Awoniyi makes Nothingham Forest history again

Cooper: I knew the Nigerian would be a handful for Virgil van Dijk

Taiwo Awoniyi is the first Nottingham Forest player to score in each of his first three Premier League starts at the City Ground.

Two of the goals the Nigerian has scored proved to be winners. His first goal on his home debut against West Ham in August was all Forest needed for their first win of the season and first in the English top flight in 23 years.

Awoniyi’s second home goal did not fetch any point as Forest lost 3-2 to visiting Fulham at the City Ground in September.

The Nigerian’s third has fetched Forest only their second win of the season. It also moved the Nigerian up as the club’s top scorer in the Premier League for this campaign, one ahead of Brennan Johnson.

Awoniyi is also Nigeria’s joint top scorer in the competition in 2022 with Emmanuel Dennis and Kelechi Iheanacho who have also scored three times in the outgoing year.

Meanwhile, Forest coach Steve Cooper said he restored Awoniyi to the starting line up after three consecutive bench roles because he felt the Nigerian would be a handful for Virgil van Dijk.

‘Taiwo worked so hard. We played him today we thought he could be a handful for Virgil van Dijk. He really proved to be that and deserved his goal,’ said Cooper.

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