Nottingham Forest’s Premier League survival hopes got a massive boost as Taiwo Awoniyi’s brace helped them to a 4-3 win at City Ground stadium over bottom club Southampton whose 10-year stay in the top flight looked to be coming to an end.
In a raucous atmosphere on a rain-soaked night, Forest established a two-goal cushion on three occasions – and each time the visitors responded to pull themselves back into the contest.
Taiwo Awoniyi scored twice in the first half and though Carlos Alcaraz pulled one back, Morgan Gibbs-White looked to have ended any hope of a comeback when his penalty restored Forest’s two-goal lead.
The drama continued into the second half when substitute Lyanco’s header pulled one back. But with Southampton pushing for an equaliser, Danilo converted after a delightful flick from Gibbs-White. James Ward-Prowse’s penalty was too little, too late.
The result moves Steve Cooper’s side above Everton, Leicester and Leeds into 16th position on 33 points, three points above the drop zone. Ruben Selles’ Southampton is now eight points from safety with only three games to play, their fate all but sealed.
Southampton must win all three remaining games and hope either Forest doesn’t pick up another point, or Everton fails to get more than one, otherwise they will be back in the English Football League Championship for the first time since 2012.
Nottingham Forest is currently 16th in the premier league table with three matches left to play. Their remaining matches are against Chelsea on May 13, Arsenal on May 20 and Crystal Palace on May 28.
Southampton’s next three fixtures are against Fulham on May 13, Brighton Hove & Albion on May 21 and Liverpool on May 28.