Nottingham — Nottingham Forest moved six points clear of the Premier League relegation zone as Brennan Johnson’s stunning strike earned a 1-0 win over a struggling Leeds United on Sunday.
The Welsh international crashed home a volley from outside the box for the decisive goal after just 14 minutes.
But Keylor Navas was just as much a hero on his Forest debut at the other end to snatch a vital three points for Steve Cooper’s men.
The former Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper stood tall to deny Luke Ayling and Wilfried Gnonto an equaliser.
Luis Sinisterra also blazed a glorious chance over for the visitors.
But Leeds remain without a league win since November and only sit outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
The arrival of Navas on loan from PSG, alongside Jonjo Shelvey, Felipe and Andre Ayew this week took Forest’s total of new signings this season to a remarkable 30.
However, it is a player born and raised in Nottingham who is edging the two-time European champions towards survival on their first season back in the top flight since 1998-99.
Johnson scored twice in the 2-0 win over Leicester City in Forest’s previous league game at the City Ground.
And his thunderous strike was worthy of winning any game after Leeds only partially cleared a free-kick.
Jesse Marsch’s men went onto control the remainder of the first half, but could not find a way past an inspired Navas.
Leeds then lost their way after the break as Forest comfortably held out to remain unbeaten at home in the league since September.
Forest move up to 13th, while Leeds remain perilously placed in 17th.