Nottingham Forest suffered their third defeat in a row hosting Bournemouth at The City Ground this afternoon, and Steve Cooper will likely seething as his team threw away a comfortable 2-0 lead – with the score reading 3-2 to the visitors by the final whistle.
It was the definition of a game of two halves as Forest hosted their fellow newly-promoted side and it looked extremely promising at half-time with the home side 2-0 up. However, the Tricky Trees fell apart upon the return to action for the last 45 minutes, with three goals conceded in the second half.
Despite boasting a greater share of possession (52%), taking more shots on goal (11), completing more passes (82%) and more dribbles (73%) than their opponents, Cooper’s team capitulated in crucial moments and as a result, paid the price.
Cheikhou Kouyate was assisted by Morgan Gibbs-White in the 33rd minute when Forest found their first goal, with Brennan Johnson finding the back of the net from a penalty in the second minute of injury time before the half-time whistle.
Bournemouth were quick to respond when the game resumed, with Philip Billing and Dominic Solanke bringing their team back into the tie, before Jaidon Anthony found a third and ultimately winning goal to take all three points from The City Ground.
One player who was a highly anticipated and curious signing for Forest is former Manchester United star Jesse Lingard, but yet again the attacking player failed to take the game by the scruff of the neck – with the former England international being largely anonymous over his time on the pitch against the Cherries.
The 29-year-old flop had fewer touches than Dean Henderson (25 v 34), completed only 17 passes and lost possession of the ball every five touches before Cooper finally hooked him in the 67th minute to bring on striker Taiwo Awoniyi.
Lingard does not even break into the top 10 rated players in the squad, currently ranking 13th according to SofaScore. This is not overly surprising when considering he has failed to score or provide an assist in the Premier League so far, which is concerning for a player who is earning a reported £200k-per-week.
With that being said, there is no doubt that Cooper will need to consider his many options in the attacking prowess of the team as it will be a bitter pill to swallow losing from such a strong position over 45 minutes.