Dwight McNeil scored his first goal of the season to give Everton a precious three points with a 1-0 away win at Nottingham Forest on Saturday that moved them off the bottom of the Premier League table. Everton created the better chances and finally converted one of them when the ball fell to NcNeil at the back post and he drilled his shot into the net from a tight angle.
The Merseyside club moved to 18th in the table with seven points from 14 games. Had it not been for the 10-point deduction they were hit with for breaching Premier League profitability and sustainability rules they would be in 11th place above Chelsea. Everton on Friday lodged an appeal against the points sanction, the biggest in Premier League history.
For Forest, the defeat will add to the pressure on manager Steve Cooper with his side having won one of their last 10 games as they lie in 15th place with 13 points from 14 games.
Boos rang out around the City Ground as Forest looked bereft of ideas in the final 15 minutes and Everton were able to hold on for the win with some comfort.
It was a third away Premier League victory in a row for Sean Dyche’s side, and their sixth in eight away games in all competitions.
Beto, in the team for the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin, had an excellent chance to give them the lead when Forest keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos spilt the ball and the Portuguese forward had an empty net to aim at, but put the ball over the bar. Anthony Elanga fired wide for Forest when well placed and Morgan Gibbs-White hit the side-netting.
McNeil had another excellent chance to put Everton ahead but his low shot was cleared off the line by Murillo, who managed to shovel the ball onto the post and away to safety.
The home side started the second half the brighter and substitute Felipe struck the outside of the post, the closest they came to a goal in the game.
Forest thought they should have had a penalty when Abdoulaye Doucoure grabbed hold of the shirt of Ryan Yates at a corner but the Video Assistant Referee felt there had not been a clear error from the match officials.
It was perhaps a lucky escape for the visitors and shortly afterwards they took the lead, a potentially massive swing in their season in what is shaping up to be a third successive relegation battle.
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