Nottingham Forest got themselves an early lead and rarely looked like relinquishing it in a 1-0 win over local rivals Derby County.
Yohan Benalouane’s second-minute goal was enough as Nottingham Forest beat Derby County 1-0 at home on Monday to move to within a point of their fierce rivals in the Championship table.
Frank Lampard’s Derby had been hoping to move back into the play-off places with a victory, but they were playing catch up right from the start and never managed to recover.
Derby endured a nightmarish beginning to the game, as Forest took the lead just 72 seconds in – Benalouane converting from close range after a poor Jayden Bogle headed clearance put the visitors under pressure.
Forest had a lucky escape 13 minutes later, however, as Martyn Waghorn sprung the offside trap to race on to a throughball, but his dinked finish drifted went wide of the right-hand post.
A defensive error from Derby then let Forest in soon after – Daryl Murphy’s touch ultimately letting him down in the penalty area with only goalkeeper Kelle Roos to beat.
Opportunities were rather less frequent after the break, with Forest appearing happy to absorb pressure and attempt to hit Derby on the break.
Derby enjoyed some late pressure, but they failed to break through the home side’s resolute defence, as Forest held on to move up to eighth in the table.
Things then threatened to boil over after the full-time whistle as players squared up to each other, but it soon calmed down thanks to the intervention of the two teams’ coaching staff.
Full-time: #NFFC 1-0 Derby (Benalouane 2′)
Report and reaction to follow from The City Ground… pic.twitter.com/fEtVjvdaaE
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) February 25, 2019