Yesterday afternoon, Nottingham Forest scraped a 1-0 victory over West Ham United in their first game at The City Ground in the Premier League for 23 years, thanks to one of many summer signings. Jesse Lingard was greeted with boos and fake money after turning down the Hammers in favour of the Reds this summer.
Forest started the stronger of the two sides, constantly putting the Hammers under pressure. Fabianski was forced to act after just ten minutes after Bowen's header back to the Polish goalkeeper almost looped into his own net. Just three minutes later, Awoniyi rose between Kurt Zouma and Ben Johnson but could only put his header wide of the post.
However, the first big chance of the game fell to West Ham after 16 minutes. Said Benrahma, who impressed on his first start of the season cut in from the left and shot from just outside the box. The shot was smartly saved by Dean Henderson and almost fell to Tomas Soucek on the goalline. However, Scott McKenna was there to prevent the Czech International from putting the ball in the back of the net.
Just before half-time, it was heartbreak for West Ham. Benrahma went on a mazy run before finding Declan Rice, who returned it to the Algerian winger to neatly finish past Henderson. However, a push from Michail Antonio in the buildup meant the goal was ruled out by VAR.
The first and only goal of the game came right on half-time as Taiwo Awoniyi bundled the ball in after a lack of concentration from Ben Johnson. Toffolo made a run into the box and played it into Lingard whose scuffed shot hit Johnson, onto the knee of Awoniyi before rolling into the bottom left of the goal.
As soon as the second half started West Ham were eager for the equaliser. Just two minutes in, a strike from Pablo Fornals on the edge of the box passed Henderson but could only hit the underside of the bar and bounce off the line. The rebound fell almost perfectly to Soucek who directed his header straight at Henderson. Another massive chance was missed by the big Czech.
The game continued to be end to end as Forest thought they had gone 2-0 up thanks to Brennan Johnson. However, he was slightly offside after latching onto Orel Mangala's pass. West Ham hit the bar AGAIN! Said Benrahma's curling freekick from 30 yards almost equalised the game.
The Hammers missed another chance to make it 1-1, this time Declan Rice's miss from 12 yards was the culprit. Tomas Soucek's goal-bound effort was saved off the line by the arm of forest centre-back Scott McKenna. After a lengthy VAR check, a penalty was awarded. West Ham captain Declan Rice confidently stepped up only for his spot kick to be saved yet again by Dean Henderson in the bottom left corner.
The final chance of the game fell to Kurt Zouma, whose headed effort from a corner was heroically blocked off the line by new signing Neco Williams with just three minutes to go.
It was a good performance from both Steve Cooper's and David Moyes' sides. West Ham will feel like they deserved the win with three or four goal-scoring opportunities, including a penalty miss and two efforts off the crossbar. However, Steve Cooper will be immensely proud of his team's commitment and effort in managing to defeat one of the Premier League's best teams over the past two years.