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03 March 2024

Manchester City missed the opportunity to return to the top of the Premier League

Published
By BBC

Manchester City missed the opportunity to return to the top of the Premier League as Chris Wood's late goal earned Nottingham Forest a point at the City Ground.

Bernardo Silva's rocket from 20 yards opened the scoring and the visitors missed chances in abundance to put the game to bed.

Erling Haaland volleyed against the crossbar and ballooned the rebound over the top after Aymeric Laporte's header was brilliantly saved by Forest keeper Keylor Navas.

Morgan Gibbs-White's fizzed cross was tapped in at the far post in the 84th minute for Wood's first Forest goal.

The draw extended Forest's unbeaten home run to eight games and dealt a blow to City's title hopes after Arsenal returned to the top with a 4-2 comeback win against Aston Villa earlier on Saturday.
City rue missed opportunities
After being limited to 37% possession against Arsenal in midweek, the lowest percentage of any Guardiola team in the top flight, City returned to some semblance of normality with a dominant 84% in the opening period on Saturday.

Starting his first game after a spell on the sidelines with a foot injury, Phil Foden was a highlight for City, driving forward and making a nuisance of himself to a depleted Forest backline.

Silva, playing again as a makeshift left-back, sent a decent effort from range whistling over the bar moments before receiving the ball on the edge of the area and firing a stunning left-footed shot into the roof of the net.

The goal was reward for the visitors' continued pressure and they had ample opportunity to prevent the nervy finish, Foden's off-balance pass not quite reaching Haaland for a tap-in and Ilkay Gundogan narrowly misjudging Kyle Walker's cross.
But City, for all their dominance, were made to rue their missed chances and were reduced to last-ditch attempts as they scrambled for a late winner.

Kevin de Bruyne had seven attempts at goal but found his radar to be off target as City failed to capitalise on any momentum gathered from their victory over title rivals Arsenal on Wednesday.

They have now dropped 15 away points this season, compared to 11 in total last term.

Forest take their chance
Forest will have considered themselves lucky to go into half-time trailing by only one goal having seen the majority of the first period played in their own half.

They had won four of their past seven matches at home and showed mere glimpses of danger on the counter-attack as City committed bodies forward.

Gibbs-White and Brennan Johnson had chances to break away, with the latter denied by Walker's block before bounding forward again but with no one in support to latch onto his squared ball.

Forest were without centre-backs Scott McKenna and Willy Boly, who picked up injuries last time out, and Steve Cooper's side did not put together any meaningful periods of possession or chances.

But, as City became frustrated, Forest were patient and ultimately efficient enough to take their opportunity when it finally came, their only shot on target all afternoon.