Nottingham Forest 2-2 Wolves: Morgan Gibbs-White scores against former club before Danilo strikes but relegation-battling hosts have to settle for a point… with Matheus Cunha scoring twice for Gary O’Neil’s side

Nottingham Forest The future of the Premier League can be decided in the boardroom as well as on the pitch, but if they are relegated they will regret dropping two points here for months.

Leading 2-1 just after the hour mark, Forest’s chronic inability to defend set pieces canceled them out again and Matheus Cunha – making his first start since February – slotted home his second goal of the match.

Cunha had put Wolves ahead with one of the goals of the season, but Morgan Gibbs-White leveled with his old club just before the break and Danilo put them ahead shortly afterwards.

But Cunha’s intervention means Forest have dropped 50 points from the winning positions this season and although they are a point clear of the bottom three, this result will bring little joy to boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who has managed Wolves with distinction from 2017-21. Owner Evangelos Marinakis was in the stands and must have been disappointed when he only collected one point.

With Anthony Elanga absent due to a knock in training, Gio Reyna made his first start since joining Forest on loan from Borussia Dortmund in January, but was only involved sporadically before the break. The American lacks Elanga’s raw speed and that meant Forest weren’t as threatening on the counter-attack, while Reyna had a good chance wide from the edge of the box early on.

1713024522 479 Nottingham Forest 2 2 Wolves Morgan Gibbs White scores against former club

Wolves, lined up in a 4-1-4-1 system, kept Forest at bay and could potentially have taken the lead midway through the half. Forest made a mess from the back and when Ryan Yates presented the ball to Joao Gomes, the midfielder was denied a goal by a stunning header from compatriot Murillo. Pablo Sarabia then shot the loose ball wide.

It was a brilliant piece of defending but even Murillo could do nothing to stop Cunha’s spectacular opener for the visitors. Cunha collected the ball well in his own half, slid forward and with Andrew Omobamidele unwilling to make a challenge, he cut into the penalty area and found the top corner with a stunning strike from a tight angle.

Cunha worked it up a bit, bringing the Forest fans behind the goal – although this was nothing compared to Gibbs-White’s celebrations in first-half stoppage time.

Forest had been angry with referee Craig Pawson for only showing a yellow card to Mario Lemina for a sliding challenge on Yates, and it looked like they would concede a goal. But as they won a corner on the left, Neco Williams’ smooth delivery was met by Gibbs-White, who connected well with the header and found the far corner.

What happened next was pure pantomime. Gibbs-White performed his trademark ‘fingers in the ears’ gesture in front of the Wolves supporters, then kissed the badge and was reprimanded by Sarabia as he walked back to the halfway line.

Forest tried to step it up after the break and again Reyna was found wanting from close range as he flicked home Callum Hudson Odoi’s cross, although the home side almost got lucky when Toti Gomes’ ball looped and fell just wide.

Yet Nuno’s men turned things around just before the hour mark. Matt Doherty slid to cut out Chris Wood’s pass to Gibbs-White, fell his former teammate and the ball ran loose to Danilo, who sent it past Jose Sa from close range.

1713024528 317 Nottingham Forest 2 2 Wolves Morgan Gibbs White scores against former club

1713024535 49 Nottingham Forest 2 2 Wolves Morgan Gibbs White scores against former club

1713024541 861 Nottingham Forest 2 2 Wolves Morgan Gibbs White scores against former club


Nottingham Forest (4-2-3-1): Sels 5.5; Williams 6, Omobamidele 5.5, Murillo 7.5, Aina 6.5 (Tavares 89); Yates 6.5 (Dominguez 66, 6), Danilo 6.5 (Ribeiro 89); Reyna 5.5 (Origi 71, 6), Gibbs-White 7, Hudson-Odoi 6; Wood 6. Subs not used: Turner, Sangare, Toffolo, Niakhate, Montiel.

Scorers: Gibbs-White 45+2, Danilo 57

Booked: Gibbs White

Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo 6

Wolves (4-1-4-1): Sat 7; Semedo 6.5 (Fraser 88), Kilman 6.5, S Bueno 6.5, Toti 7; Lemina 6.5; Sarabia 5.5 (Chirewa 88), Gomes 6 (Hwang 59, 6), Doyle 6, Doherty 4.5 (H Bueno 59, 6); Cunha 7.5 (Traore 76, 6).

Subs not used: Bentley, King, Dawson, Barnett.

Scorers: Cunha 40, 62

Booked: Lemina, Gomes

Manager: Gary O’Neil6

Referee: Craig Pawson5.5

Presence: 29,604

The lead lasted just five minutes as Forest’s weakness through set pieces was again exposed. Max Kilman had a free header from a corner on the left and Matz Sels pushed the ball straight into Wolves substitute Hwang Hee-chan, allowing Cunha to scramble home his second header. It was the 22nd goal Forest had scored from a set point this season – a league record.

Back came Bos. Sa clawed away Hudson-Odoi’s lob and then flew to his left to push away a swerving effort from Danilo. Then Gibbs-White played a fantastic high pass over the Wolves defense that Hudson-Odoi couldn’t control, and Williams collected a short ball from Kilman but struck too close to Sa.

With six minutes of stoppage time looming, substitute Divock Origi drove clear but hit his cross terribly, with Wood unmarked in the middle. Forest could live to regret it.

Nuno Espirito SantoAnthony Elanga