Report | Swansea City 1 Nottingham Forest 4
Swansea City fell to a third consecutive league defeat as in-form Nottingham Forest left SA1 with an away win.
Following a goalless opening half, Two goals within three minutes in the second half had given the visitors a healthy lead, with Philip Zinckernagel and Lewis Grabban scoring the goals.
Joel Piroe gave the Swans a lifeline when he volleyed in his 12th goal of the season, but Brennan Johnson pounced on Ben Hamer’s parried save from Jordi Osei-Tutu’s effort to add a third, before sub Cafu compounded further misery on the Swans deep into stoppage time.
The Swans made two changes to the starting XI with Ryan Bennett starting in place of Kyle Naughton, who was Isolating due to a positive case of covid-19 within his family.
The other change saw Olivier Ntcham recalled to the starting XI in place of Rhys Williams, with the Frenchman having come off the bench in last weekend’s defeat at Middlesbrough.
With Naughton unavailable, Martin utilised Flynn Downes in that position as he moved from midfield.
Both sides showed their threat going forward in the early exchanges, with Ethan Laird driving an inviting cross along the face of goal, only to see it evade his team-mates.
Piroe then put Brice Samba under pressure after he had dallied on a back pass, but the keeper went to ground and was awarded a free-kick despite minimal contact.
Forest were looking dangerous on the break, and when Johnson pinched possession off Wales team-mate Ben Cabango, he raced on and sent in a cross which deflected off Ryan Bennett and into Grabban’s path, but he could only slide his effort wide.
Another warning on the break saw Samba launch an attacked after collecting Matt Grimes’ free-kick, and Johnson sent the lively Djed Spence down the right. He touched inside to Zinckernagel, but he was denied by a sliding Bennett challenge.
At the other end, Grimes curled in a free-kick to the unmarked Olivier Ntcham, but his half-volley from an angle inside the box flew high and wide.
Ntcham was at it again a minute later, collecting a return pass from Ethan Laird, but the midfielder again failed to find the target.
Then, with four minutes left of the half, the Swans had a glorious chance to take the lead. Samba had raced off his line to intercept a pass, but when Osei-Tutu stuck his head out, the ball dropped into the path of Piroe, but he uncharacteristically struck high and wide from 30 yards with Samba stranded.
On the stroke of half-time, the Swans lost Laird through injury, with Joel Latibeaudiere taking his place.
With five minutes of the restart, the Swans found themselves 2-0 down.
After an attempted clearance dropped to Zinckernagel, the ball deflected to Grabban, and his return pass allowed Zinckernagel time and space inside to find the top corner after 48 minutes.
Forest doubled their lead two minutes later, Spence touched wide to Johnson, and his pinpoint cross was diverted home by Grabban.
The Swans needed a quick response, and they got one.
After 62 minutes, Joe Worrall’s clearance from Ryan Manning’s cross dropped to Piroe, and his volley took a slight deflection off Ryan Yates and found the net.
But just as the home crowd sensed a comeback, Forest regained their two-goal advantage.
When Hamer failed to gather Osei-Tutu’s shot, Johnson pounced and stabbed home from close range via the near post.
The Swans did their best to get back into the game, with Piroe firing just wide and Latibeaudiere missing a glorious chance from ten yards from Jamie Paterson’s cross.
But it was the visitors who had the final say, with sub Cafu driving home a fourth late on after being teed up by fellow replacement Lyle Taylor as former boss Steve Cooper made a winning return to the Swansea.com Stadium.
Swansea City: Ben Hamer, Ethan Laird (Joel Latibeaudiere, 45), Ben Cabango, Ryan Bennett, Ryan Manning, Matt Grimes (capt), Flynn Downes, Korey Smith (Michael Obafemi, 56), Olivier Ntcham, Jamie Paterson, Joel Piroe.
Subs: Steven Benda, Rhys Williams, Jake Bidwell, Liam Walsh, Liam Cullen.
Nottingham Forest: Brice Samba, Djed Spence, Joe Worrall, Lewis Grabban (capt, Lyle Taylor, 86), Jack Colback, Philip Zinckernagel (Cafu, 67), Brennan Johnson, Ryan Yates, Jordi Osei-Tutu (Gaetan Bong, 87), Scott McKenna, James Garner.
Subs: Ethan Horvath, Joao Carvalho, Alex Mighten, Braian Ojeda.