HomePremier LeagueEverton 2-0 Nottingham Forest: Gueye, McNeil goals make Premier League table less...

Everton 2-0 Nottingham Forest: Gueye, McNeil goals make Premier League table less sticky for Toffees

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Idrissa Gueye’s first-half opener and Dwight McNeil’s late strike from distance moved Everton five points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with a game in hand and left visitors Nottingham Forest a point above the bottom three.

Midfielder Gueye capitalised on slackness in possession to sweep the Toffees ahead after 29 minutes and put Sean Dyche’s side on their way to a second win in three matches following their 6-0 thrashing at Chelsea on Monday.

Forest had more attempts on goal before McNeil’s sumptuous strike sealed a second consecutive home victory on a potentially pivotal day in Everton’s efforts to stay in the top flight.

Third-bottom Luton Town’s 5-1 home mauling at the hands of Brentford on Saturday was the saving grace for the visitors, who host Manchester City next Sunday. The Merseyside derby with Liverpool awaits Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

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Everton v Forest result lifts hosts

There was a certain inevitability that Everton would respond positively to a performance at Stamford Bridge which defender James Tarkowski described as the worst of his career.

Everton were not entirely convincing in pursuit of consecutive home wins but they were helped by a lack of attacking conviction from opponents who had almost 60% of possession.

Morgan Gibbs-White had a quiet game by his standards and was denied by back-tracking defenders when Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford gifted him a sight of goal during the first half.

Forest had four penalty appeals turned down, starting when Ashley Young was rescued by a VAR check after appearing to foul Giovanni Reyna with the score goalless.

Their precarious position puts Forest at increasing risk of being dependent on the outcome of their appeal against a four-point deduction for being found guilty by the Premier League of breaching financial rules.

They are yet to win in six league away games in 2024, losing four of their last five on the road including their last two.

There was a worrying incident during second-half added time when Everton’s Beto was treated while prone on the pitch for several minutes with what appeared to be a head injury following a challenge with Gibbs-White.

Beto was carried away by medical staff, with players from both sides looking distressed as the Portuguese striker received treatment.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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