Luton 1-1 Nottingham Forest: Glen Rea scores at both ends in Kenilworth Road draw

Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash at Kenilworth Road as Glen Rea scores at both ends as Nottingham Forest earn draw. Rea nets in the first half before putting through his own net in the second.

Wednesday 28 October 2020 22:14, UK

Nottingham Forest extended manager Chris Hughton’s unbeaten Sky Bet Championship run to four games since taking over this month with a 1-1 draw at Luton.

The visitors had to play the entire second half with just 10 men as well after Nicholas Ioannou was sent off just before the break for a foul on Martin Cranie.

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Despite trailing to Glen Rea’s goal, the visitors looked the stronger and fought back to level through Ryan Yates’ header to leave with what was a deserved point.

In the first half, returning home striker James Collins saw his shouts for a penalty turned down after a close-range effort appeared to strike a hand, while visiting attacker Anthony Knockaert’s cross flew narrowly wide of the far post.

Knockaert almost turned provider, his clever through-ball finding the onrushing Lyle Taylor, only for Town goalkeeper Simon Sluga to make a fine save at his feet.


The Hatters then went up the other end and took the lead after 22 minutes when a corner saw Cranie appear to be tripped, but referee Tim Robinson did not whistle for a penalty and Rea slotted home his first goal for the club in over two years.

The visitors’ task became even harder two minutes before the break when Ioannou was sent off for a late challenge on Cranie, official Robinson deeming it worthy of a straight red.

After the break, Rhys Norrington-Davies’ near-post effort was gathered by goalkeeper Brice Samba, while Reds midfielder Joe Lolley fired a 35-yard effort wide.

However, Forest did equalise after 64 minutes when a deep cross by Cyrus Christie from the right was met by the run of Yates, who powered a header beyond Sluga and into the net for his first goal of the campaign.

Knockaert’s drive was blocked by Tom Lockyer as the visitors appeared to have the man advantage at times in the second period, while Yates’ chip from 40 yards was easily collected by Sluga.

Rea had a chance of getting his second as he sent a volley over the crossbar from close range when a corner dropped to him in an inviting position.

In an end-to-end finale, Yates saw his low 22-yarder well stopped by Sluga, diving to his right.

A long ball forward then saw Luton substitute Jordan Clark beat the offside trap and tried to deceive Samba at his near post, forcing the keeper to parry.

Knockaert tried his luck with a curled effort in stoppage time but could not find the target as the spoils were ultimately shared.

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Manchester City learn how to grind it out despite growing injury list

Manchester City learn how to grind it out as Pep Guardiola’s side put injuries behind them to edge out Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal thanks to Raheem Sterling winner

  • Manchester City edged past Arsenal 1-0 thanks to Raheem Sterling’s winner 
  • Pep Guardiola’s side have several injuries to key players but still managed to win
  • Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy missed the Arsenal win
  • Guardiola may have to reshuffle his pack for the Champions League this week 

Pep Guardiola went all Zen. 

‘The mind and head can always control your body,’ he said, a mantra that should chime among a wounded Manchester City. ‘We had the willing to make more effort.’

The injuries, most of them muscular, keep coming —Aymeric Laporte, Kevin De Bruyne, Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus the headline absentees this week — but here was some fibre. 

Pep Guardiola’s injury hit Manchester City side edged past Arsenal 1-0 on Saturday evening

Raheem Sterling (middle) scored the winner as his good form against Arsenal continued

City ground out their victory and these strange times have left their manager reaching for different qualities.

He has almost abandoned the obsession with a perfect build-up from the back for now, knowing that City are nowhere near their fluid best. The words stable and solid rolled off the tongue.  

Guardiola always demands the fundamentals but it is rare that he openly fixates on them. Yet that is where City are: searching for form. 

City have Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy injured but City still won

Trouble is, the Premier League will not wait and results are a necessity while they attempt to find rhythm. 

Ruben Dias, whose first two appearances at centre half since moving from Benfica have been solid and stable, is learning on the job. Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero both featured for the first time this season.

This is by no means ideal for a team who fell woefully short last year and, before any normal campaign, would have found pre-season on Guardiola’s watch a gruelling experience.

City were not afforded that — they had a little over a week’s worth of sessions — and now they are playing catch-up, particularly when only half a dozen outfield first-team players have remained injury or Covid-free in the first month.

Guardiola’s City have played a game less so they are playing catch-up in the Premier League

Irrespective of money spent or squad depth, that is a scenario most teams could not contend with.

‘We’d love to train more,’ Guardiola said. ‘But we are not an exception, the teams competing in Europe are the same.’ Although he did add: ‘Liverpool and Arsenal started (training) three weeks before us.’

In this strangest of seasons, however, City can still go level on points with the defending champions should they beat Aston Villa in their game in hand. 

And despite shipping five at home against Leicester, City somehow have a break-even goal difference.

Arsenal, meanwhile, showed glimpses and forced Ederson into two stunning stops, but they still have not beaten a Big Six rival away from the Emirates since January 2015.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (left) said he was proud of his players’ display despite the defeat

‘I’m extremely proud of the way we played,’ Mikel Arteta said. ‘Games are decided in the box. When you get there you have to put them away.’

Raheem Sterling did just that before half-time — a 35th club goal in 14 months — and City made sure they saw it out thereafter with more grit than their supporters are used to seeing.

Guardiola’s job is to retain that attitude as they bounce from one game to the next. Porto arrive at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday and there is no free midweek until New Year. Their squad could really do without more bumps, bruises and tight hamstrings.

Guardiola may have to rotate players like Sergio Aguero (right) again in the Champions League

It will be interesting to see how their pack is shuffled for the Champions League opener. 

Will Guardiola rest some key players but not others, and then do the same at West Ham next Saturday? Or will he stick with the majority of his first-choice side but approach the games in a lower gear?

‘They are not machines, they need time to get the condition,’ Guardiola said. ‘We’ve played good, but the good thing is when we’re not playing like we want, we were incredibly stable.’

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Gareth Bale mindset explained by Tottenham star Son Heung-min ahead of West Ham clash

Gareth Bale has been backed to shine at Tottenham by team-mate Son Heung-min. The Wales international moved back to north London on loan from Real Madrid during the summer transfer window. And he could feature when Jose Mourinho’s team take on West Ham on Sunday afternoon.

Bale spent five six successful years at Tottenham earlier in his career, helping the club win the EFL Cup back in 2008.

And he’s now back in north London after moving from Real Madrid during the summer transfer window.

Bale has been sidelined with injury since returning to his old club but is now fully fit again and could feature in Sunday’s exciting showdown with fierce rivals West Ham.

And Son, speaking ahead of the match, has praised Bale and opened up on the Wales international’s mindset ahead of that fixture.

“I’m so excited. To see him every day, to chat to him, it’s a really good experience for me and I think the fans can’t wait to see him back on the pitch,” he told the club’s official pre-match programme.

“As a player, I can’t wait to play alongside him. Obviously, he is a legend for this club and a superstar in the football world.

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“I think he is very happy and you can see straight away that he is smiling all the time.

“When I’ve seen him, he’s been working hard ahead of his comeback.”

Son then added: “When he had his first training session with the group, I was watching him and even that was really enjoyable.

“Having seen him in training, I can’t wait to see him back out there. I’m really excited to play with him.”

Bale was a huge hit during his first spell at Tottenham, becoming a household name before departing for Spain back in the summer transfer window of 2013.

Premier League done deals: Every confirmed transfer in the summer window

And Harry Redknapp, speaking to the BBC, has suggested the Wales international will make a huge impact in the capital.

“Gareth coming back will make such a difference to Tottenham, he’s an amazing player.” Redknapp said.

“With [Harry] Kane, Son [Heung-min] and Bale that’s an amazing front three that could scare any team.

“I honestly think they’ve got a squad there capable of having a real chance to win the Premier League.

“You’ve got to fancy Liverpool and you’d have to fancy Manchester City, they would have to be favourites.

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“But if anybody else is going to challenge them this year I think it’s Tottenham.”

Tottenham signed Joe Rodon from Swansea last week and Redknapp expressed a belief the 22-year-old could shine playing at the highest level.

“Tottenham are short at the back and being a central defender it’s an area they could certainly improve over the next year or two,” he said.

“I speak to some people who work at Tottenham who followed him and monitored him and they speak very highly of him.

“I think there’s every chance he could go to Tottenham and have a great career.”

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Eddie Nketiah set Arsenal mission as he bids to create new England record

Eddie Nketiah has been told to become an Arsenal goal-scoring regular if he wants to break into Gareth Southgate's England senior squad.

The U21 star needs one goal against Turkey on Tuesday night to become the all-time record Young Lions scorer, nudging ahead of Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers.

Aidy Boothroyd, the U21 coach, says Nketiah has “an aura” about him, and has to get to the point of fans and coaches knowing he will convert when he gets a chance, to be trusted with jumping to the next level.

England will clinch a place at the Euro finals starting in March with a win, as Nketiah goes for his landmark, and Boothroyd will field his strongest XI.

He said: “Eddie is destined for some big things. How far can he go? He will have to be playing regular games for his club and be scoring goals.

"I've had him for two and a half years now and we've seen him get stronger and stronger as he has gone along.

“Hopefully we can see him make that next step becoming a regular with Arsenal, and be a regular with the seniors.

"He has work to do but he can go on and do really well."

Nketiah has two goals for the Gunners this season and nine in total. He grabbed five on loan at Leeds early last year mainly used off the bench.

Boothroyd added: "Shearer? There are always comparisons. You look at Alan's career and Harry Kane. Where Eddie is concerned if he gets to the point when like those two players that you know he is scoring.

"That is when you make the step from good young player to top senior. He is not quite there yet but not far off.

“The first thing to know is his personality and his persona around the lads. He has an aura of responsibility and leadership about him. He is a natural.

“All the players like and respect him. If you were putting someone up to say what you want young England players to look like then it would be him.

“But he does score and creates. I counted a previous game he made 20 runs before he got the ball. He had patience. Some get frustrated.

"He is driving between the lines and trying to find that inch that gets you the goal. His movements and his whole game is improving.

“It is really important to be playing for your club. It is key. The players have to have the technical ability, physical ability and need that consistency, in training sessions and matches.”

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New signings Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes both hit the ground running against Fulham but Mikel Arteta is still on the lookout for new signings. Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and Brentford keeper David Raya are two of the names on their radar.

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England want to bounce back from a chaotic 3-3 draw with Andorra last week.

Boothroyd added: “The squad was down. Individual mistakes. We could have been braver going forward with the ball. No excuses. We go as strong as possible.”

Sheffield United keeper Aaron Ramsdale said: “It was a tough game in different circumstances in Andorra with the pitch. We’ve learnt that no matter what surface we’re playing on, we need to be on top of our game and need to adapt.

“We’ve learnt that, even if they are bottom of the league, teams can hurt us. We had an off day, which hasn’t happened a lot. We’ve had seven or eight games, and that was our first slip-up.

“We’re still undefeated and we go into the Turkey game knowing if we win we qualify with two games in hand.”

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Southgate warns misbehaving England stars over their actions ahead of Wales test

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Gareth Southgate has warned his misbehaving England stars they are in danger of becoming masters of their own downfall.

Southgate has been forced to swap his waistcoat for a tin hat in recent months following a string of scandals that have undermined his leadership.

Harry Maguire, who is part of the England 'leadership group', ended up in a Greek courtroom following a drunken brawl with police and was landed with a suspended prison sentence he is now appealing.

Debutants Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were then flown home in shame from Iceland after smuggling women into the team hotel in Reykjavik to break strict Covid-19 protocols.

Then earlier this week three more Covidiots broke Government rules in the shape of Tammy Abraham, Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell.

The trio were all blocked from joining the squad at St George's Park after being photographed attending Abraham's 23rd birthday party, contravening Government rules stating no more than six people can mix together at any one time.

The FA launched an investigation and all three will miss Thursday's friendly with Wales at Wembley and could also miss Sunday's Nations League clash with Belgium – depending on their test results.

Southgate's patience is being tested to the absolute limit as he cranks up his preparations for next summer's Euros – and has laid down the law to his squad about their responsibilities when representing England.

The one saving grace is that all this nonsense is not taking place ahead of a major tournament, something Southgate knows cannot happen if England are to end their long wait to win something.

He knows the players' behaviour will decide how much pressure they find themselves under and he said: "When these incidents happen, it takes a lot of time and energy away from the team. We can't afford that.

"When you're going into major tournaments with these sorts of incidents, they can derail you. I've seen that in the past.

"You (the newspapers) are always going to write openly and honestly about performances – and if that's not been good then no-one enjoys reading that about themselves.

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"But we have to accept that. We give opportunities to the areas and types of stories that can grow legs and if we have the types of things like we've had in the last couple of camps then we give opportunity for those sorts of stories to be written.

"So we have to try and give ourselves the best chance to perform. The key is to keep improving the team and part of that is educating the players for them to learn quickly, focusing on what our team culture needs to be and what we are prepared to stand for."

Southgate has found it difficult to focus on football in recent weeks and the clash with Ryan Giggs's men at Wembley should provide him with some much needed relief.

He is expected to name an experimental side and has told his players that the pressure they feel now will be nothing compared to what lies ahead on the eve of the suspended Euro 2020 tournament.

He added: "There is a lot of scrutiny on the team at the moment, but actually, within the camp this week they have been exceptional.

"These things are a process you have to go through as a team and observing how people respond in the difficult times as well as the good times, because it's easy in the good times, you learn even more about people.

"We are not under the same sort of pressure this team faces going into a major tournament at the moment – or when you're on the back of hugely difficult results – we have still been in a good place for a long period of time and the pressure is relative and what we choose to make it.

"We want to keep improving as a team – and my job is to allow the players to be able to go and do that."

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Liverpool vs Arsenal result: Gunners clinch penalty shootout win to reach Carabao Cup quarter-finals

Joe Willock secured Arsenal’s first win at Anfield since 2012 with the winning penalty in a shoot-out after a goalless 90 minutes to put them into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup last night.

Liverpool paid the price for not making the most of their dominance in normal time, having out-shot their opponents 16 to six.

Divock Origi and Harry Wilson, in sudden death, both saw efforts saved and with only Mohamed Elneny failing for Arsenal it was left to Willock to secure a 5-4 victory with the decisive kick, which Adrian got a hand to but could not keep out.

Unusually for matches between these two sides – the last nine Anfield meetings in all competitions have brought 48 goals – it was the goalkeepers who took centre-stage even before the shoot-out.

Mikel Arteta’s decision to stick with first-choice Bernd Leno was prescient as the Germany international made a string of saves in the second half, while Liverpool’s second-choice Adrian kept the score goalless with an instinctive stop from a close-range Rob Holding header.

It resulted in only the second goalless draw in 21 years between the pair.

Liverpool made nine changes from Monday’s Premier League win, retaining only Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, with Arsenal keeping Leno, Holding and Granit Xhaka after the defeat.

Xherdan Shaqiri, who had impressed in the previous round, was left out as two clubs have enquired about signing him before the transfer deadline.

With both sides fielding second strings it was no surprise there was a drop in quality, but there should have been enough depth in both squads to have avoided a rather ordinary first half.

It only came to life a minute before the interval when Diogo Jota had a header saved by Leno with Takumi Minamino blasting the rebound against the crossbar from five yards.

The game prior to that had seen Arsenal try to break the Reds’ high line, having enjoyed some success with it in the second half on Monday, in particular trying to utilise the pace of Nicolas Pepe by isolating him against 19-year-old right back Neco Williams.

It was a tactic of diminishing returns as they failed to register a shot on target, despite the Ivory Coast international breaking clear and passing to Willock, who opted to lay off instead of shoot and Eddie Nketiah was dispossessed by the hand of goalkeeper Adrian.

The second half saw Leno given far more to do, with Van Dijk’s low flick saved well and Marko Grujic twice denied, once from distance and again from a looping header.

In between, the Gunners goalkeeper also saved from Jota, who cleverly nutmegged Sead Kolasinac with his chest control from Curtis Jones’ cross-field pass.

Arsenal’s attacks were becoming more infrequent but when they did get a overload at the far post, Williams nicked the ball off the toes of Bukayo Saka – in the starting line-up hours after his maiden England call – and from the resulting corner Adrian made his one save of note.

But it was Willock who made it eight domestic cup matches unbeaten for Arteta since he took charge of the Gunners, having led them to last season’s FA Cup triumph.


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Jamie Vardy: England manager Gareth Southgate will not rule out international recall for Leicester striker

Gareth Southgate remains in dialogue with Jamie Vardy and has not ruled out a future England recall for the Leicester City striker.

The 33-year-old Vardy stepped away from international football following the 2018 World Cup but Southgate has always held out hope of coaxing him back to the England set-up.

Vardy, who did not officially announce that he had retired from international football, has scored five goals in three games – including four penalties – to lead the Premier League’s scoring charts.

“We know that Jamie is still around and we still communicate a lot,” Southgate said, having named his 30-man England squad for October’s Wembley triple-header.

“I think at this moment in time we are in agreement that it’s good to keep looking at these younger players, he is 32, 33.

“He has got a lot of football [left], he has a bit of an injury at the moment, I think.

“But I’m not in any way ruling him out if it’s the right thing at the right time to bring him back into the fold.”

Southgate handed Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin his first senior call-up following his excellent start to the season and feels he could be an understudy to Harry Kane.

The England manager is under pressure from Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho to use Kane sparingly during the forthcoming international break.

“I guess in terms of the way [Calvert-Lewin] holds the ball up and his build up play being reliable, he has some similarities,” he said.

“Always with players, you don’t like to compare because they are all individuals and they all deserve to be treated and acknowledged as such. His link play is an important part of his game.  

“He has a fantastic leap, the ability to score outstanding headed goals is something that stands out that maybe one or two of our other centre-forwards dont have.  

“We need that competition. We need to keep pushing Harry as well. It can’t just be that Harry is on the teamsheet without having to fight for his own place as well.”

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