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Manchester City handed the Premier League title advantage back to Arsenal with a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday.
Chris Wood tapped in a Morgan Gibbs-White feed to level out Bernardo Silva’s early goal, as City wasted numerous chances to salt away three points and now lives two points behind Arsenal. The Gunners have a match-in-hand on the two-time defending champs.
Forest moves 13th with 25 points, five points clear of the bottom three as Steve Cooper’s men are feeling a bit safer for the home stretch.
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Much like Arsenal vs Aston Villa earlier in the day, a let down looked possible if not likely for Man City but Bernardo Silva’s goal seemed to send forth better vibes.
Despite 73 percent possession, a 23-4 shot attempts advantage, and a healthy bounty of xG — City produced 2.54 to Forest’s 0.98 — City couldn’t get the result to match its performance.
Keylor Navas made five saves as Forest’s back line, led by Felipe, scrapped forward and caused plenty of issues for Erling Haaland and Co.
But really, sometimes your finish betrays you and Pep Guardiola will likely feel that’s what happened here ahead of a Champions League scrap with RB Leipzig at midweek.
Either way, Morgan Gibbs-White’s seeing-eye assist to Chris Wood was fitting, as the ex-Wolves man has been brilliant for Forest of late and was perhaps its lone attacking bright spot on Saturday.
Felipe: Whether in the heart of the park or the back line, what a signing.
Keylor Navas: Replacing the injured Dean Henderson with one of the world’s all-time best isn’t a bad swap, eh?
Jack Grealish: So bright, and deserved some end product.
Morgan Gibbs-White: When you cede possession, you require some magic. MGW was that and more.
Rodri: The most underappreciated superstar in the Premier League?
Chris Wood: Did what he was asked. The only surprise is it wasn’t with his head.
Man City’s at Bournemouth for a 12:30pm ET Saturday scrap, 2.5 hours after Forest kicks off at West Ham United.
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
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Forest has proven a proper scrapper, but it’s still looking for its best XI as the club cycles through its many, many options (yes, even given the many injuries at Forest). That’s made Keylor Navas a wonderful signing, as the legendary Costa Rican goalkeeper has picked up where the injured Dean Henderson left off earlier this season as a star stopper.
City seems likely to start Phil Foden given the youngster was left on the bench to start the midweek win over Arsenal, and Foden’s chemistry with Erling Haaland was palpable earlier in the season. With Kevin De Bruyne in form and Haaland ending his scoreless run, Forest will have to be ready from Moment No. 1.
OUT: Giulian Biancone (knee), Omar Richards (calf), Taiwo Awoniyi (groin), Dean Henderson (thigh), Moussa Niakhate (thigh), Scott McKenna (thigh), Willy Boly (thigh), Jesse Lingard (knee), Ryan Yates (illness).
OUT: John Stones (thigh)
📋 TEAM NEWS 📋
XI | Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Bernardo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan (C), Foden, Grealish, Haaland
SUBS | Ortega Moreno, Phillips, Ake, Alvarez, Gomez, Akanji, Mahrez, Palmer, Lewis#ManCity | @HaysWorldwide pic.twitter.com/DmNINBJWkE
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 18, 2023