Maybe it will be against Chelsea of all people.
But Albion’s wait for a first home win and a goal under new leadership will last at least a week until Saturday.
The crossbar, Dean Henderson and their own finishing errors thwarted them here as they failed to make the most of almost 90 minutes of dominance against a very limited Forest side.
The frustration was all too evident for Roberto De Zerbi as he watched from the sidelines, although once again he will be pleased with much of the creative work he has seen.
When asked about big decisions Monday morning, De Zerbi told The Argus: “There are important decisions, but when the team is playing well, it’s not right to change more.”
As expected, he started with Adam Lallana but kept the changes to a minimum.
The ex-Liverpooler replaced Pervis Estupinan in the eleven.
Three Forest changes included a return to the XI for former Albion loanee Jesse Lingard.
The Seagulls went into the game confident their football was promising – and unyielding a point from nine was a narrow reward for their recent efforts.
Very unusual here, the teams changed sides at the start.
Perhaps the North Stand should take that as a compliment given Forest skipper Ryan Yates made the call.
Albion opened in a back three with Leandro Trossard on the left and Solly March on the right.
Danny Welbeck almost got in early after a long ball.
That forced a corner, as did a run from Trossard as Albion started strong.
March came to the sidelines and let his cross go away.
A Lallana cross fell to Joel Veltman, who didn’t make good contact with his shot. The attempt was blocked amid half-hearted calls for handball.
Henderson was tested after 13 minutes when he overplayed a Trossard shot.
The Belgian switched the ball to his right foot and shot well.
Henderson also fisted the resulting corner under pressure.
Lallana and Pascal Gross played in pockets just in front of Welbeck and the hosts had plenty of men up front.
Lallana got wide once, but his cutback from the touchline was blocked when Welbeck waited in the middle.
There were four opportunities around the half hour where the breakthrough could have come.
Trossard shot the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Lallana missed a header from Trossard’s cross.
And then March sliced inside and sunk in a low shot, forcing Henderson to make a sharp save at his near post.
De Zerbi couldn’t believe what he was seeing and buried his head in the hood of his shirt as Gross hammered a drive from a great position straight at Henderson, who then snatched the rebound from Welbeck.
Albion’s 12th and final shot of the half came in added time.
Adam Webster started the move with good footwork to sign opponents and ended it when his shot flew just wide of Gross’ cutback on the slide and from near the penalty spot.
It wasn’t long before more goal attempts followed after the break.
March was fouled and Alexis Mac Allister’s 30-yard free kick deflected back.
Gross’ corner was deflected into the goal by Welbeck and Henderson made an unconvincing save.
Then a delicious curling cross from Veltman pulled out Welbeck, whose header was tame – and a few yards off.
Moises Caicedo was the first player booked when he hit Yates in the face with a high boot as the ball bounced between them.
You could hear the desperation in the crowd as Welbeck’s touch failed him as Trossard tried to get him through to the left of goal.
And again, when Gross March served, whose cross Welbeck couldn’t find directly in front of the goal.
Albion sent on Tariq Lamptey for Lallana to bring more power into the distance.
With Brennan Johnson a potential threat, there were very occasional forays into the woods.
But it was mainly Albion who pushed and Gross, sitting back, shot over the goal after a Welbeck discard.
Mac Allister’s name went in for a midfield foul on Yates.
Gross thought he had made the breakthrough in the 80th minute, but Henderson saved the German with one hand, who actually mistimed his shot and sent it to the ground.
He was replaced by Deniz Undav soon after.
But there should be no late drama.
Albion: Sanchez; Veltmann; immersion; Webster; March; MacAllister; Caicedo; Lallana (Lamptey 64); Trossard; Gross (Undav 85); Welbeck.
Yellow card; Caicedo (54) dangerous play, Mac Allister (78) dangerous play, Lamptey (90) foul.
Nottingham Forest: Henderson; aurians (Toffolo 68, Biancone 86); Cook; McKenna; Williams; Yates; Mangala (Kouyate 61); Freuler; Gibbs White; Lingard (Worall 86); Johnson (Awoniyi 86) Yellow card; Toffolo (85′) Foul.
Referee: Darren England.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/sport/23059727.brighton-held-0-0-draw-nottingham-forest/?ref=rss Brighton held out in a 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest