Nottingham Forest vs Leeds – Premier League: Live score and updates

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Leeds LIVE: Tempers flare during a terse second half at the City Ground, with Steve Cooper’s side still holding on to Brennan Johnson’s brilliant first-half opener

Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for the Premier League clash between Nottingham Forest and Leeds. 

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Forest make misfiring Leeds pay the price with classy Johnson winner

We’ll leave it there I think for the day. Be sure to check out the match report from the City Ground here. Thanks for following this afternoon.

Huge roar from the Forest fans at the final whistle. They have seen their side ground out a huge three points against a potential relegation rival.

It now sees Forest pull six points clear of the relegation zone. Another disciplined performance from Steve Cooper’s side.

90+3min: Deary me. Meslier comes up to attack a rare Leeds set-piece pumped into the box, but it is cleared only as far as a Leeds attacker who after laying the ball off to Summerville, results in the forward blasting way off target. Sums Leeds up.

90+2min: Into four added minutes – the first of those seeing Surridge booked for kicking the ball away.

90min: Steve Cooper is perhaps getting a little confident the job is done himself now, throwing on debutant Andre Aywe into attack in place of defender Neco Williams.

87min: I don’t think Leeds have played that badly. Their performance does warrant a draw, but the trouble is since Forest opened the scoring early on they had the luxury to then not have to force the issues.

What’s happened is the game has turned into Forest asking Leeds what they have to throw at them, and the answer is not too much.

84min: Final change for Leeds as Sam Greenwood comes on to replace Jack Harrison as another forward is thrown on.

82min: I’ve been really impressed with Forest’s defending this afternoon. It’s been top class and Steve Cooper will be delighted with the display on offer.

It must be said though, Leeds’ new look attack have hardly done a thing. I can’t recall McKennie touching the ball – certainly not in a meaningful way. 

79min: Unlucky that! Leeds keeper Meslier punches the resulting free-kick out of the box, but the ball is soon returned to Surridge who with a bending first time effort curls a shot just over the crossbar on the edge of the area.

76min: Max Wober takes one for the team, preventing Forest from properly making headway with a counter attack by chopping down Surridge on the Forest left flank – picking up a yellow card in the process.

73min: There’s been a bit of a needle between these teams in this game and here comes another flash point, with Leeds about to take a throw-in only for a Forest player to kick the ball away. There are a few pushes and shoves between the players but it is quickly difused by the referee Robert Jones.

72min: Still Forest sit back, and still they soak this Leeds pressure up like the best sponge you own. They make a change up top for some fresh legs though as Sam Surridge comes on for Chris Wood.

69min: On comes Firpo, as well as new record signing Georginio Rutter as Patrick Bamford and Struijk depart.

66min: Pascal Stuijk, already on a booking, makes another foul with a shoulder barge and Forest fans are a smart bunch to now appeal for a red card. Looks soft to me, and perhaps a final warning, which is what the referee elects to side with, is the on-field call.

63min: Jesse Marsch is already looking at more changes given the way this match is now meandering into nothing. Junior Firpo one of those about to come on.

60min: An hour gone and while the ball remains in the Forest half, not much is really happening. 

The home side appear to be happy to let Leeds have the ball, and the visitors in turns are starting to run out of ideas on how to break them down.

57min: On comes McKennie then, joining the field with Crysencio Summerville as Luis Sinisterra and Marc Roca depart.

Can the US hitman help add some bite into what has been a pretty flat Leeds attack in this half so far.

55min: Neco Williams is then booked for stopping a quick Leeds free-kick. Leeds by the way are about to turn to Plan B – and that will be Weston McKennie who is getting ready to come on for his debut after his loan move from Juventus in what will be a double change.

54min: A case in point. Leeds lose the ball and instantly Neco Williams runs onto a through ball. Ayling recovers well to block his route to goal, before his eventual shot dips off target.

52min: It’s not Aurier booked though, but Willy Boly whose blatant trip on Tyler Adams was never going to go unpunished in the centre of the park. Leeds I would suggest remain on the front foot but Forest are keen to counter.

49min: If Forest’s plan in bringing on Aurier was to sop Gnonto – it’s not working. The winger once more attacks the left flank, winning a free-kick out of the former Spurs full-back who already is treading a thin line in regards to being booked.

48min: A little bit of action at both ends as Wilfried Gnonto goes down a little bit too easily in a tussle with Aurier on the byline, while at the other end, Morgan Gibbs-White heads a cross straight at Ilan Meslier.

Serge Aurier and Jack Colback are on for the hosts as Orel Mangala and Danio depart. Forest may be winning but Steve Cooper realises how fortunate his side were to be leading at the break.

45+1min: Into three added minutes of what has been an intriguing first half at the City Ground. Forest leading with their only shot on target – and what a hit it was too.

43min: And here’s another one! Gnonto picks out a lovely ball inside the box played over the top for him, with his first touch taking him away from a sea of defenders as he cuts inside. His follow up shot though is excellently saved by Navas.

41min: Brief stoppage in play as Navas goes down needing treatment to his shoulder following a clash with team-mate Willy Boly while defending a Leeds attack.

Steve Cooper will be impressed with the stopper on loan from PSG so far, given he has made a couple of smart saves already.

38min: This is better from Leeds though. Kind of. Gnonto cuts the ball back to Patrick Bamford but while he makes a mess of his shot by slicing the ball, it does end up at the feet of Luke Ayling, whose low strike across goal is well saved by Navas.

35min: Jesse Marsch is becoming a bit more agitated on the Leeds bench. He is waving his arms around wildly trying to encourage his team to inject more tempo to their game.

Of course he can do that himself by introducing McKennie but it’s perhaps a bit too early for the USA winger…

32min: No is the short answer, but Sinisterra could perhaps have done a bit better here. Wilfried Gnonto cushioning a volley into his path inside the box, only for the forward to steer the ball off target. Whatever boots he switched to – they are not his shooting ones.

29min: Danilo is booked for the hosts, bringing down Struijk for a foul. Can Leeds now take advantage?

26min: Leeds starting to slowly get back on top again, drawing ore or two defensive fouls from Forest now as they chase an equaliser.

5 – Brennan Johnson has been directly in each of Nottingham Forest’s last five goals in the Premier League, scoring three of them and assisting the other two. Hub.

20min: I’m a bit confused by Sinisterra’s issue here. Granted, he is fouled in the Forest half – which has resulted in his boot being kicked off.

However, rather than putting it back on, he now appears to be gesturing that the boot is broken. Two minutes later and he is still on the touchline, now sporting a new pair of football boots.

Bit of a strange few minutes – they don’t make them like they used to.

17min: It’s not unfair to suggest that the Forest goal has come against the run of play. Leeds had started much the brighter, but since conceding they have lost their way a little – with the home crowd roaring on their side now.

14min: What a hit that is! From the free-kick the ball is cleared to Brennan Johnson on the edge of the box, who gives it an almighty thump with his right foot to blast a volley home into the bottom corner. Next to no chance for Ilan Meslier in the Leeds goal.

12min: Good chance now for Forest as one of their first advances into the Leeds half sees them win a free-kick after  Pascal Struijk brings down Brennan Johnson.

9min: Nervous old start for Forest – Leeds have them camped inside their own half right now. Jesse Marsch will certainly be encouraged by this. The Whites just need to start creating some chances now.

6min: Bamford by the way came out holding a bouquet of flowers, it appears it could be related to the memory of former Forest owner Nigel Doughty, who passed away 11 years ago yesterday. He is understood to be good friends with Doughty’s son Michael, himself a former professional footballer.

3min: Top stop from Keylor Navas! The new Forest keeper is called straight into action after Luis Sinisterra does very well to weave his way through the defence before stabbing a low finish across goal. Navas though gets down low to make a crucial stop.

A reminder of the team news:

Nottm Forest: Navas, Williams, Boly, McKenna, Renan Lodi, Freuler, Mangala, Danilo, Gibbs-White, Johnson, Wood.
Subs: Felipe, Ayew, Worrall, Colback, Lingard, Hennessey, Surridge, Aurier, Gustavo Scarpa.

Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Cooper, Wober, Struijk, Adams, Roca, Sinisterra, Gnonto, Harrison, Bamford.
Subs: Firpo, Aaronson, Summerville, Robles, Rutter, Kristensen, McKennie, Greenwood, Fernandez.

Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside)

Leeds start the day only outside of the relegation zone on goal difference, but while they will target a win today, they haven’t won a top flight match at the City Ground since 1971…

…Forest meanwhile will be looking for a victory that will take them six points clear of the bottom three. Big match this one.

‘Yes I think we feel good and how we’ve been playing. Today it’s important to get a result.

‘Patrick [Bamford] for me is in his best form since I’ve known him. In training, he looks physically close to 100 per cent, and he’s got quality, scoring goals for fun.

‘With this group, we knew this was the best for this match. Weston [McKennie] has fit in well. We have three games, we need some rotation. He’ll feature from the start in one of these matches, but from the bench [today], he’ll be ready.

‘I don’t think it’s taken too much reinforcement to say points are at a premium now. But we have positivity too. Our squad is stronger. I feel good about the progress we’ve made. We need a result today to prove that.’

Don’t be deceived though, there’s still a typical February nip in the air ahead of kick-off at the City Ground.

Keylor Navas makes his debut for Nottingham Forest in the crunch Premier League fixture with Leeds.

Navas takes the gloves following his deadline day move from Paris St Germain, with fellow new signings Felipe and Andre Ayew on the bench.

Morgan Gibbs-White is a surprise return from injury while Chris Wood starts against his old club having been ineligible for the two Carabao Cup ties against Manchester United.

Leeds’ new signing Weston McKennie is on the bench, but Jack Harrison does start, despite a deadline-day move to Leicester falling through.

Not quite sure how the Harry stuff has found its way into Forest section but there you go – I wonder if there will be one or two people in the crowd reading that rather than the match programme.

📋 #LUFC Starting XI to face Forest

Your #NFFC side to face @LUFC at The City Ground. 🔢

Weston McKennie arrived at Leeds United on loan from Juventus on deadline day, but will Jesse Marsch throw him straight into the starting XI. We’ll find out in a few moments…

Of course part of the increased battle comes following yesterday’s high drama when a number of struggling sides picked up three points including Everton and Wolves who saw off Arsenal and Liverpool respectively.

We have just two games left this weekend, ending with Manchester City’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur after this encounter at the City Ground.

One minute your team looks to have the all clear, the next a defeat could leave them on the cusp of dropping into the relegation zone.

That brings us to two teams who know that feeling all too well this afternoon as I welcome you to our live coverage of Nottingham Forest vs Leeds United.

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