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Match Reports

Forest 4-2 Leeds

1 January 2019

Nottingham Forest started 2019 with a win as they came out on top of an entertaining game against Leeds United at The City Ground.

Jack Colback scored twice with Daryl Murphy and Ben Osborn also on target as Forest secured their first win in five games to climb back up to seventh in the table.

Ten-man Leeds, who had Kalvin Phillips sent off in the first half, had turned it around after Colback's opener as they went ahead through Jack Clarke and Ezgjan Alioski but Forest hit back to take a vital three points.

Forest were dealt a blow early on as Michael Hefele was forced off through injury, with Adlene Guedioura taking his place and Claudio Yacob slotting in at centre back.

But that blow didn't affect The Reds as they took a fifth-minute lead through Colback. A long ball over the top saw the midfielder chase it down, forcing Leeds' Adam Forshaw into a short back pass which Colback latched onto and coolly rounded Bailey Peacock-Farrell to give Forest a great start.

It was almost two on 12 minutes as a corner from the left-hand side was swung into the box and Yacob met it but saw his header clip the outside of the post and go behind.

The visitors then started to make their mark on the game, with Jack Harrison racing through on goal only to be hauled down by Jack Robinson who was shown a yellow card, with Barry Douglas, Alioski and Kemar Roofe all then going close.

Leeds made it harder for themselves on 42 minutes as they were reduced to 10 men. Phillips took a heavy touch of the ball in midfield and as Guedioura stole it off him, the Leeds man lunged in with a dangerous, high tackle and was rightly shown his marching orders.

The Reds should have taken a two-goal lead into the break as Joe Lolley had a golden chance right on half-time. Daryl Murphy played the winger in on goal but Peacock-Farrell came out on top in the one-on-one.

Despite having 10 men, it was the visitors who started the second half strongly and they levelled the game on 53 minutes through substitute Clarke. With the Forest defence caught out of position, Clarke was there at the back post to fire low past Pantilimon and swing the momentum the visitors' way.

They made the most of that as they took the lead just after the hour mark. A deep cross to the back post was headed back across goal by Pontus Jansson and Alioski was on hand to fire into the roof of the net from close range.

The Reds responded brilliantly to the setback and within five minutes were level. A corner to the back post wasn't cleared, Robinson headed it down to the edge of the area and Colback was there to fire home his second of the game and draw Forest level.

The second turnaround of the game was complete on 72 minutes as Murphy fired Forest back into the lead. Another corner drifted towards the back post where Murphy arrived to power a header into the ground and into the corner of the net, away from the despairing dive of Peacock-Farrell.

It got even better for Forest as substitute Ben Osborn fired in a brilliant fourth goal to create some breathing space. The excellent Murphy played a clever ball down the left side of the penalty, Osborn cut inside and unleashed a fierce right-footed shot which crashed into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

The Reds had to be alert as a smart save by Pantilimon denied Roofe at the other end but it was a fine all-round performance from Forest as they returned to winning ways at The City Ground.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Hefele (Guedioura 4'), Fox (c), Robinson, Yacob, Colback, Cash, Carvalho, Lolley (Osborn 65'), Murphy (Appiah 90')

Unused subs: Steele, Janko, Yates, Dias

Goals: Colback 5', 69', Murphy 72', Osborn 77'

Bookings: Robinson 14', Darikwa 81'

Leeds: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling (c), Jansson, Phillips, Douglas (Roberts 78'), Forshaw, Klich, Harrison (Clarke 46'), Hernandez, Alioski, Roofe

Unused subs: Huffer, Baker, Davis, Shackleton, Halme

Goals: Clarke 53', Alioski 64'

Sent off: Phillips 42'

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 29,530 (2,000 away)


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