Under pressure Cooper 'proud' as Forest draw at Wolves

2 months ago 66
Harry ToffoloHarry Toffolo (number 15) headed Nottingham Forest ahead at Molineux with his first goal for the club

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper remains under pressure despite his side battling out a draw away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Harry Toffolo put Forest ahead with his first goal for the club, only for the hosts to peg them back via Matheus Cunha's low strike.

It means that Forest have only won one of their past 12 games and are four points above the relegation zone.

Wolves, meanwhile, rise to 12th in the Premier League.

Toffolo put Forest ahead at Molineux after 12 minutes. The left wing-back rose to head home Neco Williams' deep cross, beating the covering Wolves defenders.

But the hosts upped their game and equalised following a slick passing move, culminating in Pablo Sarabia cutting back for Cunha, with the Brazilian applying the finish.

Cheikhou Kouyate should have put Forest ahead shortly before half-time but was denied, one-on-one by Jose Sa, who returned in goal for Wolves after missing Tuesday's win over Burnley with a back spasm.

Anthony Elanga smacked the bar from eight yards out early in the second half and Toffolo missed a golden chance with another header as Forest dominated while seeking a much-needed winner.

Despite a spirited display from his side, Cooper's position remains under threat and the Forest manager was visibly emotional as he thanked the away fans after full-time, waving and thumping his chest.

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Forest tweaks not enough for three points

Cooper appears to be on borrowed time as Forest manager despite Saturday's result, which came on the back of a 5-0 defeat by Fulham on Wednesday.

If the man who guided his side back to the Premier League in 2022 is to leave the club, he will not go without trying everything first.

Cooper made seven changes to the starting XI from the side thumped at Craven Cottage, including a change of goalkeeper with Matt Turner returning and, crucially, a change of formation to a 3-5-2 after playing a back four against Fulham.

That change of shape was crucial in putting Forest ahead, as the wing-backs combined for the opener - Williams' cross from the right met by Toffolo steaming in from the left.

It delighted the noisy and sizable travelling support, who sang Cooper's name from the opening seconds to after the final whistle.

But despite all those changes, Forest remain porous at the back and were cut apart when Wolves got their passing moves going. They have now conceded 12 goals in their past four away league matches - and were grateful to Turner who made a good low save from Cunha in the second half.

Milestones for Cunha and O'Neil

While several of Wolves' games this season have been defined more by VAR than action on the field, Gary O'Neil's side are capable of playing some very good football.

Central to that is Cunha, who has become the fourth Brazilian to score or assist in five consecutive Premier League games, after Arsenal players Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli and former Manchester City midfielder Elano.

Wolves have now scored in 15 consecutive Premier League matches, as they climb further away from what looked like early relegation worries.

It also gave Gary O'Neil reason to cheer in his 50th Premier League game.

Line-ups

Wolves

Formation 3-4-3

123Kilman15Dawson24Gomes22Nélson Semedo5LeminaSubstituted forTraoréat 61'minutes8João Gomes17BuenoSubstituted forDohertyat 69'minutes21SarabiaSubstituted forBellegardeat 69'minutes11Hwang Hee-chan12Matheus CunhaSubstituted forKalajdzicat 90+1'minutes

Substitutes

2Doherty4Bueno6Traoré9Fábio Silva18Kalajdzic20Doyle25Bentley27Bellegarde62Chirewa

Nottm Forest

Formation 3-5-2

1Turner30Boly40Santiago Costa dos SantosSubstituted forFelipeat 78'minutes19Niakhaté7N Williams22Yates5Mangala8KouyatéBooked at 32minsSubstituted forDaniloat 63'minutes15Toffolo21ElangaSubstituted forWoodat 84'minutes10Gibbs-White

Substitutes

6Sangaré11Wood14Hudson-Odoi16Domínguez18Felipe23Vlachodimos27Origi28Danilo43Aina

Referee:Samuel Barrott

Attendance:31,543

Live Text

Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Nottingham Forest 1.

Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Nottingham Forest 1.

Foul by Maximilian Kilman (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Chris Wood (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jean-Ricner Bellegarde (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Harry Toffolo (Nottingham Forest).

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Sasa Kalajdzic replaces Matheus Cunha.

Attempt missed. Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Matheus Cunha.

Attempt blocked. Felipe (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Moussa Niakhaté.

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Chris Wood replaces Anthony Elanga.

Attempt missed. Boubacar Traoré (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Maximilian Kilman following a corner.

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Felipe.

Foul by João Gomes (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Felipe replaces Murillo because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Murillo (Nottingham Forest).

Attempt blocked. Matheus Cunha (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Matheus Cunha (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Player of the match

ToffoloHarry Toffolo

with an average of 7.28

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Squad number12Player nameMatheus Cunha

Squad number11Player nameHwang Hee-chan

Squad number15Player nameDawson

Squad number21Player nameSarabia

Squad number8Player nameJoão Gomes

Squad number5Player nameLemina

Squad number23Player nameKilman

Squad number24Player nameToti Gomes

Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo

Squad number17Player nameBueno

Squad number1Player nameJosé Sá

Squad number2Player nameDoherty

Squad number27Player nameBellegarde

Squad number6Player nameTraoré

Squad number18Player nameKalajdzic

Nottingham Forest

Squad number15Player nameToffolo

Squad number7Player nameN Williams

Squad number1Player nameTurner

Squad number40Player nameMurillo

Squad number22Player nameYates

Squad number30Player nameBoly

Squad number5Player nameMangala

Squad number21Player nameElanga

Squad number19Player nameNiakhaté

Squad number10Player nameGibbs-White

Squad number28Player nameDanilo

Squad number8Player nameKouyaté

Squad number18Player nameFelipe

Squad number11Player nameWood

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