Taiwo Awoniyi scorer of NFFC first Premier League goal of 2022/23, Declan Rice missed penalty against Nottingham, Benrahma disallowed goal

By Soccer Blog | Aug 16, 2022

Nottingham Forest’s first home game in the top flight after 23 years saw them beat David Moyes’ West Ham 1-0 at the City Ground. Here are our talking points from the clash.

Taiwo Awoniyi scorer of Forest’s first Premier League goal of 22/23

Who scored Forest’s first Premier League goal of the 22-23 season will be a pub quiz question for the future, and new NFFC signing Taiwo Awoniyi wrote himself into the club history books as he netted NFFC’s first goal of the 22/23 season. He might not have known much about it- the ball ricocheted off him and past Lukasz Fabianski, but it was just reward for the young striker’s first half efforts.

Forest 1-0 West Ham 2022

Declan Rice missed penalty against Nottingham Forest

Bad as they were in the first half, West Ham were a much better side after the interval and were given a penalty after Tomas Soucek’s shot was blocked by McKenna’s arm. However Rice produced a very disappointing penalty (no power whatsoever) and Dean Henderson comfortably saved the spot kick, giving Forest three priceless points.

Dean Henderson performance vs West Ham

Speaking of Henderson, this was another fine performance from the on-loan United youngster in goal given David de Gea’s struggles for the Red Devils over the weekend against Brentford. Some of his reaction saves were top notch, and he had a big role to play in getting Forest their first Premier League win of the millenium.

Benrahma disallowed goal vs Forest

Slightly controversial, but VAR disallowed Benrahma’s goal for Michail Antonio’s alleged bodycheck on Mangala. Antonio claimed that he could do nothing to stop Mangala from clattering into him, but VAR thought otherwise and so did the on-field referee after checking the TV on the sideline.

West Ham chances vs Forest

Speaking of the Hammers they had plenty of chances against Forest

A penalty saved (Rice)
Benrahama and Fornals both hitting the crossbar
Zouma goal line clearance
Benrahma disallowed goal
Soucek header saved by Henderson

They actually dominated the game on xG too (see xG map below), and on the balance of play, deserved at least a point, if not all three.

xG Forest vs West Ham 2022-23

Said Benrahma vs Forest

There’ve been talks of Said Benrahma being sold (to Forest) and he produced a fine performance here at the City Ground. His relationship with David Moyes has never quite been the best, but the midfielder was perhaps the best Hammer on show against Forest, and deserves more chances to show the full extent of his talent.

Ben Johnson at CB against Forest?

With injuries and player sales (Issa Diop) severely limiting their defensive options, West Ham were forced to play Ben Johnson out of position at centre back alongside Kurt Zouma, who also seemed to be limping from time to time. The Hammers need to sign someone in that position if they are to harbour ambitions of having a season as successful as the just concluded 21/22 one.

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