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Nottingham Forest v Sheffield United: Championship playoff semi-final, second leg – live! | Championship

Half-time: Nottingham Forest (3) 1-0 (1) Sheffield United

That was a lot of fun, unless you’re a Blades fan. They’re still in this, but look second-best.

45+3 min Nice again from Forest, Spence sending Johnson skipping away down the right with Surridge in the middle. His cross is decent, low and fast, but a flick off Egan is enough to take it away.

45+1 min Robinson tries to send Norrington-Davies down the line but overhits a pass that skids into touch. The crowd enjoy that one, sharing a good old chortle with each other.

45 min There’ll be three added minutes.

45 min Gibbs-White has a nibble at McKenna then Colback, missing both. This is getting tasty.

44 min Norwood’s been quiet so far, but here he is no picking the ball up left of centre, moving towards goal, and wiping his foot across a shot that swerves one way then the other on its way over the bar.

43 min Fleck steps across Johnson, neither of them proximate to the ball. The ref lets it go, but Forest need to make sure they don’t get involved, because Blades are searching for something, anything.

42 min Norrington-Davies appears down the left and crosses, but McKenna heads away well.

41 min All that fire Blades had in the early exchanges has evaporated. Ultimately, class is telling – Forest have better players.

39 min The crowd are having an absolute time here, and it’s going for Forest. Johnson slips on the astroturf over the touchline, so when Spence wins it back off Robinson, he’s right there and released forthwith. He glides down the right, has Surridge in the middle … and overhits his cross.

37 min A scuffle! EVERYTHING that NO ONE (apart from EVERYONE) wants to see. Heckingbottom was slightly enthusiastic in how he returned the ball to Spence prior to a throw-in – i think we can now be sure that he doesn’t want half-time – and Johnson was over there quicksmart, along with most of his mates. It’s very proper football man of me, but when you see that, you know a team are together – by way of contrast, I was at Anfield a few weeks ago, and when Fabinho flung Fernandes to the ground, no one did or said anything. Anyway, Heckingbottom is booked.

now now, chaps.
now now, chaps. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

36 min The last few minutes have disappeared. forest won’t mind that, and maybe Blades won’t either, because they’ll not want to concede again before half-time.

34 min Sean Dyche is in the crowd, presumably supporting Forest. He’s still dressed as a manager, in shirt and tie, though I always thought there was something of the speed awareness course instructor about him.

32 min Zinckernagel’s been quiet so far, but he conducts this latest move, which eventually comes to a halt when the ball hits the ref.

31 min Johnson performs a leaping touch-off, and Robinson performs a leaping ankle-stud. He does well to avoid a booking.

30 min Pre-match, Heckingbottom noted that in the first leg, Forest scored with their first attack. Well, they did it again tonight, and that will be nausing him right up. On which point, the away goals rule is not in operation here.

28 min Ndiaye pulls left and tries a pull-back; it’s blocked, so he forages for possession and takes it off Yates, then shoots from outside the box … and Samba saves easily.

27 min Johnson is down, but he’s just having a drink. He’s earned one! Meantime, Takumi Minamino has equalised for Liverpool at St Mary’s.

26 min A little lull. Blades need this.

24 min The force is with Forest now; they’re playing like a team that knows they’re going to win, but if they make the final, they’ll do well to remember how poorly they started here

22 min This is a very different game now. First, Spence snaps into Zinckernagel, who touches off first time for Surridge, who’s shot is blocked, then Zinckernagel tees up Garner, who from the right of the box, sweeps a brilliant, rising effort just wide of the far post. If Forest can keep this going, they could finish this before half-time.

21 min Oh man, look at David Johnson absolutely having it. There’s a Yiddish word, naches, that means intense pride in one’s children, and I’m not sure there’s a higher version of it than watching them score a goal for your club.

20 min Poor old Iliman Ndiaye, but that, right there, is the difference: ruthless finishing.

GOAL! Nottingham Forest (3) 1-0 (1) Sheffield United (Johnson 19)

I said Forest were growing, and this is what they do! A brilliant ball into the channel from McKenna sends Surridge away – what a call from cooper to retain him – his cross is low, fast and perfect, and arriving onto it on an absolute tear, Johnson slides into a punishing finish, the ball fizzing high inside the near post! The City Ground goes stratospheric!

Brennan Johnson lashes home the opening goal of the evening.
Brennan Johnson lashes home the opening goal of the evening. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Action Images/Reuters

18 min Blades are doing a really good job of shutting down Forest’s passers – a much better job than they did at the weekend – and are playing with the intensity of desperation. Just these last few minutes, though, Forest are moving it better.

16 min Looking again at that Ndiaye chance, he thought it was easier than it was, and that a decent connection would be a goal. It’s true that Samba could only really save it if it hit him, but he spread himself well and yerman didn’t do enough to guide it where he wasn’t.

15 min Talking of Garner, I’d not seen him have a kick until then. He and Yates need to get themselves going here, because currently, Forest’s midfield isn’t in the game.

15 min Forest win a corner down the right and Garner, who’s shown himself pretty nifty at them will take … but his kick is headed clear at the near post.

13 min Forest just can’t hold onto the ball, and Blades get Gibbs-White away down the left! He looks up, sees Ndiaye in the middle, and curves a luscious ball into his path with the outside of his right foot! He’s in! But Samba races out, blocks his shot, and Cook clears before Berge can pick up the pieces! This is warming up!

12 min I should’ve said sooner, Southamton and Liverpool are playing too … and Southampton have the lead! If Liverpool don’t win, City are more or less champions.

10 min Blades have the territorial advantage so far and win another throw, not as close to the corner flag as before, which means Robinson has to chuck it further, but has more of an angle to pick out a man. And this is another decent one … that finds Egan on the run! He makes decent contact too, but sends his header wide.

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