Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton has paid tribute to goalkeeper Brice Samba for his penalty save from Adam Armstrong during his side’s 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
With Forest leading thanks to Alex Mighten’s deflected first half effort, Samba then handed Rovers the opportunity to get back into the game, as he brought down Ryan Nyambe inside the penalty area.
The goalkeeper however, immediately made amends for that by diving to his right to deny Armstrong his 20th league goal of the season, beating away the striker’s effort, before reacting well to prevent any Blackburn player from netting on the rebound.
Indeed, it seems that given Armstrong’s return in the Championship this season, Hughton feared the worst when the striker stepped up, leaving the Forest boss even more impressed with Samba’s heroics.
Speaking about the penalty save after the game, Hughton was quoted by Nottinghamshire Live as saying: “It was a very good save from a top striker in the division hence the number of goals he has scored. Probably most of us, when they saw that he was taking the penalty, he generally hits the back of the net.
“But you’ve got to guess the right way and be firm enough to stop it. He also reacted really well from the second opportunity from it too. I am really pleased for him and it caps off a good period for him too.”
Following that victory over Tony Mowbray’s side, Forest have now lost just one of their last six league games, and sit 17th in the Championship table, seven points clear of the relegation zone.
This just goes to show how important it is to have a goalkeeper as good as Samba in your side.
Up until the penalty, Samba hadn’t really been tested by Rovers’ attack, and yet he was still alert and ready enough to pull of a save such as that, and help earn his side a huge win.
Indeed, with Armstrong having scored five of the six penalties he had taken this season prior to Saturday, Samba’s task was always going to be a big one here, making that save all the more impressive.