Manchester City fell two points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal after being held to a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Arsenal left it very late to beat Aston Villa 4-2 earlier on Saturday and climbed back to the top of the standings, putting pressure on City to earn victory at Forest, with the visitors starting the encounter at a blistering pace.
City dominated possession and deservedly took the lead four minutes before the break with Bernardo Silva slamming the ball into the net from the edge of the box.
The visitors should have doubled their advantage midway through the second half but the usually lethal Erling Haaland hit the crossbar from close range before blazing the rebound over the top.
That miss proved pivotal as, out of nowhere, Forest’s January signing Chris Wood tapped home at the far post to level six minutes from time and lift the roof off a damp City Ground.
The champions threw everything at Forest in search of a dramatic late winner but they could not break the hosts’ resistance, leaving City two points behind Arsenal having played one game more. Forest climbed to 13th.
It is one of the best games we have played but we drop two points,” City coach Pep Guardiola told the BBC. “We should be more aggressive. There are many games still to play, we know it.
“We had amazing chances but it’s football. We have to score. We did everything. You have to do it. There were too many clear [chances] to score.”
HAALAND WASTES CHANCE
City beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday to drag themselves back to the top of the standings after having trailed the Londoners for much of the season.
Victory over Forest, whom they beat 6-0 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, was expected, with the only downside in an impressive first-half display being that City were unable to score more than once to make their dominance count.
Haaland, eyeing a 33rd goal in all competitions in his remarkable debut season in England, had to wait for his moment, but his wastefulness ended up costing City all three points.
The Norwegian looked odds on to find the net after his own effort came back to him off the crossbar but he got underneath the rebound effort and put the ball into the stands.
Wood’s first goal for Forest since joining from Newcastle United on loan could not have been better timed, earning his side a valuable point in their fight to stay in the Premier League and damaging City’s title tilt in the process.
City failed to beat a newly-promoted side in the top flight for the first time since April 2021 when they lost to Leeds United — they had won nine such games in a row before Saturday’s draw.
“For me Manchester City are the best team in the world,” Forest coach Steve Cooper said. “They are fascinating to watch and study. There was no shame City had the ball as much as they did.
“I owe a lot of gratitude to the players for sticking to the plan.”
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