Nottingham Forest secured a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Brentford at the City Ground on Saturday (5 November) to keep themselves within three points of safety.
Morgan Gibbs-White was in his element against the London side, creating two good chances for Brennan Johnson before curling in a fine strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to open his Nottingham account in the 20th minute.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers forward also had a chance to double the hosts’ lead minutes later, but he could only direct his shot straight at David Raya.
Brentford drew level from the spot shortly before halftime after Yoane Wissa was brought down by goalkeeper Dean Henderson, with Bryan Mbeumo sending the Englishman the wrong way.
Gibbs-White had a chance to restore his side’s lead some minutes into the second-half, but his effort went wide, and Steve Cooper’s side were made to pay for their misses after Wissa lobbed Henderson to put his side ahead with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Thomas Frank’s men appeared to have picked up all three points, but that all changed in the 96th minute when Gibbs-White’s shot ricocheted off Mathias Joergensen’s body and slightly crossed the goal-line before it was cleared.
The referee’s watch signalled that the ball had crossed the line, sending the home fans into wild jubilations as their team left it late to pick up a vital point that could prove very crucial in the relegation battle.
While Forest are still 20th in the Premier League table following two wins, four draws and eight defeats, only three points separate them from 17th-placed Bournemouth, and a win when they take on Crystal Palace next Saturday (12 November) could see them move out of the relegation zone before the World Cup break.
The Bees are yet to win away from home this season, and they struggled without the suspended Ivan Toney against Forest.
They have now drawn four and lost three league games on the road, and the result leaves them in 11th place in the Premier League table.
However, just six points are between them and Nottingham, and they will need to pick up a result when they travel to Manchester City this weekend if they wish to head into the break close to the top half of the log.
Brentford are clearly not guaranteed safety if their away form does not improve, but they will fancy their survival chances given the poor performances and consistent struggles of the teams below and around them in the table.
Nottingham spent around £152million on the acquisition of over 20 players in the summer transfer window, but it has not yielded the desired result and is proving to be a poor strategy.
They need their record-signing Gibbs-White, Jesse Lingard, striking duo Emmanuel Dennis and Taiwo Awoniyi and the majority of their players to start firing on all cylinders very soon if they are to play top-flight football in 2023-24.
Forest have only scored 10 goals (the second least) and conceded 30 goals (the second most), and failure to improve at both ends of the pitch could rob them of their Premier League status in the coming months.