Nottingham Forest 1-1 Chelsea: Aurier strike rocks Potter as Blues are held

    Serge Aurier stunned Chelsea by equalizing as Premier League fighters Nottingham Forest achieved a 1-1 draw at the City Ground.

    In a wild New Year’s game, Raheem Sterling gave Chelsea the lead in the 16th minute, but Forest had some good chances and hit the crossbar before Aurier equalized just after the hour.

    Chelsea have lost the last three games of their travels so they have at least avoided a fourth consecutive loss away at Stamford Bridge.

    However, that 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 spot.

    Forest’s best early chance came in the 10th minute when Brennan Johnson ran into Chelsea’s defense, forcing Kepa Arrizabalaga to make a sharp save before the keeper attempted again.

    However, Chelsea took the lead when Christian Pulisic fired a cross from the left and defender Willy Boly, under pressure from Kai Havertz, hit his own crossbar and the ball rebounded to send Sterling from five yards.

    Forest missed another good opportunity early in the second half when Johnson opted to hit from a narrowing angle rather than the center on the unnamed Taiwo Avoni, who was furious at the lack of a pass.

    They got even closer in the 55th minute when Morgan Gibbs-White sent an 18-yard hit to the bottom of the bar, but got his bounty eight minutes later.

    Former Tottenham right-back Aurier was an unlikely hero and his finish was superb from a scrum on the edge of the penalty area, controlling the ball with his chest as Boli headed towards his fellow Ivorian and then sliced ​​Kepa powerfully.

    Substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang squandered a late chance to win him for Chelsea, who can’t afford to lose points against teams battling to avoid relegation.

    What does this mean? The blues start the new year slowly again

    It was Forest’s first home game against Chelsea since a 3–1 league defeat in February 1999 during the East Midlands team’s relegation season. This time they are refusing the same fate, making a long-awaited return to the top flight.

    The result means that Chelsea have not won their first league match for seven calendar years in a row (D5 L2). It is the club’s longest unbeaten streak in a first league match after a 10-game streak from 1929 to 1938.

    Sterling brings up half a century

    Sterling’s goal was the English striker’s 50th away goal of his Premier League career. This also meant that he was directly involved in 13 goals in his last 13 Premier League appearances against promoted teams (10 goals, 3 assists).

    A clear absence of Chelsea’s end product

    Chelsea made 674 passes, the most in a Premier League game this season. However, the London club managed to score only seven scoring chances, and only two hit the target. Forest had 12 shots, five of which hit the target.

    The Blues have collected just 25 points from 16 Premier League games, their lowest so far since 2015/16 when they had just 15 points after 16 games.

    Key facts about Opta

    Having won their first three Premier League matches under Potter, Chelsea have only won one of their last seven.

    – Forest avoided defeat in the Premier League match, conceding for the first time this season. Before this match, they lost seven matches, conceding the first goal with a total score of 23-0.

    – Since his debut in the Premier League in October 2020, no player in the Premier League has received more yellow cards than Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher (23), who was booked after entering the field in the second half .

    What’s next?

    Chelsea have a double match ahead of Manchester City. On Thursday there will be a league game, and on Sunday there will be a draw in the third round of the FA Cup. Forest, meanwhile, is back in action in the big leagues at Southampton on Wednesday.

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