Forest seal Premier League return after 23 years away

29 May 2022 0 By Total Football News

Nottingham Forest sealed their return to the Premier League after 23 years away thanks to a 1-0 win against Huddersfield at Wembley.

Levi Colwill's own goal after 43 minutes was the difference between the sides in the Championship play-off final on Sunday, meaning Forest will play in the top flight for the first time since 1999.

The fall and rise of Nottingham Forest

The fall and rise of Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest have been promoted to the Premier League after 23 years away - we chart the fall and rise of the two-time European champions.

It completes a remarkable season for Forest, who were bottom of the table after eight games when Steve Cooper took over in late September.

Huddersfield, meanwhile, see their dream of getting back to the Premier League after three years away come to an end.

How Forest sealed their top-flight return

Huddersfield's Levi Colwill turns the ball into his own net

The breakthrough came just before half-time for Forest via the unfortunate Colwill, who inadvertently turned James Garner's shot into his own net with an outstretched leg that left Lee Nicholls in the Huddersfield goal helpless.

Huddersfield were struggling to create chances and threw on their semi-final matchwinner Jordan Rhodes and Duane Holmes with a quarter of the game to go to try and find a way back into the game.

Post-match stats

A short while later they finally got in behind Forest as Holmes raced in and found Harry Toffolo in the middle. He then appeared to go down under the challenge of Jack Colback, but referee Jon Moss deemed it a dive and booked the Huddersfield man - with a VAR check then upholding his decision. Appeals were also waved away for a later appeal when Max Lowe got into a tangle with Lewis O'Brien in the box.

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And that would be that for Huddersfield's challenge, in a disappointing conclusion to what has otherwise been an unexpectedly brilliant campaign from Carlos Corberan's side.

Should Huddersfield have had two penalties?

Huddersfield were denied two penalties after challenges on Harry Toffolo and Lewis O'Brien were not given as spot-kicks

The fact of the matter is that Huddersfield barely troubled Forest in open play throughout 90 minutes at Wembley, but they may have felt they should have been given a penalty on two occasions in the closing stages of the second.

In the first event, Toffolo was booked for diving after he seemed to be clipped by Colback, the second as O'Brien was felled by Max Lowe in the penalty area. Again, though, referee Moss was not interested.

Nottingham Forest legend Stuart Pearce on Sky Sports Football:

"I think there's contact. I would have given a penalty on the back of that. I think there's an element of frustration in that the referee wasn't asked to go to his monitor to re-check it."

Former Huddersfield defender Michael Hefele on Sky Sports Football:

"It's shocking. Huddersfield were robbed. The VAR is here. If you don't give the penalty for the first one then you have to give this one as you know you made a mistake for the first one."

Cooper 'looking forward to a positive future'

Whilst sharing his post-match thoughts, Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper was mobbed by his Forest players as they celebrate their Championship play-off final victory.

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper on Sky Sports Football:

"I'm really pleased for the players and the supporters. I think we played well in the first half. And of all the good goals we've scored this season, we get one like that - but it doesn't matter. And we managed to see it through. Everyone connected to this football club deserves this today. We're looking forward to a positive future.

"It's relief of course but it's pride. I love being at this football club. It's changed my life. My family are here, the players' families are here - this football club is about belonging to a city. It comes together on matchday. We've taken over Wembley today and are in the Premier League.

"This football club is built on positive eras from the past and we want to build on that. We are proud of that but at the same time we need to think 'what if?' Can we get the Premier League? Can we play attractive football? What if we can develop young players? And that's what we've done showing an attitude and a commitment to not get beat. We deserve this.

"It's a glamorous world being a footballer and a manager but it's also a a harsh and spiteful one. And I just wanted the players to know I will be their biggest supporter and give them everything through thick and thin. It doesn't mean I'm soft with them or don't demand of them but everybody loves to be loved. That's what we've tried to do with the players."

Corberan: I'm proud of my players

Huddersfield Town boss Carlos Corberan believes his side didn't create anywhere near enough chances to damage Nottingham Forest after Forest defeated the Terriers 1-0 in the Championship play-off final.

Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan on Sky Sports Football:

"Of course, it's difficult right now because we wanted to come here and be celebrating now. My feeling in my final analysis of the game is that I cannot criticise the team because we performed really well, but unfortunately they had one opportunity and they scored. We didn't have many opportunities but we had some moments to create a chance, but we couldn't do that.

"It's not easy for the referees, even with the VAR. I can do nothing but accept the situation [regarding the penalty shouts]. First of all, we have to recover and then keep working as a club in the Championship. Today I feel really proud of the players I have worked with."

'Forest will be a credit to the Premier League'

Forest lift the Championship play-off trophy as they return to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years

Stuart Pearce on Sky Sports Football:

"Forest will be a massive credit to the Premier League next season. Credit to Huddersfield, but over the 90 minutes the better side won.

"The atmosphere inside the stadium was incredible. I never played in a Forest team at Wembley with this type of atmosphere. You can see what it means to this football club. They have waited so long for this. I'm very proud of their achievement.

"On a one-off occasion, this is a wonderful way of getting promoted, especially with the way Forest have done it with their history. This is now the manager and player's job to create the next chapter of history at the club."

Worrall: I'm proud of everyone

Forest defender and life-long fan Joe Worrall gives an emotional interview after the victory

Nottingham Forest captain Joe Worrall on Sky Sports Football:

"I'm just so proud of the players, of the staff, the fans. We've been fantastic all season and were really unlucky not to go up automatically, in my opinion. We've played with honesty and we play the right way.

"We've been really good, and it's not just this season - I'm not saying we've been good in the past seasons because we've been sh**e - but it has been a long time coming. This club hasn't been in the top flight for a long time and I've seen a lot of good people come and go, who have all added to this football club. It's such an honour to captain Forest."

What's next?

The fixtures for the 2022/23 Premier League season will be released on Thursday, June 16. The EFL fixtures will be on Thursday, June 23. You can follow both days of announcements across Sky Sports.

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