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Nottingham Forest and Leeds United squared off for the 90th time on New Year’s Day.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men, the current Championship leaders, were looking to return to winning ways following a surprising 0-2 defeat at Elland Road to Hull City.

Forest, meanwhile, have endured a difficult period under Aitor Karanka – collecting just two points from their last five league outings and suffering three defeats – meaning they were desperate for all three points.

Going by form Leeds were the strong favourites, but as we know football isn’t played on paper, and this game – which Forest ran out 4-2 winners – was a cracker from start to finish: Forest went ahead, before Leeds turn it around only for the hosts to inflict a fifth defeat on the Peacocks in this season’s Championship.

Here are five things we learned from this six-goal thriller.

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1. Colback’s inaugural brace

Jack Colback, the former Sunderland academy graduate, isn’t a prolific goalscorer. The defensive midfielder, prior to Leeds’ visit, had registered 14 league goals across 294 appearances.

His effort to put Nottingham Forest ahead was his first since last May. In fact, since joining on loan from Newcastle United in the summer of 2017, he’s bagged just two goals in 38 matches.

A tame backpass from Leeds’ midfielder Adam Forshaw was intercepted and duly punished by Colback – incredibly, but understandable given his lack of prolificacy in front of goal, this was Colback’s first league goal at home since the Magpies 1-3 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on April 19, 2015.

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His second of the game, moments after Egzijan Alioski had put the visitors in front, was the first time he’s bagged a brace in a single league game.

2. First back-to-back defeats under Bielsa

The second half of this season will be a nervy one for Leeds United supporters who are determined to see their club back in English football’s top flight.

It’s now 14 years since the Peacocks hosted a Premier League and the subsequent years have been laced with near-misses and disappointments.

Under the leadership of Bielsea there seems to be calmness, but the demanding Argentine coach is renowned for his team’s suffering burnout in the second half of a season; this latest setback – first time they’ve registered consecutive league defeats under him – will be a testing one.

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Can they withstand the pressure and reach the promised land?

3. Murphy comes out on top

Daryl Murphy is no stranger to Championship football having previously represented Newcastle United, Ipswich Town, Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday in England’s second division.

The wealth of experience he brings simply benefits Nottingham Forest who signed him from the Magpies in 2017.

Murphy, 35, has sparsely featured in the Championship this season (only nine appearances before today) – however, this rare start was a success, the marksman won five aerial duels, more than any of his teammates, and put Forest back in front before setting up their fourth.

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4. Phillips’ run comes to an end

Despite going a goal down early Leeds looked very much the better side and were unlucky not to force an equaliser before half-time.

Their challenge, which already looked big, was made even harder following the dismissal of centre-back Kalvin Phillips with the interval approaching.

His rash challenge on Adlène Guedioura, with the game 42 minutes old, earned him a straight red and subsequently ending a run of 10 consecutive Championship matches he’s started and finished.

5. Super sub Clarke

Bielsa, who saw his Leeds side trailing 2-0 at Aston Villa last month introduced teenage forward Jack Clarke after the break, his goal 11 minutes later was the catalyst behind their impressive 2-3 turnaround.

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Again, behind, Clarke entered the fray and would once more reward his manager’s faith but scoring even quicker eight minutes to be precise. At one point it seemed they were going to pull off a fourth comeback win in six matches but it wasn’t to be.

Not yet ready to start a Championship game, the Leeds’ academy graduate – who know has 10 league appearances under his belt – is fast-becoming a handy player to have on the bench.

The post Five things we learned from Nottingham Forest v Leeds United appeared first on Squawka News.

Source : Hitng.info
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