Boateng rescues an improbable point for Forest
Nottingham Forest 2 Leicester City 2
Sunday 21 August 2011
For so long in this battle of wits between Fabio Capello's two predecessors at the England helm it was much more Croatia at Wembley than Germany in Munich for Steve McClaren.
Nottingham Forest were booed off at half-time and still two down when Kasper Schmeichel bizarrely contrived to get himself sent off after a borderline Matt Mills handling offence and a penalty that halved the deficit only 11 minutes from time. The keeper was booked for moving the ball on the spot before being beaten by Lewis McGugan's low kick and then yellow-carded again when he retrieved the ball from his net and hurled it almost to the touchline in disgust; a couple of "blond" moments if ever there were.
Neverthless, just as Sven Goran Eriksson was about to celebrate Leicester City's first League victory at the ground for 39 years, salvation for Forest came four minutes into stoppage time.
Again there was goalkeeper error as the substitute Chris Weale misjudged Chris Cohen's centre and allowed George Boateng to bundle in an equaliser that completed an improbable comeback.
Eriksson said: "The penalty and sending-off changed everything. I'm not going to make excuses for my goalkeeper, but he said he hadn't seen the first yellow card. I think he has apologised to the team."
Eriksson's one-time England assistant was relieved his side were not further adrift at the break.
There was irony in the fact that the opening goal – and a hand in the second – came from David Nugent, the forward who received his solitary international cap, in 2007, from McClaren.
He scored then against Andorra and could hardly miss here when Gelson Fernandes brilliantly punished an errant pass by Jonathan Greening and squared unselfishly for the striker to turn into what was literally an empty net.
Leicester had threatened well before that 18th minute breakthrough through Nugent and Sol Bamba, who both brought smart saves from Lee Camp, and quickly built on it thanks to more nightmare defending. This time it was the skipper Luke Chambers who blundered in, allowing Neil Danns to play a one-two with Nugent and shape a shot goalwards. Chris Gunter cleared brilliantly from the line, only to see the impressive Fernandes dispatch the rebound.
It was the perfect antidote for a side smarting after two home defeats and McClaren admitted: "It looked an impossible situation at half-time. We looked like we hadn't played together all pre-season."
Then, long after an awful headed miss by Matt Derbyshire, came the sting in the tail.
Nottingham Forest (4-3-3): Camp; Moloney (Majewski, 65), Morgan, Chambers, Gunter; Greening, Boateng, McGugan; Cohen, Derbyshire (Miller, HT), McGoldrick (Findley, HT).
Leicester City (4-1-3-2): Schmeichel; Pantsil, Mills, Samba, Konchesky; Wellens; Fernandes, King (Abe, 84), Danns (Weale, 80); Vassell, Nugent (Gallagher, 65).
Referee Jonathan Moss.
Man of the match Fernandes (Leicester City).
Match rating 8/10.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Transfer deadline day: The best memes and tweets, featuring Radamel Falcao, Javier Hernandez and Bart Simpson
Radamel Falcao analysis: Manchester United have signed a top talent yet to hit his stride
Danny Welbeck signs for Arsenal: Gunners confirm signing of striker from Manchester United
Radamel Falcao to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal takes transfer spend beyond £140m - SIXTH most of any Premier league manager
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Nigerian witch-finder Helen Ukpabio threatens legal action against human rights organisations
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain