Sheffield United 1-2 Nottingham Forest: Brennan Johnson scores as Steve Cooper’s Reds seize play-off semi benefit

Sky Sports Football

Nottingham Forest took a major step in direction of reaching the Championship play-off closing as a dominant show helped them to a 2-1 semi-final first-leg win over Sheffield United.

Jack Colback took benefit of an ill-timed slip from Ben Osborn to fireside Steve Cooper’s males in entrance (10), earlier than Blades captain John Egan was caught in possession by Joe Lolley, permitting Brennan Johnson to fireside in an essential, ice chilly second (71).

However simply as hope fading for United, they pulled one again in second-half stoppage time, as Sander Berge bundled the ball over the road, regardless of replays suggesting Jack Robinson dealt with the ball earlier than doing the midfielder did so (90+1).

On Tuesday night time on the Metropolis Floor, the groups will go to battle as soon as extra – in a sport stay on Sky Sports activities Soccer – for a spot at Wembley on Sunday Might 29.

Tuesday seventeenth Might 7:30pm

Kick off 7:45pm

How Cooper’s Reds took a step in direction of Wembley

As South Yorkshire basked in temperatures of over 20 levels, there was a celebration environment at Bramall Lane, because the journey to Wembley started for 2 of the giants of the second tier.

In his programme notes, Paul Heckingbottom known as upon the Blades followers to “perceive how vital the position they’ve in what we are attempting to realize is” they usually responded as anticipated, making a deafening cauldron of noise that clearly spurred the gamers on to an encouraging begin.

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Jack Colback was available to place Nottingham Forest forward in opposition to Sheffield United of their first-leg encounter

It was practically rewarded early on, too, when Sander Berge was bundled to the deck as he attacked a free-kick, although referee Andre Marriner rapidly indicated that he can be taking no additional motion. However inside seconds, Forest took the lead.

Time appeared to face nonetheless for a second, as Joe Worrall’s speculative aerial ball discovered Sam Surridge, who squared for Philip Zinckernagel. Ben Osborn misplaced his footing, the Dane had a shot saved by Wes Foderingham, however Colback was available to bail out his team-mate and discover the web.

Sheffield United got here near drawing stage when John Egan’s highly effective, goalbound header was headed off the road by Surridge, nevertheless it was all Forest for the rest of the half – they might fairly fathomably have scored two or three extra targets.

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Brennan Johnson put Nottingham Forest 2-0 forward versus Sheffield United within the first leg of their Championship play-off conflict

Excessive-risk defending from the hosts allowed Johnson to drive into the field from midway to sting the Blades goalkeeper’s palms, earlier than Ryan Yates nodded extensive unmarked. Foderingham then made a vital save to disclaim Surridge from close-range, earlier than clawing Johnson’s header away seconds later.

Although United have been much less weak on the counter after the break, and their assaults grew to become extra coherent, time after time their ending left lots to be desired, whereas Brice Samba in a position to make quite a few easy catches from crosses into the field.

They usually have been architects of their very own downfall halfway by way of the second half, when Egan was too gradual to react to Lolley’s run, with the substitute in a position to get a shot away that was deflected into the trail of Johnson, who completed coolly.

The hosts did, nevertheless, discover a strategy to halve the deficit within the closing minutes, when Berge compelled the ball over the road to resume Blades hopes forward of Tuesday’s second leg.

What the managers stated…

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Regardless of dropping 2-1 to Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United supervisor Paul Heckingbottom was happy along with his aspect’s resilience as they gave themselves an opportunity of nonetheless progressing within the second leg.

Sheffield United’s Paul Heckingbottom: “Their gamers are coming off gutted and ours are coming off with an opportunity. It is half-time and we have been behind earlier than this season and are available again and received. We have got to get better and put together in addition to we are able to – that begins now.

“We went to the very finish and our objective was pivotal for us. We knew they’d be coming and countering. They have good gamers in transition and we weren’t ok.

“Within the second half we have been significantly better. They defended their field very well and clearly once they break, their alternatives come after we’re stretched. It was an error which led to their second objective, however credit score our gamers for combating again.”

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Nottingham Forest supervisor Steve Cooper was happy along with his aspect’s efficiency of their 2-1 first leg win over Sheffield United.

Nottingham Forest’s Steve Cooper: “I am not going to stroll out of right here irritated that we have taken a lead within the first leg of the play-offs. There’s frustration after all that we have conceded and we must always have scored greater than we did, nevertheless it was a correct play-off sport.

“Within the second half that they had extra of the ball than we might have favored, however we nonetheless seemed a risk. If somebody had stated we might have created that many possibilities in a sport of that pressure away from residence you would be very pleased with it. We have got lots of younger gamers who have not skilled video games like this. We’re very constructive and we won’t look forward to Tuesday now. Let’s go.”

Evaluation: ‘Sheff Utd can be happier aspect after late objective’

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Sander Berge’s late header pulled one again for Sheffield United in opposition to Nottingham Forest forward of the second leg.

Former Forest defender Michael Dawson on Sky Sports activities Soccer:

“Time will inform whether or not that objective will value Forest. They might have been much more forward. However at 2-0 there may be at all times that chance. Sheffield United can be lots happier now with the style wherein the sport ended.

“In the event you’d requested them earlier than the sport they’d have snapped your hand off for a 2-1 lead. However they will be so disenchanted with the objective they conceded.”

Former Sheff Utd midfielder Michael Brown on Sky Sports activities:

“That was the prospect, proper within the closing seconds, they wanted one thing going into the second leg. It was a disappointing efficiency total nevertheless it exhibits how tight it may be, if you will get one thing on the finish of it.

“Now there is a bit extra confidence on what was an actual troublesome afternoon for Sheffield United.”

Man of the Match – Brennan Johnson

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Brennan Johnson believes Nottingham Forest might have crushed Sheffield United in additional emphatic vogue, however he is assured his aspect will nonetheless progress to the Championship play-off closing.

“We’re in place from successful the sport. We performed effectively at the moment and had lots of possibilities. We might have favored the benefit to have been larger, however we’ll take any benefit going into Tuesday.”

What’s subsequent?

The play-off semi-final second leg will happen on the Metropolis Floor on Tuesday Might 17, stay on Sky Sports activities Soccer; Kick off 7.45pm. The winner will face both Huddersfield or Luton within the play-off closing at Wembley on Sunday Might 29.

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