Bournemouth vs Nottingham Forest. Sky Bet Championship.
Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest at the Vitality Stadium as Kieffer Moore's late goal secured promotion to the Premier League for Scott Parker's Cherries on Tuesday night
Wednesday 4 May 2022 06:47, UK
Bournemouth secured promotion back to the Premier League after a tense 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the Vitality Stadium.
The only goal of the game came after 83 minutes on the south coast, when substitute Kieffer Moore slotted past Brice Samba from close range, finishing a move straight off the training ground, after he was picked out by Philip Billing.
The goal sparked wild celebrations from a capacity crowd and ensured Scott Parker's Cherries will join Fulham in the top flight next season after a two-season absence, condemning Forest to the play-offs.
A day of potential celebration got off the perfect start when Bournemouth's David Brooks announced the news he is free from cancer, having completed treatment after being diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin Lymphoma in October.
When the match - which was postponed back in February after damage was caused to the Vitality Stadium by Storm Eunice - got going, it immediately lived up to the hype that had been promised in the build-up; every tackle was jeered, every attack roared on as though it were a play-off final.
As a light drizzle fell upon the south coast, Bournemouth took the game to their visitors, but were soon left with their hearts in their mouths when ex-Cherries frontman Sam Surridge collected a stunning Djed Spence pass and rifled a shot off the crossbar.
The hosts had their moments going forward, but, in truth, they were fleeting, with 30-goal striker Dominic Solanke kept quiet in the final third.
With around half an hour gone, Forest came again, when Philip Zinckernagel's square ball evaded Surridge and fell for Brennan Johnson, whose sound connection was rebuffed by Jordan Zemura on the line.
And five minutes before the break, they were denied a penalty when Surridge was felled by Mark Travers in the box, with a controversial offside flag sparing the hosts' blushes.
Parker's men stepped their game up after the break. An intuitive pass through the lines from Ryan Christie set Solanke free, but he fired into the side-netting, while Samba was called into action to punch away efforts from Lewis Cook and Jaidon Anthony.
And just as they looked set to finish without a goal, taking the drama to the final day, Bournemouth consolidated their second-half toils. Billing played a free-kick across to Moore, who was waiting at the far post to slot home the priceless winner.
Glenn Murray on Sky Sports Football:
"I thought Moore played really well tonight. He changed the game when he came on. When he got his opportunity, he buried it."
Bournemouth's Scott Parker: "First and foremost, I'm delighted for the fans and my group of players. They deserve this moment. They deserve to get into the position we're in, in terms of getting promoted into the Premier League. I'm delighted for everyone associated with the football club. It means a lot. I was disappointed with the first half - for everything we spoke about in the week, we never wanted the game to turn into a basketball match.
"We were playing against a good side - a lot of their goals come from counter-attacks. Which suits Nottingham Forest and not us. [At half-time] we spoke about control, we spoke about being calm. I never wanted the emotion of this game to get the better of us. That was key. I spoke about our game plan. Second half, we showed our dominance. Physically, we are the best team."
Nottingham Forest's Steve Cooper: "To get promoted in any league is hard to do, so we must show respect to that.
"First half, yeah, we were good. I thought we created the chances of the game; took the game to Bournemouth.
"The referee has just pulled me in and apologised for the decision. I've just watched it back as well, so that's frustrating to say the least. I think he's trying to soften me up. It didn't go our way. The set-piece is the difference to the scoreline. We come away disappointed but we have to get over it.
"We're not in any position to blame anybody - we've got to this point in the season by being together. We do everything as a collective. I'm not really interested in individual errors - if there are any."
Sky Sports' Dan Long at the Vitality Stadium:
"What would a Championship promotion race be without a little bit of drama? Only a win would do for Bournemouth if they wanted to secure automatic promotion with a game to spare and, though they left it late, they did just that.
"Forest will certainly feel aggrieved they did not capitalise on a strong first-half showing, particularly after the controversial penalty decision that did not go their way. But they were second best after the break, it has to be said.
"Where the Cherries' intensity grew on the sodden surface, theirs dipped. The eight minutes of added time at the end made things that little bit more tense, but they were unable to force the equaliser that would have taken the automatic promotion race to the final day.
"So the play-offs is what the Reds must settle for. In all honesty, with the club bottom of the table on September 18, many would not have envisaged even getting into the top six. Now a minimum of three games more lie ahead.
"But for Bournemouth, this is the prize they have grafted hard for for two seasons. They went 15 games unbeaten at the start, before a dip similar to the one they suffered last term. This time, they were prepared; this time they got over the line."
Both teams are back in action at 12.30pm on the final day of the season, Saturday May 7. Bournemouth host Millwall at the Vitality Stadium, while Nottingham Forest travel to the MKM Stadium to take on Hull.