Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday, February 18.
Forest entered this contest on the back of three defeats, one win, and one draw in their last five games across competitions. They lost 2-0 to Fulham in their last league outing after conceding both early and late in the game. Hence, Steve Cooper and his team were eager to push further away from the relegation zone.
City, on the other hand, had won four and lost one of their last five games across competitions. They secured a massive 3-1 win over Arsenal to temporarily leapfrog them on the table. Pep Guardiola named a strong lineup for this game as he looked to piece together a winning streak.
Manchester City bossed possession from the get-go as they looked to score early goals. They kept the ball for a staggering 84% of the first half, attempting nine shots on goal. They passed the ball around 397 times in just the first period, preventing Nottingham Forest from building any momentum.
After extended spells of pressure, Manchester City opened the scoring via a spectacular effort from Bernardo Silva. Jack Grealish did well to pause before passing to the Portuguese, who shot across the goal with the outside of his left foot in a display of pure technical genius. The visitors led 1-0 at the break.
Manchester City came out for the second half looking to seal the deal by extending their lead and defending it with purpose. After their utter dominance in the first period, the possession was shared slightly more equally, with Nottingham Forest keeping the ball for 38% of the time, while City had it for the remaining 62%.
The visitors attempted 14 shots, with just five of them on target. Both managers made multiple changes as they looked to alter the scoreline to snatch a late result. Morgan Gibbs-White then sent the crowd into raptures as he provided an assist for Chris Wood to score from to make it 1-1 with less than four minutes left on the clock.
Nottingham Forest held on as they secured an incredible 1-1 draw against Manchester City. On that note, let's take a look at the five talking points from the game.
#5. Manchester City looked casual in front of goal
With over 20 shots attempted, City were absolutely wasteful with the truckload of chances they created. They hit the target just six times out of those 23 attempts despite also dominating possession. Bernardo Silva scored the only goal for Manchester City, a stunning effort from distance that took some hitting. Besides that, they posed little to no threat.
#4. Nottingham Forest had their fans as the 12th man
As both teams walked on to the pitch prior to kick-off, they were greeted with a loud chorus of fans in red shirts singing and cheering for Nottingham Forest. Their passion from the stands was transmitted to their team as they dug deep and did not concede more than one goal.
Despite momentary silence after Bernardo Silva scored, the home fans began cheering for their team once again towards the end as they showed great character to secure a point.
#3. Manchester City have lost ground on Arsenal
The Gunners came back from 2-1 down at half-time to secure a mammoth 4-2 win over Aston Villa earlier in the day. They are now on 54 points from 23 games, while Manchester City are on 52 points from 24 games.
With an extra game in hand, Arsenal could potentially be five points clear at the top should they secure victory in that one.
#2. Forest are likely to avoid relegation
With the board backing manager Steve Cooper and investing heavily towards bringing new personnel to the club, the team looks like they have enough resources to stay afloat. Following the spirited draw, Nottingham Forest have climbed to 13th in the table with 25 points from 23 games.
#1. Erling Haaland struggled to find his feet
Haaland had a poor game as he failed to hit the target despite two attempts. Despite playing for the entire 90 minutes, he had just 17 touches of the ball, out of which he gave possession away five times.
He also won just one of his six duels and played only eight accurate passes throughout the course of the game.