser just eight minutes after Mangala’s first Forest goal.

After Harry Toffolo showed winger Jack Harrison the inside, Leeds players were queueing up in the middle with space as the ball was worked to midfielder Marc Roca. His low shot from distance was parried poorly by Keylor Navas allowing Harrison to stride towards goal and slot home from five yards.

Elland Road was being treated to a fabulous showing, but with momentum now in the hosts hands, Forest would do well to reach half time level.

As stoppage time began it was looking like they would, until some awful defending allowed playmaker Luis Sinisterra to get on the scoresheet. The Colombian had too much time as he wandered in from the left wing and picked out the far corner with elegance and seeming ease.

After the perfect start, the Reds — playing in dark blue — were the victims of their own downfall as they failed to get hold of the ball and play forward. This would have to change as they aimed to score two goals for the first time away in the league this season.

Forest would be slightly more expansive and attacking minded in the second period but they never looked like they would grab an equaliser. The introduction of Jonjo Shelvey among others meant the Reds had more options going forward, with Shelvey creating their best chance of the half on 59 minutes.

His defence-splitting pass saw Brennan Johnson and fellow sub Taiwo Awoniyi in on goal, with the Nigerian taking responsibility. However, he never really got control of the ball and left-back Junior Firpo nicked possession back before he could punish Leeds.

The Whites had multiple chances to kill the game with Harrison and Bamford amongst those who couldn’t take advantage, as they saw seven shots blocked and two fly wide.

But they would hold on to a crucial three points that lifts them above Forest and into 13th place. With five away games to come between now and the end of the season, the Reds have got to start performing on the road starting at Villa Park on Saturday.

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