There some signs of things starting to take shape for Chelsea in a game we dominated, but no points as we couldn't find the cutting edge we needed to take something from this Premier League game with Nottingham Forest.

It was a game which initially showed plenty of promise, as the green shoots of developing relationships between members of our new-look squad were apparent all over the pitch, especially during the first half.

Nicolas Jackson and Raheem Sterling continued to combine well, especially when given the chance to counter, our midfield trio worked well together, and on the right Malo Gusto was looking more and more at home in a Chelsea shirt, putting in his best performance so far. Then of course there was a debut for Cole Palmer off the bench.

However, after both teams initially failed to make their sparse opportunities count, Nottingham Forest went ahead through Anthony Elanga shortly after half-time, and by the time Jackson sent Sterling's cut-back over the bar late on it looked clear it was not to be our day.

Mauricio Pochettino named an unchanged line-up from our last Premier League fixture, a 3-0 home win over Luton Town, but there were two new faces among the substitutes, in deadline-day signing Cole Palmer and young Brazilian Dievid Washington, who were both involved for the first time.

Hopeful start

There were some good early signs that Chelsea were going to be knocking on the door, when Moises Caicedo won the ball in midfield and burst forward, releasing Nicolas Jackson to run menacingly at the Forest defence. When he was eventually stopped, the ball was recycled out to the left and Ben Chilwell nearly found Raheem Sterling six yards out, but it was scrambled behind for a corner.

Despite that, it was fairly even in the opening exchanges, although there was a chance for both sides to regroup during a lengthy pause 10 minutes in, when the referee lost his radio connection to VAR. It seemed to help Chelsea more than Forest, as it was immediately followed by a long, patient spell of possession in the Forest half, which ended with Conor Gallagher sending a powerful left-foot effort from the edge inches wide of the top corner.

There were a couple of big let offs for the Blues, though, both from set-pieces. When the first was headed back into danger and fell loose to Taiwo Awoniyi he looked certain to score, but thankfully his team-mate Ryan Yates got in his way and he fired over the bar. It was Awoniyi the second time, too, missing the target again at the back post.

The half ended pretty much as it had started, with Sterling agonisingly close to getting on the end of a Chilwell ball across goal, but he couldn’t quite get there and Jackson’s follow up was blocked.

Behind after the break

However, when play resumed for the second half, we went a goal down to Forest’s first counter-attack. Caicedo and Gallagher couldn’t keep possession under pressure on the halfway line, and Awoniyi played a quick through-ball for Elanga, who had time to pick his spot low past Robert Sanchez. It felt incredibly harsh on Chelsea, who had enjoyed 70 per cent of possession to that point and prevented our opponents from managing a single shot on target.

Then came the moment the Blues supporters had been waiting for, as new signing Palmer was introduced from the bench to make his Chelsea debut, as one of a pair of attacking changes, alongside Noni Madueke.

The duo definitely livened things up and injected some energy in the final third, with their direct running putting Forest on the back foot, but it increasingly felt like it just wasn’t going to be our day.

That was confirmed when one final good chance came and went without bringing the equaliser. Sterling did well to get around the back of the Forest defence and cut back, but Jackson was stretching as he shot and couldn't keep it down.

What it means…

We are unable to follow up our back-to-back wins by making it consecutive Premier League victories for the first time under Pochettino. However, the international break means our head coach now has time to work with his squad and new arrivals before our next match, as we end this initial stage of the campaign with four points from as many games.

What comes next…

There is no game for Chelsea next week as domestic action pauses for the international break, with our next match coming away at Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday 17 September, with kick-off at 2pm.

The teams

Chelsea (4-3-3): Sanchez; Gusto (Mudryk 77), Disasi, Thiago Silva, Colwill; Gallagher (Madueke 62), Caicedo (Maatsen 77), Enzo; Sterling, Jackson, Chilwell (c), (Palmer 62)
Unused subs: Bergstrom, Petrovic, Cucurella, Ugochukwu, Washington
Booked: Chilwell 31, Jackson 36, Gallagher 43

Nottingham Forest (3-4-2-1): Turner; Boly, Worrall (c), McKenna; Aurier (Montiel 73), Mangala (Tavares 73), Yates, Aina (Kouyate 73); Danilo (Elanga 45+2), Gibbs-White; Awoniyi (Wood 65)
Unused subs: Horvath, Felipe, Niakhate, Aguilera
Scorer: Elanga 48
Booked: Aina 41, Yates 61, Tavares 86

Referee: Tim Robinson

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