Reds fans have been reacting with joy after Nottingham Forest avoided relegation from the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, beating Arsenal 1-0.
A goal by Taiwo Awoniyi in the 19th minute was enough to secure the win and bring forth wild celebrations from the home crowd after the final whistle.
The victory also means that Manchester City have won the Premier League title for the third consecutive year.
StoryHub spoke to Forest fans Callum Castel and Jamie Martin, who both shared their delight in their club maintaining its Premier League status.
Callum said: “I cannot even express how thrilled I am to see Nottingham Forest avoid relegation.
“It has been a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the season, and to come out on top and secure our place in the Premier League is absolutely fantastic. The team worked incredibly hard, and as a fan, I could not be prouder.
“The team showed great determination and resilience in crucial matches. There were several instances where we were trailing or faced tough opponents, but the players never gave up. Their fighting spirit and belief in themselves were vital in securing valuable points to avoid relegation.”
This moment. Nothing like it. I thought Wembley would be the best day I'd ever had with this club, but today will be remembered forever. #NFFC
— Callum Castel (@callumcasteln) May 20, 2023
Fellow Reds fan Jamie Martin spoke about the fans – and how they have played a massive hand in Forest’s survival.
Jamie said: “The support from the fans played a crucial role. The atmosphere at the City Ground was electric – and the players fed off that energy. We have been like the 12th man on the field, constantly cheering them on and providing that extra motivation. The fans’ unwavering support has been truly inspiring.”
Despite having most of the ball, Mikel Arteta’s team were unable to get past Forest’s determined defence. This led to City winning their fifth championship in as many years, not that Pep Guardiola’s club or Forest’s boisterous fans cared about them.
Steve Cooper, the manager of Forest, finally had reason to celebrate after what must have felt like an eternity as he walked up and down his technical area, waiting for seven minutes of added time to expire and the loss of goalkeeper Keylor Navas in the final seconds.
Owner Evangelos Marinakis received hugs from those around him in the upper-level stand as well after being recognised for sticking by Cooper over a turbulent season. However, he had his players to thank for turning up towards the end of the season when it mattered.
Forest’s hero on Saturday, and top scorer this season, has been Awoniyi. After moving from Union Berlin to Forest, Awoniyi only scored four goals in his first 23 Premier League contests – but he has five goals in his last three.
Additionally, Morgan Gibbs-White’s form has significantly improved over the previous several weeks, much like that of the former Liverpool striker, so it comes as no surprise that the two worked together to give Forest the lead.
Given that Gabriel slipped when attempting to intercept Gibbs-White’s slanted pass into the penalty box, there was a certain amount of luck involved. Forest earned their good fortune that saw the ball touch Awoniyi, who soared above the diving Aaron Ramsdale, before he hit it into the net, given the tenacity they had displayed in their survival struggle and the amazing support they had got from the fans.
Forest did have other opportunities – and when Gibbs-White was one-on-one with the Arsenal custodian near the finish, he should have extended Forest’s lead.
However, Forest’s determination ensured they did not let their lead go, displaying the perseverance that has served them so well and has earned them support by their fans who have supported Cooper the entire season, saving the Welshman at several stages.