Nottingham Forest made it back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season after Brennan Johnson’s second-half double earned victory over East Midlands rivals Leicester.
The Wales international opened the scoring when he raced onto Morgan Gibbs-White’s through-ball and rounded Danny Ward before stroking home his fifth goal of the season.
The same duo combined for the second goal, with Johnson collecting Gibbs-White’s fine pass before blasting the ball into the far corner.
Leicester offered little as an attacking threat, with Harvey Barnes spurning their best effort in the first half when he skewed a first-time effort wide when unmarked inside the penalty area.
The win lifts Forest up to 13th in the table and five points clear of the bottom three, with Leicester, who have now lost four successive Premier League games, just two points clear of the drop zone in 15th.
Steve Cooper’s future as Forest manager appeared to be in doubt after a 4-0 thrashing by Leicester in October, their fifth straight defeat, left the club bottom of the table.
However, Forest responded by offering Cooper a new contract and they have been rewarded by that show of loyalty with a run of just three defeats in 11 Premier League games since.
They have deserved winners here thanks to a much-improved second-half display after a drab opening 45 minutes, with Johnson and Gibbs-White at the heart of all their good play.
Their opener arrived when Gibbs-White found himself in space in the centre circle and threaded the ball through to Johnson, who initially saw his celebrations cut short by the off-side flag before the goal was given by the Video Assistant Referee.
Gibbs-White’s assist for the second was even better, with his pass with the outside of his right foot finding Johnson, whose fine first touch took the ball away from a chasing defender and allowed him to power it into the far corner.
It caps a memorable few days for Forest after their penalty shootout win against Wolves sent them through to the EFL Cup semi-finals.
The only concern was an injury to goalkeeper Dean Henderson late on as he took a goal-kick.
Forest had used all their substitutes so could not bring on a replacement, but Henderson was able to continue as they saw out the game.
The jubilant scenes among the Forest supporters were in sharp contrast to the furious reaction of the visiting fans at the final whistle, who made their displeasure at the performance clear.
After reviving their season with a run of five wins from six before the World Cup, Leicester’s form has collapsed since the resumption and they have dropped perilously close to the bottom three to pile the pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers.
In a game of few chances, the Foxes will rue that early miss by Barnes, who also spurned another fine opportunity at the start of the second when he was played in by Youri Tielemans.
But after falling behind shortly after, what little attacking threat Leicester had fizzled away and they rarely looked like getting back into the game, managing just one shot on target throughout the whole 90 minutes.
source – BBC