Manchester City Fail to Return to EPL Top As Chris Wood’s Late Strike Held The Citizens At City Ground

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    Manchester City conceded a late goal to settle for a disappointing draw with Nottingham Forest at City Ground.

    Manchester City

    Starting Lineup

    Nottingham Forest: Keylor Navas; Serge Aurier, Felipe, Joe Worrall, Renan Lodi; Danilo, Jack Colback, Jonjo Shelvey; Roman Freuler, Morgan Gibbs-White; Brennan Johnson

    Manchester City: Ederson; Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Bernardo Silva; Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan; Phil Foden, Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish.

    Pep Guardiola produced another five-star display against Steve Cooper’s men at City Ground, dominating the game throughout the first half.

    Manchester City

    Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, and Jack Grealish brought their class to bear as they provided enough leverage for City to hold sway over the game.

    After the 6-0 loss at Etihad, it was evident from the run of play that Steve Cooper wanted to just secure at least a point against City.

    The Premier League champions turned City Ground to Etihad, wielding 85% of the ball possession and penetrating the Forest box at will.

    A good chunk of the game was played in Nottingham Forest’s half, as the home side sat back trying to nib Grealish and Phil Foden in the flanks.

    Manchester City

    Lodi and Serge Aurier did a great job for Nottingham Forest at the wing-back, but it was evident City were all in for a deserved first-half win.

    The pace, pressure, possession, and attempts were all tilted with the Premier League champions firmly in control.

    While Steve Cooper effectively silenced Erling Haaland upfront with his all-man defense tactics, the likes of Bernardo and Rodri were potent threats.

    Manchester City nearly took the lead courtesy of Rodri’s header, but it was off target.

    Manchester City

    City completed most of their passes in Nottingham Forest’s half but had to battle with the brink wall and all-man defense deployed by Steve Cooper.

    The host successfully foiled threats inside their box but had one of their center-backs Warrall booked as pressure from City continue to mount.

    After a dragging first half that nearly ended barren, Bernardo fired a thunderbolt pass Navas outside Nottingham Forest’s box to open the scoring for City.

    It was a deserved goal for a clinical play by the star-studded side.

    Manchester City

    Despite trailing by a lone goal, Nottingham Forest continued with their underwhelming show in front of their home fans, with no single attempt or attacking threat.

    City went into the first half with the narrow 0-1 lead and was rightly returning to the top of the Premier League table with the lead.

    A deceptive 4-3-2-1 formation deployed by Cooper proved abortive against Manchester City’s firing power.

    Evidently, the home side needed to reshuffle the setup if they wanted to get something from the game.

    But it was looking unlikely. Pep Guardiola matched his star-studded side with a perfect 3-2-4-1 formation, lining up six attacking midfielders in the middle of the park.

    Nottingham Forest rarely broke out of their own half and were constantly under attack even in the second half.

    However, City crossed the hour mark of the game without doubling the lead.

    In a shock move that changed the direction of the game, Steve Cooper subbed off Colback, Shelvey, Lodi, and Aurier for Williams, Mangala, Toffolo, and Woods.

    After few minutes of coming on, Chris Wood secured an equaliser for Nottingham Forest in the 84th minute after he easily volleyed home a cross into the box following a quick counterattack on City.

    It was a turning point in the game. Forest then held off City’s late pressure to secure a vital point against the Premier League champions.

    Manchester City have now failed to return to the top of the Premier League table after the draw and are two points behind Arsenal, who have a game in hand.

    Video Highlights;

    https://youtu.be/NEGeqoR9XIk

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