Sterling, Jackson score late as Chelsea win 3-2 over Forest

DailyStar || Shining BD

Published: 5/12/2024 4:16:03 AM
Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson celebrates scoring their third goal with Malo Gusto and Reece James. Photo: Reuters

Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson celebrates scoring their third goal with Malo Gusto and Reece James. Photo: Reuters

Late goals from Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson lifted Chelsea to a 3-2 victory at Nottingham Forest, who edged within a whisker of securing their Premier League survival on Saturday without being able to pop the Champagne corks.

Mykhailo Mudryk also scored for Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea, who are seventh in the table with two games remaining, fuellng their hopes in the race for a European spot next season.

With a game remaining at already relegated Burnley, Forest are 17th and three points clear of 18th-placed Luton Town, but with a vastly-superior goal difference should ensure their top flight status.

"You never know in football," Forest midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi told Premier League Productions. "There's one game left but hopefully we're safe now and we can focus on Burnley next weekend."

Chelsea, who have won their last three Premier League games after an inconsistent campaign, head to Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday then host Bournemouth to close the season on May 19.

"The best thing is the way that we always believe until the end, football is about fighting," Pochettino told Sky Sports. "It was important for the team to finish the season strong, with the hope to start next season really well.

"If we are honest we were punished in our first 10 games," he added. "Our performance was good but we were not clinical and we wasted big chances... in the last 24 games we are in the top four or five."

Chelsea got on the scoreboard in the sixth minute when Cole Palmer sent a through ball to Mudryk, who swept a shot into the far bottom corner. With the assist Palmer, joined Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins with the most goal involvements in the league this season with 31.

Strikes from Willy Boly in the 16th minute and Callum Hudson-Odoi in the 74th made for a carnival atmosphere at the City Ground, with Forest needing only a single point from the match to guarantee their survival after Luton's defeat to West Ham earlier on Saturday.

But Sterling scored the equaliser in the 80th minute and then Jackson silenced the Forest crowd two minutes later when he headed in a cross from skipper Reece James, who played his first game in five months after undergoing hamstring surgery. James ran onto a ball over the top before lifting a cross to Jackson, who headed home from five yards out.

"It's been a long wait for me so I'm happy to come back into the team," James told Sky Sports. "We're still young but we are improving and we're coming strong at the end of the season.

"Cole Palmer is one of the best in the world, I think personally. At (Manchester) City he didn't play as much as he would like but he has come here and taken the chance with both hands."

Palmer appeared surprised by the compliment, saying: "I wouldn't go that far. But it's nice to hear. It's all new to me. This is my first season playing properly in the league. It was a very important win and now we focus on the next one."

Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo and his players walked around the pitch applauding the home fans in their final home game of the season.

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