Everton grab three points back with win at Nottingham Forest

Dwight McNeil scored his first goal of the season to give Everton a precious three points with a 1-0 away win at Nottingham Forest on Saturday that moves them off the bottom of the Premier League table.

Everton created the better chances and finally converted one of them when the ball fell to McNeil at the back post and he drilled his shot into the net from a tight angle.

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The Merseyside club move to 18th in the table with seven points from 14 games. Had it not been for the 10-point deduction they were hit with for breaching Premier League profitability and sustainability rules they would be in 11th place, above Chelsea.

Everton on Friday lodged an appeal against the points sanction, the biggest in Premier League history.

Dwight McNeil has one goal and one assist in 11 Premier League games this season.
Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

For Forest, the defeat will add to the pressure on manager Steve Cooper with his side having won one of their last 10 games. Forest lie in 15th place with 13 points from 14 games.

"Our mentality was excellent," Everton manager Sean Dyche told the BBC. "It's a restart. It's a step in the right direction, but there are plenty more steps to go.

"I think we're having a solid season. Seventeen points would have been a fairly healthy return. Of course it's changed, but the mentality and the performance levels are right."

Boos rang out around the City Ground as Forest looked bereft of ideas in the final 15 minutes and Everton were able to hold on for the win with some comfort.

It was a third away Premier League victory in a row for Sean Dyche's side, and their sixth in eight away games in all competitions.

Beto, in the team for the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin, had an excellent chance to give them the lead when Forest keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos spilled the ball and the Portuguese forward had an empty net to aim at, but put the ball over the bar.

Meanwhile, Anthony Elanga fired wide for Forest when well-placed, and Morgan Gibbs-White hit the side-netting with a reasonable opportunity.

McNeil had another excellent chance to put Everton ahead but his low shot was cleared off the line by Murillo, who managed to shovel the ball onto the post and away to safety.

The home side started the second half the brighter and substitute Felipe struck the outside of the post, the closest they came to a goal in the game.

Forest thought they should have had a penalty when Abdoulaye Doucouré grabbed hold of the shirt of Ryan Yates at a corner but VAR deemed there had not been a clear error from the match officials.

It was perhaps a lucky escape for the visitors and shortly afterwards they took the lead, a potentially massive swing in their season which is shaping up to be a third successive relegation battle.

"Of course I'm disappointed. It's far from the result that we wanted," Cooper said. "The penalty that was given against us last week [against Brighton] - if that was a penalty I think the one today is [too]. I hope it gets analysed. It needs to be."

"I'm frustrated to say the least," Cooper added. "I have no problem with anything that our supporters feel because it comes from wanting to support us as best they can. We have to try and put things right but there will be no deflecting."

Everton host Newcastle United on Thursday in their next game, while Forest travel to Fulham on Wednesday.