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Forest still yet to secure EPL status after loss to fast-finishing Chelsea

Callum Hudson-Odoi Nottingham Forest Callum Hudson-Odoi - The Canadian Press

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) — Nottingham Forest was still not mathematically sure of avoiding relegation from the English Premier League after losing at home to Chelsea 3-2 on Saturday.

Forest is almost safe, though, as it will require a huge swing in goal difference to be overtaken by Luton in the final round of games on May 19.

Forest was three points above third-from-last Luton and had a superior goal difference of 12.

Chelsea boosted its ambitions of playing in a European competition next season by coming from behind thanks to goals by Raheem Sterling in the 80th minute and Nicolas Jackson in the 82nd.

Mauricio Pochettino's team moved level on points with sixth-placed Newcastle and three points clear of eighth-placed Manchester United, which hosts title-chasing Arsenal on Sunday. After that, Man United, Newcastle and Chelsea will each have two games left. Man United hosts Newcastle in one of them.

Sixth and seventh place are likely to earn spots in the Europa League or Europa Conference League, respectively.

After Luton's 3-1 loss at West Ham earlier Saturday, Forest knew a point would be good enough to retain its league status.

However, the hosts fell behind to a goal from Mykhailo Mudryk, who cut inside off a pass from Cole Palmer and slotted home a low finish in the eighth minute.

Willy Boly was left unmarked to head home the equalizer at a free kick in the 16th and Callum Hudson-Odoi — a former Chelsea player — curled Forest ahead in the 74th.

Chelsea finished strongly, though, with Sterling producing a similar finish to Hudson-Odoi to make it 2-2 soon after coming off the bench, and Jackson grabbing the winner by heading home a cross from fit-again Chelsea club captain Reece James.

It secured Chelsea a third straight league win and the possibility for an expensively assembled team to conclude an underwhelming campaign with a place in Europe next season.


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