When it arrived, the decisive strike was a memorable one, delivered from 20 yards by Bryan Roy, whose venomous shot whistled into the top corner.
The goal was a blessed relief to Forest, who had pulled Malmo's stubborn rearguard all ways during a blistering spell of attack at the start of the second half only to find themselves increasingly fearful of frustration. Roy missed two wonderful chances and he was to squander another, which would have spared Forest a tense finish.
"In that 10-minute spell after half-time you saw us at our best," Clark said. "When we had played so well without getting a goal I wondered if it was going to happen for us. But Bryan is always capable of scoring a goal like that."
Given that Forest had excelled in the quality of their passing and movement, there was some irony in the nature of the goal, direct from a long punt by Mark Crossley which Jorgen Ohlsson failed to cut out.
It had, in a way, been planned that way. "I thought, if anything, we had been too patient, too predictable in the first half," Clark said. "One of the things I did was to ask Mark to release the ball more quickly."
Malmo were at their most threatening at the start. A free kick, dangerously conceded by Colin Cooper in the opening minute, was deflected narrowly wide as Robert Prytz, who played as a 19-year-old in the 1979 final, sought a little revenge. Then Jorgen Pettersson, a striker of obvious class, drew from Crossley a slightly fortuitous save with the legs.
They subsequently set out their stall to protect their advantage, but the height and strength of Jason Lee combined with the speed and trickery of Roy always left them vulnerable.
Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Crossley; Lyttle Cooper, Chettle, Pearce; Stone, Bohinen (Gemmill, 88), Bart-Williams, Woan; Lee, Roy (Silenzi, 88).
Malmo (4-4-2): Fedel; Nylen, Ohlsson, Wirmola, C Persson; D Andersson (Dahlstrom, 74), J Persson, Prytz, Fjellstrom (Olsson, 59); A Andersson, J Petterson.
Referee: M Batta (France).Reuse content