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Chelsea 2-2 Nottingham Forest: Sterling and Awoniyi star in thrilling draw at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 2-2 Nottingham Forest: Sterling and Awoniyi star in thrilling draw at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea and Nottingham Forest played out a pulsating 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, with Raheem Sterling and Taiwo Awoniyi firmly under the spotlight with a brace each.

The Blues began on the front foot, dominating proceedings early on with Steve Cooper’s side happy to suck up the pressure and counter when the opportunity arose.

Despite monopolising possession, Frank Lampard’s side were guilty of lacking inventiveness in the final third, which has been a common theme for the goal-shy Blues.

It did not take long for the relegation-battling Forest to make Chelsea pay for their lack of cutting edge in front of goal, with Awoniyi opening the scoring just 13 minutes in.

Lampard rang up the changes with the Englishman keen for every player to prove their worth, and Edouard Mendy, who had not featured since November, was one of the fresh faces in the starting XI.

However, the Senegalese goalkeeper reintroduced himself to the Chelsea faithful with a howler.

Mendy misjudged a Renan Lodi cross, and Awoniyi was all too grateful for the mistake, with the Nigerian striker heading into an empty net.

It was all bark and no bite from the toothless Blues, who found difficulty breaking down Forest’s dogged backline, and the Tricky Trees went into the half-time interval with a precious lead.

Chelsea needed the half-time break to re-strategise, and whatever Lampard said in the dressing room worked a treat with the Blues bursting onto the scene in the second period.

Sterling restored parity six minutes after the restart after firing home a Trevoh Chalobah cut-back before expertly sitting Felipe on the floor to curl home his second in the 58th minute.

Having turned the game on its head, the onus was on the endangered Forest to muster a fightback, and they duly delivered with Awoniyi levelling matters with his second of the game in the 62nd minute.

Cooper would have been pleased with his side’s rapid response to going behind, but they needed that defensive resilience they showed in the first half to ensure they left West London with a crucial point.

Both sides went back and forth in a quest to snatch a winner, but ultimately, they were forced to settle for a share of the spoils, leaving the Tricky Trees just three points adrift of the relegation zone.

Lampard’s side failed to build on their previous success against Bournemouth and are poised to finish an appalling season in the bottom half of the Premier League table.

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