Ally McCoist delivered his verdict on the goal Nottingham Forest scored against Arsenal live on air. The Gunners were upset with referee Craig Pawson after Albert Sambi Lokonga felt Ryan Yates handled the ball in the build-up.
Forest won the game courtesy of a Lewis Grabban strike seven minutes from time. Next up for the Reds is a home date against last year’s winners, Leicester City.
Lokonga’s failed pass was blocked by Yates and the Belgian felt that the Forest man had handled it. Following his tremendous ball for Grabban, the decision was up for debate with McCoist on co-commentary duty.
He told ITV: “He plays it off his hand. I’m not giving them a free kick there. I’m really not giving a free-kick, his hands are by his side. Arsenal want a free kick. I’m not giving them one. Great goal.”
In truth, it was never a free-kick. Arsenal star Lokonga was trying desperately to appeal to the referee to bail him out following a lackadaisical piece of play.
Yates was superb in the second half. He parked a pretty low-key first-half and came roaring out with a point to prove after half-time.
Improved: Yates is proving important player under Forest boss Cooper
Yates is a constant topic of discussion among the fan base. On current form, however, even his harshest critics can have no complaints about his recent performances.
The 24-year-old was brilliant in the second half yesterday. His passing was outstanding and he roared into tackles against Premier League opposition.
Yates endured a sticky start to the 2021/22 campaign. His performances weren’t good enough and he did come under fire from the fan base.
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Now, he’s come of age under Cooper. The head coach has taken the player under his wing and transformed him into a quality Championship midfielder.
The challenge for Yates is to continue this level of performance on a more consistent basis. If he does that he could find himself lining up regularly against Premier League opposition.