Epilogue — Bournemouth vs. Nottingham Forest— EFL Championship — 03/05/22
Exactly five months ago, I wrote an epilogue on Bournemouth’s clash with Fulham sub-titled ‘the two best sides in the division’.
So confident was I in my claim that I predicted them to be the two to go up automatically at the start of the season and maintained this view into the mid-season article.
Yet here we are.
Pole position to play for at The Vitality.
The home side, who have held an automatic spot for 200 days of the season, hosting their resilient contenders, who have made a near-unstoppable march up the table.
It seems as if Steve Cooper’s been there for two months and won everything.
But no, he’s been there for eight months and won everything.
A cup run, a league surge, and the transformation of a clumsy team into a team of all-stars who mesh.
The Championship whisperer doing his best work.
I also refrained from stating that The Cherries held their automatic spot firm, because the meal they have made rivals a dish of Jambalaya. They’ve slipped out, hopped back in, slid down, let those below dream, and vitally, left games in hand.
Which is why we’re here tonight.
The second and third best teams in the league.
That all-star mentality that has transformed Forest is undeniable. It seems as if Cooper could add anyone to this side and make them fit, or sell anyone within the side for £10M plus.
Bournemouth attempted to push, but Forest pushed them back further and further, forcing their line down a Cherry red throat.
But they stood fast.
Perhaps not confidently, but it was done, and the first half was survived.
Second half, different story.
Any Forest flash dwindled as the light of their still-fresh fire dimmed. The Cherries then took to pressing themselves. The confident youth of Jaidon Anthony and Jordan Zemura drove their side, but it was the experience and, eventually, a move off the training ground, the ground Forest down.
82nd minute, 1–0 Bournemouth. Kieffer Moore with the goal.
Ascension on the south coast.
Play-offs for Forest.
Just eight minutes of normal time and eight further minutes of injury time to navigate first.
A draw would still take it to the final day.
The offside flag became a hero on the coast.
The ‘keeper came up.
But they could nae stop the crowd invasion.
Poitier is back on the pedestal.
One of the aforementioned ‘two best teams in the division.’
But don’t take your eyes off of Forest…
Nobody wants to get lost in the woods.
Not when they’re as tactically tremendous as this one.
Congratulations to Bournemouth. Time to see what the new breed will do up top for this outstanding club.
Keep it streets ahead,