Brennan Johnson, Jesse Lingard and Taiwo Awoniyi send Forest to the last eight of the Carabao Cup

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Blackburn 1-4 Forest: Brennan Johnson double fires Steve Cooper’s side into the last eight of the Carabao Cup, with Jesse Lingard and Taiwo Awoniyi also on target ahead of Premier League return

  • Brennan Johnson gave the visitors the lead after just 13 minutes from the spot 
  • Rovers drew level on the stroke of half-time through Scott Wharton’s header 
  • Jesse Lingard made it 2-1 on 53 minutes directly from a free kick outside the box 
  • Taiwo Awoniyi scored the visitors’ third goal late on to seal Forest’s progression 
  • Johnson then added his side’s fourth goal time to complete a rampant Forest win

Jesse Lingard did a jig of delight in front of six thousand travelling Nottingham Forest fans after his free-kick helped the Premier League club reach their first League Cup quarter-final since 1994.

Dominant Forest led through an early penalty from Brennan Johnson before conceding an equaliser on the stroke of half-time when Blackburn brothers Adam and Scott Wharton combined against the run of play.

But Lingard, who also scored in the previous round against Tottenham, restored the visitor’s advantage with a low strike just outside the box from a set-piece he won himself.

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Brennan Johnson got Nottingham Forest off to a brilliant start after scoring from the spot on 13 minutes

He was brought down in the penalty area by Blackburn Rovers defender Scott Wharton

He was brought down in the penalty area by Blackburn Rovers defender Scott Wharton

Jesse Lingard made it 2-1 direct from a free-kick after 53 minutes to retake the lead

Jesse Lingard made it 2-1 direct from a free-kick after 53 minutes to retake the lead

His shot from a little tap by Neco Williams took two deflections to wrongfoot goalkeeper Aynsley Pears into the corner though Forest legend Roy Keane would have hated the celebration as Lingard milked his moment with a vigorous dance in front of the large bank of away supporters.

Taiwo Awoniyi and Johnson again wrapped up the win near the end with deserved third and fourth goals for the visitors.

Forest boss Steve Cooper named a strong team after nearly six weeks of inactivity in contrast to Championship promotion hopefuls Blackburn who made 11 changes from their weekend win at Norwich.

Wharton went from villain to hero when he converted his brother Adam's free-kick on 44 minutes

Wharton went from villain to hero when he converted his brother Adam’s free-kick on 44 minutes

Lingard notched a goal and an assist on the night having scored the previous round against Tottenham

Lingard notched a goal and an assist on the night having scored the previous round against Tottenham

It wasn’t surprising therefore that Forest looked the more cohesive outfit, having 16 shots at goal in the first-half alone.

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Pears excelled himself with fine stops from Taiwo Awoniyi, Orel Mangala and Johnson but was powerless to stop the Wales World Cup striker from converting a spot-kick after 13 minutes.

Johnson won the award himself, his pace forcing Scott Wharton into a trip, and then had the confidence to rattle it home despite missing one against Wolves in October.

Lingard then turned provider to tee up Taiwo Awoniyi to score Forest's third of the match

Lingard then turned provider to tee up Taiwo Awoniyi to score Forest’s third of the match

Rovers had offered virtually nothing until 18-year-old Adam Wharton swung in a free-kick approaching the interval and is older sibling rose unchallenged to flash a header past Dean Henderson.

Cooper would have been dismayed at being pegged back but his side showed the right attitude to bounce back and retake the lead.

Once ahead, he sent on Lewis O’Brien to shore up the midfield while the excellent Johnson showed no lasting effects from a bad tackle by Jake Garrett that left him a heap as he broke through on goal.

Johnson raced through in injury-time to complete the rout with his right foot past Aynsley Pears

Johnson raced through in injury-time to complete the rout with his right foot past Aynsley Pears

Forest won the League Cup four times under Brian Clough and the size of their support meant kick off had to be delayed 15 minutes because of motorway problems.

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Lingard and Johnson were again denied by Pears as Forest looked for a deserved third goal. It eventually came when Awoniyi ran through and slipped a low finish into the corner with 10 minutes left.

Strangely, Rovers boss Jon Dahl Tomasson delayed the introduction of his star striker Ben Brereton Diaz until the final two minutes even though he’d changed the tie in the previous round against West Ham.

He was on the pitch as Johnson raced through in injury-time and fired a right-foot shot away from Pears.

Blackburn vs Forest Match Facts

Blackburn (4-4-2): Pears 8: Travis 7, Phillips 6 (Hyam 72 6), S Wharton 7, Mola 5 (Edun 45 6); Markanday 7 (Dolan 72 6, Brereton Diaz 88)), A Wharton 7 (Buckley 73 6), Garrett 5, Hedges 6; Hirst 5.5, Szmodics 5.5

Subs unused: Kaminski (Gk), Pickering, Rankin-Costello, Dack

Goal: S Wharton 44

Booked: S Wharton

Nottingham Forest (4-3-3): Henderson 6: Williams 6, Worrall 6.5, Boly 6, Toffolo 6; Yates 6.5, Freuler 6 (Colback 83), Mangala 6.5 (O’Brien 63 6.5); Johnson 9, Awoniyi 7 (Dennis 82), Lingard 8 (Surridge 83)

Subs unused: Smith (Gk), Cook, Mbe Soh, McKenna, Lodi

Goals: Johnson pen 13 & 90, Lingard 53, Awoniyi 79

Booked: Worrall, Colback

Referee: Robert Jones 7

Attendance: 15,538

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