Serge Aurier hails Nottingham Forest’s survival instinct after they picked up a vital point at Chelsea, as former Spurs full-back looks ahead to Arsenal clash at the City Ground as a ‘final’
- Nottingham Forest picked up a vital away point at Stamford Bridge
- Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees drew 2-2 after a brace from Taiwo Awoniyi
- Forest fullback Serge Aurier felt they ‘deserved to win’ the away clash
They celebrated like they had won and you could understand why. A first point for Nottingham Forest on their travels since January. A first point in the capital all season.
And, crucially, a point that takes them another step closer to Premier League survival.
It was a performance full of courage from Steve Cooper’s men. They showed initiative by taking the game to Chelsea from the outset, and character to recover from going behind.
It spoke volumes that Cooper’s men were disappointed not to come away with all three points.
A win would have all but secured safety, vindicating the decision to stick with Cooper. Each of the four sides below Forest have changed managers this season.
Nottingham Forest picked up a potentially vital point against Chelsea on Saturday
Serge Aurier felt Forest ‘deserved’ to beat Chelsea and looked ahead to next Sunday’s ‘final’ against Arsenal
They face a Gunners side that have seen the title fall from their grasp after just two wins in their last seven games
‘We deserved to win,’ said defender Serge Aurier. ‘Everyone had the same mentality — to defend together and attack together. And if you want to stay in the Premier League, this is the mentality you need to have.’
Four points from their last two games have given Forest timely momentum, though with high-flying Arsenal visiting the City Ground on Saturday, their fate could well be undecided going into the final day of the season.
That said, Forest’s solid home record is precisely why they are in a better position than their relegation rivals.
With seven wins and six draws at home, they have made the City Ground a fortress and will be hoping they can feed off their home crowd once more.
‘At home, everything is possible,’ Aurier added. ‘It’s a big final for us (against Arsenal) because if we win this game, I think we are safe.’
The former Tottenham man added that it would bring him extra satisfaction to secure safety by beating Arsenal.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Mendy 5; Chalobah 7, Silva 6, Badiashile 6, Hall 7; Kovacic 5 (Loftus-Cheek 45+1min, 7), Fernandez 6, Gallagher 6; Madueke 6 (Ziyech 73, 5), Felix 6 (Havertz 73, 5), Sterling 8.
Scorer: Sterling 51, 58.
Booked: Felix, Silva, Gallagher.
Manager: Frank Lampard 6.
Nottingham Forest (3-4-2-1): Navas 6; Worrall 7, Felipe 6, Niakhate 6; Aurier 6, Mangala 6, Danilo 7 (Toffolo 90), Lodi 7; Yates 7 (Kouyate 85), Gibbs-White 7; Awoniyi 8.5 (Johnson 81).
Scorer: Awoniyi 13, 62.
Manager: Steve Cooper 7
Referee: Paul Tierney 7. Attendance: 40,030.
Remaining fixtures — Chelsea: Manchester City (a), Manchester Utd (a), Newcastle (h).
Nottingham Forest: Arsenal (h), Crystal Palace (a).
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