ENGLAND: Keylor Navas stars in debut as Forest beats Leeds

Nottingham Forest's goalkeeper Keylor Navas gives instructions during the English Premier League soccer match between Nottingham Forest and Leeds United at City Ground stadium in Nottingham, England, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. (Rui Vieira/AP)

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) — Keylor Navas made a string of great saves on his debut for Nottingham Forest to help his new team beat Leeds 1-0 in the Premier League and climb further clear of the relegation zone on Sunday.

Brennan Johnson scored the 14th-minute winner for Forest but the hosts had Navas — a multiple Champions League winner who was signed from Paris Saint-Germain this week on the final day of the January transfer window — as much to thank for sealing a third victory in their last four league games.

The 36-year-old Costa Rica star was especially busy in the first half, with his best saves denying Luke Ayling and Wilfried Gnonto.

Leeds created chances at will in the first half but found it harder to penetrate Forest after the break, when U.S. midfielder Weston McKennie came on for his debut and played alongside international teammate Tyler Adams.

Johnson’s goal came when a free kick was only half-cleared by Leeds to the edge of the area, where the Wales forward steered a low, first-time shot just inside the near post.

Forest moved into 13th place, six points above the relegation zone, as the promoted team continues to recover from a slow start to the season on its return to the top flight after 23 years away.

Leeds is in 17th place in the 20-team league and only out of the relegation positions on goal difference.

Jesse Marsch’s team does have a game in hand, though, and will play Manchester United away on Wednesday.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.