Football

Watch: Richard Keogh Wasn't Happy After Martin O'Neill's Forest Win Spiky Derby

Watch: Richard Keogh Wasn't Happy After Martin O'Neill's Forest Win Spiky Derby

There was plenty of Irish involvement in tonight's East Midlands derby at the City Ground, where Frank Lampard's Derby County visited their neighbours Nottingham Forest, now managed by the 'Dream Team' of club legend Martin O'Neill, aided by trusty assistant Roy Keane.

Both clubs are hoping to compete for play-off places towards the business end of the season, and while Derby have recently been on the slide with a poor run of results, a resurgent Forest are creeping up the table under O'Neill.

The recent form of both clubs played out in tonight's game, as Forest ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a Daryl Murphy assisted goal from a masked Yohan Benalouane just two minutes into the game.

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There was a fiery atmosphere at the City Ground, as the home fans sensed that a first victory in seven attempts against their bitter rivals was on the cards. There were a few tense exchanges on the field that threatened to boil over at stages, but Forest held on and recorded a famous victory.

The simmering tension almost boiled over after the final whistle. Derby captain and Irish international Richard Keogh's trademark wide eyes grew even wider as he took exception to the celebrating Forest players and was held back from a potential scuffle before the players dispersed.

That leaves O'Neill's side in eighth place in the Championship table, just a point behind Lampard's Derby in seventh. The former Chelsea great will surely come under some pressure now that his side have dropped out of the play-off places, having spent most of the season in the promotion hunt.

If O'Neill and Keane can use this momentum to make a promotion push with Forest, this would be an impressive turnaround for the club and would go some way to restoring their reputations in the management game after an almost farcical year with Ireland in 2018.

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Emmet Bradshaw

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