A freak Matt Phillips goal proved the match-winner for West Bromwich Albion as they came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest in Slaven Bilic’s first game in charge.

Phillips whipped a mishit cross from the touchline over the head of Forest debutant Aro Muric, who appeared to misjudge the flight of the ball.

In a game of goalkeeping errors, Forest led when Matty Cash beat visiting keeper Sam Johnstone at his near post with a low, drilled strike from 20 yards.

Albion winger Kyle Edwards levelled with a shot that slipped through the grasp of on-loan man Muric before Phillips’ fluke completed the first-half comeback.

The second half was not as incident-packed, with midfielder Alfa Semedo lashing over and Michael Dawson’s effort blocked as Sabri Lamouchi’s side looked for a leveller on his managerial bow in England.

It was the wayward strike from former QPR and Blackpool winger Phillips that will live longest in the memory, with Muric appearing to pull his hand away from the ball thinking it was floating over his bar.

Forest had started promisingly, deservedly going ahead after some fine link-up play between Cash and Albert Adomah, the former controlling on his chest before finding the net.

Edwards – on only his seventh league start for the Baggies – turned makeshift right-back Cash inside out before shooting across Muric to level, while England Under-19 defender Nathan Ferguson was arguably the most impressive of five debutants for ex- boss Bilic’s side.

It is the first time Forest have lost an opening-day league match at the City Ground since 1983, with this season the ninth in succession that they have started with a different manager.

For West Brom, their recovery mirrors their antics of last season, where only promoted Aston Villa (29) won more points from losing positions than their 27.

Line-ups

Nottm Forest

  • 49Muric
  • 11Cash
  • 20Dawson
  • 4Worrall
  • 18Robinson
  • 8Watson
  • 37Adomah
  • 28Maia SilvaSubstituted forMir Vicenteat 62′minutes
  • 17Semedo EstevesSubstituted forJohnsonat 88′minutes
  • 23LolleySubstituted forAmeobiat 72′minutes
  • 7Grabban

Substitutes

  • 2Oliveira Ribeiro
  • 3Pereira Figueiredo
  • 12Smith
  • 14Mir Vicente
  • 19Ameobi
  • 40Johnson
  • 45Richardson

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 36Ferguson
  • 6Ajayi
  • 5Bartley
  • 3GibbsSubstituted forTownsendat 71′minutes
  • 8Livermore
  • 19SawyersBooked at 85mins
  • 10Phillips
  • 7Krovinovic
  • 21EdwardsSubstituted forHarperat 84′minutes
  • 9ZohoreSubstituted forBurkeat 63′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Furlong
  • 14Townsend
  • 16Harper
  • 17Burke
  • 20Leko
  • 23Bond
  • 27O’Shea
Referee:
Darren England
Attendance:
27,592

Match Stats

Home TeamNottm ForestAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home15
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Nottingham Forest 1, West Bromwich Albion 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 1, West Bromwich Albion 2.

Attempt saved. Le Grabban (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Matthew Cash with a cross.

Attempt missed. Matthew Cash (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Brennan Johnson.

Attempt missed. Sammy Ameobi (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ben Watson with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Brennan Johnson replaces Alfa Semedo.

Foul by Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion).

Ben Watson (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Alfa Semedo.

Attempt missed. (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Attempt blocked. Michael Dawson (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matthew Cash.

Booking

Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

Attempt blocked. Rafa Mir (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Rekeem Harper replaces Kyle Edwards because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Kyle Edwards (West Bromwich Albion).

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Conor Townsend.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Jack Robinson.

Nathan Ferguson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Rafa Mir (Nottingham Forest).

Attempt missed. Alfa Semedo (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Foul by Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion).

Rafa Mir (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Semi Ajayi.

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Nathan Ferguson.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Sammy Ameobi replaces Joe Lolley.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Conor Townsend replaces Kieran Gibbs because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Kieran Gibbs (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt blocked. Alfa Semedo (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Lolley with a cross.

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Nathan Ferguson.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Oliver Burke replaces Kenneth Zohore.

Attempt missed. Filip Krovinovic (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ben Watson.

Attempt blocked. Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Phillips.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Rafa Mir replaces Tiago Silva.

goal

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