Sheffield United beat Nottingham Forest in EFL Championship, English Premier League return, reaction, highlights

Brice Samba saved three penalties to deny Sheffield United a place in the final as Nottingham took a big step towards Premier League promotion for the first time in more than two decades.

The initial agony turned to ecstasy as Forest, after a 2-1 regular-time loss, were separated after a goal by Josh Fleck in the 75th minute with a 3-3 aggregate and neither team going into overtime, in Won on penalties 3-2.

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Brice Samba was the hero for Nottingham United, saving three penalties.  Photo: Getty Images
Brice Samba was the hero for Nottingham United, saving three penalties. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The 28-year-old Samba was the hero who denied United three times to win the game and watched the packed home crowd at the City Ground run onto the pitch in celebration.

They will now face Huddersfield for the final promotion spot, with the game on 30th May (AEST) at Wembley being worth AU$470m.

Previously, Brennan Johnson enjoyed a slice of history when he became the first player since his father David Johnson in 2003 to score in both games of a play-off semi-final for Nottingham Forest.

His lightning strike in the 19th minute gave Forst the lead.

But the Blades hit back after the break as goals from Morgan Gibbs-White and Fleck sent the tie into overtime.

The visitors were denied a remarkable comeback only by a brilliant save from Brice Samba five minutes from time as he spread to block Iliman Ndiaye’s attempt.

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Brennan Johnson celebrates his goal against Sheffield United at the City Ground on May 17, 2022 in Nottingham, England. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

And Samba was the Forest hero in the shootout, saving from Oliver Norwood, Conor Hourihane and Gibbs-White.

Johnson, Cafu and Steve Cook scored from the point for Steve Cooper’s men to continue an incredible turn of events at the City Ground.

Forest were bottom of the table when Chris Hughton was sacked in September. They narrowly missed out on automatic promotion behind Fulham and Bournemouth but have another chance in the richest game in world football when they take on Huddersfield at Wembley on May 29.

Nottingham has not played in the Premier League since 1999.

They were officially a powerhouse in the late 1970s and early 1980s under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, which included back-to-back European Cup victories in 1979 and 1980.

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