Fulham scored three goals in an exciting five-minute period at City Ground as they came from behind to defeat Nottingham Forest 3-2 and climb to sixth in the Premier League table.
Marco Silva’s side trailed Taiwo Ooni’s early shot (11) as they entered the second half, but Tosin Adarabiou’s powerful header from Willian’s corner kick (55) sparked a stunning comeback.
Joao Ballinha put Fulham ahead with a superb finish for the first time from just outside Forest (58) and the visitors continued their lead immediately when Harrison Reid scored his first goal for the club from a Bobby Decordova-Reed cross (60).
Forest pulled a goal through substitute Louis O’Brien (77) but was unable to equalize in the latter stages as they slipped to a fourth consecutive loss in the Premier League keeping them in the relegation zone, seven points behind their newly promoted rivals. .
Nottingham Forest: Henderson (6), Williams (6), Cook (5), McKenna (6), Polly (5), Lodi (6), Yates (7), Gibbs White (6), Froeller (6), Johnson ( 6 ), Oniy (7).
Subs: Lingard (6), Worrall (6), O’Brien (7), Surridge (6), Dennis (unknown).
Fulham: Lino (7), Tite (7), Adarabiyo (7), Diop (6), Rim (7), Red (8), Balinha (8), Pereira (7), Willian (7), Decordova Red (7) )), Mitrovic (7).
Subs: James (6), Cairny (unknown), Carlos Vinicius (unknown), Kebano (unknown).
man of the match: Joao Balenha
How Forrest slipped into a familiar defeat
Forrest has welcomed Fulham to the city ground a year to the day since Chris Hughton was sacked with the club at the bottom of the championship.
The subsequent turnaround under Steve Cooper was fantastic and it seemed the club’s fans might have more reason to cheer when Aouni, one of 22 summer signings, nodded in a Ryan Yates corner kick from Morgan Gibbs-White’s corner.
- Nottingham Forest coach Steve Cooper made his debut to Willie Polley in his defence.
- Fulham duo Willian and Issa Diop got their first appearance by Marco Silva.
Fulham mustered little to respond in the first half, with Aleksandar Mitrovic largely chasing, save for a header close to the post from a corner kick that forced a scramble to save Dean Henderson.
But in the second straight game at home after losing 3-2 to Bournemouth two weeks ago, Forrest sought to give up his comfortable first-half lead en route to a disappointing defeat.
The damage took place in just five minutes, with Ballinha’s goal, firing first into the top corner of Kenny Tite’s pass, the choice of Fulham’s quick three.
Balenha’s midfield partner Reid scored his goal cleverly too, after Andreas Pereira played at Red’s Decordova down the left, the 27-year-old ran into the penalty area and netted for the first time in Fulham’s 81st game.
Cooper tried to salvage something from the match, throwing Jesse Lingard and switching to a more offensive form, but it was another substitute, O’Brien, who put them back in the match when he slammed home after Brennan Johnson’s hit.
The goal ensured a difficult end for Fulham, with the visitors forced to survive six minutes of injury time, but they held out to secure a win that continued their impressive start to the season, leaving Forrest to contemplate a defeat that looked all too familiar. .
Cooper defeats himself
Nottingham Forest coach Steve Cooper He said, “I think a lot of it is self-made. I don’t think we can just say things aren’t going our way.
“We don’t manage the first goal very well. We want to keep a clean sheet, but when we concede we don’t get enough after that and there have been several occasions now where one goal is scored, we look vulnerable and that was the case tonight. .
“We took the lead and I thought we were fine in the first half. Fulham had more ball but we were in fair control without the ball and I think we started the second half really well. I told the players they had to play a lot better.
“We turned the ball twice to score the first two goals in areas we shouldn’t.
“We’ll look at ourselves first and see that we’re not doing certain things in our game very well.”
Silva: We were the better team
Fulham coach Mark Silva He said: “We were the best team on the pitch and deserved the three points. After their first goal, we controlled the match.
What a start of the second half. intensity, we were faster and more dynamic as a team. I just told them to get aggressive on the ball and we did.
“It feels great for us, even if we struggled a bit in the last few minutes. They didn’t create chances, but with the second goal they had a little bit of confidence.
“But we controlled the game well and deserved the three points. Congratulations to the players. They worked hard. They also showed quality to match all the other parties at this level.”
Analysis: Palinha proves his worth
Erling Haaland has eradicated any controversy over signing the Premier League this season, but Fulham’s Joao Balenha should be near the top of the list of those behind the Norwegian freestyle goalscorer.
The midfielder, who added £20m from Sporting Lisbon in July, was instrumental in the 3-2 win over Forest, as his astonishing goal helped secure the win that propelled them to the European places.
in conversation with Sky Sports Last month Marco Silva revealed that Balinha fell primarily because of his off-ball qualities These traits have been visible throughout the season. He has made more tackles (35) than any other player in the Premier League.
But the 27-year-old gives them so much more.
Palinha is also a major aerial threat, as his header in Fulham’s 3-2 win over Brentford in August, and his shot against Forest, brilliantly executed from outside the penalty area, showed he had the right technique.
No wonder Silva moved quickly to secure his signature after promoting Fulham and it won’t be long before the rest of the Premier League starts to take notice. Palhinha proves its worth.
Running Loser Forrest – Opta Stats
- Nottingham Forest lost four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since a string of six defeats in August and September of 1992.
- Nottingham Forest have conceded the most goals from outside the penalty area (six) and the most goals after corner kicks (five) by any team in the Premier League this season.
- Taking back 11 points from seven matches, Fulham is their second best team at this point in the Premier League season after 2003/04, when they had 14 points, and eventually finished ninth.
After the international break, Forrest travels to Leicester City on monday night football, With the start of the match Sky Sports Premier League 8 p.m. on October 3.
Meanwhile, Fulham host Newcastle United on Saturday 1 October at 3pm.