Championship
Nottm ForestNottingham Forest0SwanseaSwansea City1

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Swansea City: Roberts header secures Swans win

By Gareth VincentBBC Sport Wales
Connor Roberts rises high to head home his first goal of the season
Connor Roberts rises high to head home his first goal of the season

Swansea City climbed to fourth in the Championship as Connor Roberts' towering header gave them victory at Nottingham Forest.

Steve Cooper's team are just two points adrift of leaders Norwich City after Roberts' brave finish secured their third away league win of the campaign.

Wales defender Roberts rose high to put his team in front just before half-time and Forest could not find a response.

They were beaten at the City Ground for the first time under Chris Hughton, who had taken eight points from his four previous home games, and remain 21st in the table.

Hughton's men asked questions at times but were kept at bay by Swansea who, having conceded only eight Championship goals in 2020-21, have the best defensive record in English football's top four divisions.

They have lost only two of their 14 league games since defeat in last season's play-offs and continue to look like a team capable of mounting another promotion push.

Forest began the contest with purpose, Sammy Ameobi making an early burst down the left before centring for Lyle Taylor, whose shot rolled across the face of goal.

Hughton has made Forest hard to beat on their own patch, and they were putting pressure on Swansea's defence for much of the first half.

The hosts ought to have gone ahead on 39 minutes, when Anthony Knockaert cut in from the right flank on to his stronger left foot, only to drill a shot straight at Freddie Woodman, who kicked the ball clear.

Let off the hook, Swansea made Forest pay thanks to Roberts' prodigious leap.

Andre Ayew lofted a hopeful ball into the penalty area which Forest centre-back Scott McKenna flicked towards the back post, where wing-back Roberts rose high above the 6ft 4in Ameobi to place a header beyond Brice Samba and put his team ahead.

Tobias Figueiredo rises highest to win a header
Tobias Figueiredo rises highest to win a header

There was almost no celebration from Roberts, whose reward for scoring for the first time this season was a bang in the face which prompted a lengthy spell of treatment.

Swansea threatened to double their lead early in the second period, with Ayew flashing one acrobatic volley wide before a second effort was blocked.

Forest attacked again, with the home bench appealing - unconvincingly it must be said - for a penalty as Taylor failed to connect with a volley under pressure from Ryan Bennett.

Knockaert dragged a half-volley wide before Taylor headed well over the bar, meaning Swansea and Roberts could finally celebrate his decisive goal.

Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton:

"I certainly don't think we should have lost that game on the balance of play but credit to Swansea because they managed the game very well after the goal and they defended very well when they had to.

"It's a similar story for us where we've had good periods of possession in the final third but we have to be able to capitalise on those periods and we're not doing that at the moment.

"Against a good team like Swansea you're not going to get many clear-cut chances and that's why I'm disappointed that we didn't take the ones that came along for us.

"After a decent first seven games for myself, we've now gone into a really disappointing three-game period and what we have to do is get ourselves out of this period as quickly as possible and that has to start on Wednesday."

Swansea head coach Steve Cooper:

"I thought we were good for it. Forest are a good team. Apart from the teams that have come down from the Premier League, I think this is probably the strongest on paper - in experience and resource. You have to respect that.

"We did that but we also came here to win. All our motivation was around that, so to go and deliver a performance like that was really good.

"I would have like to score two or maybe three, but when that didn't happen you naturally give up a bit of territory and have to do a bit of defending.

"Freddie made an excellent save in the first half but apart from that I don't think he was really threatened."

Line-ups

Nottm Forest

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 30Samba
  • 2Christie
  • 3FigueiredoBooked at 74mins
  • 26McKennaBooked at 78mins
  • 5Ribeiro
  • 22Yates
  • 8ColbackSubstituted forArterat 37'minutesBooked at 51mins
  • 28Knockaert
  • 19GuerreroSubstituted forLolleyat 53'minutes
  • 11AmeobiSubstituted forSwanat 76'minutes
  • 33TaylorBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 6Mbe Soh
  • 12Smith
  • 16Jenkinson
  • 17Mighten
  • 18Ribeiro Dias
  • 23Lolley
  • 31Arter
  • 44Ioannou
  • 48Swan

Swansea

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1WoodmanBooked at 87mins
  • 26Naughton
  • 2Bennett
  • 5Guehi
  • 23Roberts
  • 7Smith
  • 6FultonBooked at 89mins
  • 24Bidwell
  • 8Grimes
  • 9LoweSubstituted forRoutledgeat 80'minutes
  • 10A Ayew

Substitutes

  • 3Manning
  • 13Benda
  • 14Gyökeres
  • 15Routledge
  • 20Cullen
  • 21Dhanda
  • 41Garrick
  • 44Cabango
  • 45Palmer
Referee:
Tony Harrington

Match Stats

Home TeamNottm ForestAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home13
Away13
Shots on Target
Home1
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away8
Fouls
Home17
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Nottingham Forest 0, Swansea City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 0, Swansea City 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Jake Bidwell.

  4. Post update

    Marc Guehi (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Anthony Knockaert (Nottingham Forest).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Jake Bidwell (Swansea City).

  7. Post update

    Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Booking

    Lyle Taylor (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Connor Roberts (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Lyle Taylor (Nottingham Forest).

  11. Post update

    Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Korey Smith.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Marc Guehi.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lyle Taylor (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Scott McKenna with a headed pass.

  14. Booking

    Jay Fulton (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Jay Fulton (Swansea City).

  16. Post update

    Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Tobias Figueiredo.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Connor Roberts (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Booking

    Freddie Woodman (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card.

  20. Post update

    Ryan Bennett (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich148421811728
2Bournemouth1476123131027
3Watford147521911826
4Swansea14752168826
5Reading148242318526
6Bristol City147341714324
7Brentford146532013723
8Stoke146442118322
9Blackburn1463527161121
10Middlesbrough14563149521
11Millwall144821210220
12Luton145451117-619
13Huddersfield145361819-118
14Cardiff144551713417
15QPR144551620-417
16Barnsley144461516-116
17Birmingham143741012-216
18Preston145181721-416
19Rotherham143471418-413
20Coventry143471424-1013
21Nottm Forest14338917-812
22Wycombe14248720-1310
23Sheff Wed14356712-58
24Derby14149621-157
View full Championship table

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