Ghana's No. 1

Johnson gives Forest win to add pressure on Marsch

Published on: 05 February 2023

Brennan Johnson struck the winner with his fifth Premier League goal of the season

Brennan Johnson scored the only goal as Nottingham Forest beat Leeds to move six points clear of the relegation places.

Forest were second best throughout the first half but led at the break thanks to Johnson's thumping 14th-minute strike.

After Leeds failed to clear a free-kick on the right, the ball bounced up for the Wales forward to rifle it into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The hosts were indebted to debutant goalkeeper Keylor Navas, on loan from Paris St-Germain, who made important first-half saves from Wilfried Gnonto, Luke Ayling and Luis Sinisterra, who put Leeds' best chance of the game over the bar from six yards out.

Leeds' threat all but vanished in the second period and Forest comfortably held on for a third victory in five Premier League games, moving up to the 13th in the table.

Meanwhile, Jesse Marsch's Leeds have now gone seven league games without a win and stay 17th, above the relegation zone only on goal difference.

    Follow all of Sunday's Premier League actionHow did you rate Forest's performance? Have your say hereWhat did you make of Leeds' display? Send us your views here

Navas shows his class on Premier League debut

Of Forest's 29 signings since the start of last summer, Navas - a three-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid - was perhaps the biggest name.

He quickly showed why he is so highly rated, racing off his line and getting down sharply to deny Sinisterra inside the first two minutes.

Forest struggled to getting going at all in the first half with ventures into the Leeds half few and far between and while the visitors by no means laid siege to Navas' goal, the Costa Rican was there to make a number of crucial interventions when called upon.

Ayling and Gnonto had goalbound efforts repelled with the former also seeing his header back across goal clawed away by Navas ahead of the waiting Patrick Bamford.

Keylor Navas made a number of important saves on his Nottingham Forest debut

With Steve Cooper's side much improved after the break, Navas had a much quieter stint but had already proved his worth.

A reliable goalscorer is often touted as crucial in a relegation scrap - Johnson is beginning to step up to that role - but a goalkeeper to bail you out when you're not at your best is priceless.

Even at 36, Navas looks perfectly equipped to be that man for Forest.

Leeds rue missed chances - again - before fading

Another dispiriting result leaves Leeds without a Premier League since 5 November.

Even taking into account the break for the World Cup, it is a statistic that makes for grim reading for their supporters.

Given the way Marsch's side started at the City Ground, it could so easily have been the day they snapped that winless streak.

They were bright, popping the ball around quickly and creating openings with the impressive Gnonto central to their threat.

However, they were let down by an all too familiar failing as a number of presentable chances were passed up.

Gnonto squared for Sinisterra, who leaned back and blazed his shot over the bar. The Italian winger then cut the ball back for Bamford, who fluffed the shot; Ayling kept it alive but put his shot too close to the goalkeeper.

Then Gnonto himself had a chance, pouncing on an error by Neco Williams, but his near-post effort was pushed away.

As well as Navas played, more than once Leeds really shouldn't have given him a chance.

Perhaps even more worrying for Leeds was a second half in which they not only failed to create any clear chances but rarely even got themselves in a position to do so.

Marsch was backed in the transfer window and with pressure on him building, he must hope his new recruits - one of whom, Weston McKennie, made his debut off the bench - can help change his side's fortunes quickly.

    Visit our Nottingham Forest pageGo straight to all the best Leeds content
    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsNottm Forest

Formation 4-3-1-2

12Navas7N Williams30Boly26McKenna32Lodi28dos Santos de Oliveira23Freuler5Mangala10Gibbs-White20Johnson39Wood

    12Navas7N WilliamsBooked at 55minsSubstituted forA Ayewat 90'minutes30BolyBooked at 52mins26McKenna32Lodi28dos Santos de OliveiraBooked at 30minsSubstituted forColbackat 45'minutes23Freuler5MangalaSubstituted forAurierat 45'minutes10Gibbs-White20Johnson39WoodSubstituted forSurridgeat 73'minutesBooked at 90mins


    4Worrall8Colback11Lingard13Hennessey16Surridge24Aurier31Furtado Scarpa34A Ayew38Felipe


Formation 4-2-3-1


    1Meslier2Ayling6Cooper39WöberBooked at 77mins21StruijkBooked at 13minsSubstituted forFirpoat 67'minutes12Adams8RocaSubstituted forMcKennieat 57'minutes23SinisterraSubstituted forSummervilleat 57'minutes11HarrisonSubstituted forGreenwoodat 83'minutes29Gnonto9BamfordSubstituted forRutterat 67'minutes



Referee:Robert JonesAttendance:29,363Match StatsHome TeamNottm ForestAway TeamLeedsPossessionHome31%Away69%ShotsHome6Away10Shots on TargetHome2Away4CornersHome0Away2FoulsHome15Away14Live Text Post update

Match ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Leeds United 0.

90'+5'Full Time

Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Leeds United 0.

90'+3'Post update

Attempt missed. Crysencio Summerville (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Wilfried Gnonto following a set piece situation.

90'+2'Post update

Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90'+2'Post update

Foul by Renan Lodi (Nottingham Forest).


Sam Surridge (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card.

90'+1'Post update

Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90'+1'Post update

Foul by Renan Lodi (Nottingham Forest).

90'Post update

Foul by Luke Ayling (Leeds United).

90'Post update

André Ayew (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the left wing.


Substitution, Nottingham Forest. André Ayew replaces Neco Williams.

89'Post update

Crysencio Summerville (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89'Post update

Foul by Remo Freuler (Nottingham Forest).

85'Post update

Foul by Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds United).

85'Post update

Renan Lodi (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84'Post update

Hand ball by Remo Freuler (Nottingham Forest).


Substitution, Leeds United. Sam Greenwood replaces Jack Harrison.

83'Post update

Foul by Weston McKennie (Leeds United).

83'Post update

Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82'Post update

Georginio Rutter (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Page 1 of 6rewindpreviousNavigate to the next pagenextNavigate to the last pageforward

    Our coverage of your Premier League club is bigger and better than ever before - here's everything you need to know to make sure you never miss a moment


This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.
Learn more