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Nottingham Forest: Willy Boly was Cooper’s hero vs Chelsea

Nottingham Forest earned a well-fought point at The City Ground this evening when they hosted Chelsea in their first fixture of 2023 and Steve Cooper will surely be delighted with his team’s resilience over the performance.

The Tricky Trees are no longer cut adrift in the relegation zone now matching 17th-place West Ham United for points in the Premier League table and a bottom-three clash with Southampton at St Mary’s on Wednesday could be the defining games of the season to take them out of danger ahead of the second half of the campaign.

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Stan Collymore - Nottingham Forest

Who did Forest sign Stan Collymore from in 1993?

Despite only having 28% possession of the ball, creating fewer big chances (0 v 2) and completing much fewer accurate passes (191 v 602), Forest had more shots on target (5 v 2), more shots on goal (12 v 7) and won more tackles and interceptions (28 v 17).

In the first half of the clash, it wasn’t looking good for Forest early when Raheem Sterling found the back of the net to put Chelsea in the lead and ahead of the half-time break Steve Cooper’s side were unable to find an equaliser.

In the second half, the Trentside team came out fighting with a much more aggressive approach and were tactically bold which paid off when Serge Aurier caught the entire Chelsea defence ball-watching in the box to deliver the much-needed equaliser.

Aurier’s goal was game-changing but there was one player, in particular, who was Cooper’s true hero against their visitors as Willy Boly put in a performance he should be extremely proud of.

Over his 90-minute performance, the 6 foot 5 titan delivered the assist to Aurier’s goal, won 80% of his duels and completed 35 accurate passes during an imperious showing.

He also made five clearances, winning two interceptions and three tackles and completing one blocked shot, proving that he was a hugely influential presence over the game.

Was Willy Boly Forest's MOTM?

Yes

Yes

No

No

It will be interesting to see whether Nottingham Forest will go into the transfer window this month after signing 23 new players in the summer and now the team are starting to connect with each other after going unbeaten in their last five home games.

With that being said, Cooper will now surely be looking ahead to the Southampton clash as taking all three points from their visit to the south coast could be instrumental to their campaign and a confidence boost after sharing points with Chelsea this evening should put them in a great position to continue their pursuit for safety.