Championship
Nottm ForestNottingham Forest1West BromWest Bromwich Albion2

Nottingham Forest 1-2 West Bromwich Albion: Matt Phillips fluke gives Baggies win

By James LawBBC Sport
West Brom equalise against Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest players react to Kyle Edwards' equaliser for West Brom

Matt Phillips' freak goal proved the match-winner for West Bromwich Albion as they came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest in Slaven Bilic's first game in charge.

Phillips whipped a mishit cross from the touchline over the head of Forest debutant Aro Muric, who appeared to misjudge the flight of the ball.

In a game of goalkeeping errors, Forest led when Matty Cash beat visiting keeper Sam Johnstone at his near post with a low, drilled strike from 20 yards.

Albion winger Kyle Edwards levelled with a shot that slipped through the grasp of on-loan Manchester City man Muric before Phillips' fluke completed the first-half comeback.

The second half was not as incident-packed, with midfielder Alfa Semedo lashing over and Michael Dawson's effort blocked as Sabri Lamouchi's side looked for a leveller on his managerial bow in England.

It was the wayward strike from former QPR and Blackpool winger Phillips that will live longest in the memory, as Muric appeared to pull his hand away from the ball thinking it was floating over his bar.

Forest had started promisingly, deservedly going ahead after some fine link-up play between Albert Adomah and Cash, who controlled on his chest before finding the net.

Edwards - on only his seventh league start for the Baggies - turned makeshift right-back Cash inside out before shooting across Muric to level, while England Under-19 defender Nathan Ferguson was arguably the most impressive of five debutants for ex-West Ham boss Bilic's side.

It is the first time Forest, starting for the ninth successive season with a different manager, have lost an opening-day league match at the City Ground since 1983.

For West Brom, their recovery mirrors last season, when only promoted Aston Villa (29) won more points from losing positions than the Baggies (27).

Nottingham Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi:

"We need to learn from our mistakes. We gave them two goals and that is not easy, to come back from that.

"When you start in the right way, as we did with the goal from Matty, you cannot allow the opponent to come back into the game.

"The second goal can happen. Many goalkeepers would have conceded that goal. The first one was of the type that can be avoided.

"But Aro is a young keeper and he has a lot of quality. He will help us a lot this season. He needs to learn from this."

West Bromwich Albion head coach Slaven Bilic:

"I am very pleased, of course. You only need to look around at the crowd and the stadium - this is Premier League. It was like a Premier League game.

"But what I was not happy with, with the quality we have and the team we have, was something else. You do not always have to score goals. But there were situations where we should have created chances and we did not.

"I felt that we were happy to be winning 2-1 - and 2-1 can mean nothing. I want us to be confident, to have the composure and not to panic. That is the only part of the game - and it is a major part of the game - that I was not happy with.

"We should have created five good chances in the second half. We were one pass, one bit of confidence or one decision short in key moments."

Line-ups

Nottm Forest

  • 49Muric
  • 11Cash
  • 20Dawson
  • 4Worrall
  • 18Robinson
  • 8Watson
  • 37Adomah
  • 28SilvaSubstituted forMirat 62'minutes
  • 17SemedoSubstituted forJohnsonat 88'minutes
  • 23LolleySubstituted forAmeobiat 72'minutes
  • 7Grabban

Substitutes

  • 2Ribeiro
  • 3Figueiredo
  • 12Smith
  • 14Mir
  • 19Ameobi
  • 40Johnson
  • 45Richardson

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 36Ferguson
  • 6Ajayi
  • 5Bartley
  • 3GibbsSubstituted forTownsendat 71'minutes
  • 8Livermore
  • 19SawyersBooked at 85mins
  • 10Phillips
  • 7Krovinovic
  • 21EdwardsSubstituted forHarperat 84'minutes
  • 9ZohoreSubstituted forBurkeat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Furlong
  • 14Townsend
  • 16Harper
  • 17Burke
  • 20Leko
  • 23Bond
  • 27O'Shea
Referee:
Darren England
Attendance:
27,592

Match Stats

Home TeamNottm ForestAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home15
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Nottingham Forest 1, West Bromwich Albion 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 1, West Bromwich Albion 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lewis Grabban (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Matthew Cash with a cross.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matthew Cash (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Brennan Johnson.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sammy Ameobi (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ben Watson with a cross.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Brennan Johnson replaces Alfa Semedo.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion).

  8. Post update

    Ben Watson (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Alfa Semedo.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joe Worrall (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Michael Dawson (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matthew Cash.

  12. Booking

    Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rafa Mir (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Rekeem Harper replaces Kyle Edwards because of an injury.

  16. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  17. Post update

    Delay in match because of an injury Kyle Edwards (West Bromwich Albion).

  18. Post update

    Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Conor Townsend.

  19. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Jack Robinson.

  20. Post update

    Nathan Ferguson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.