Summer signing Elanga, introduced in first-half added time following an injury to Danilo, struck shortly after the break when he raced on to Taiwo Awoniyi’s pass and slotted home.
It was Elanga’s first strike for Forest since his £15m move from Manchester United this summer and ended a personal club goal drought stretching back to February 2022.
Earlier, Chelsea had made a strong start as they sought a third consecutive victory under Mauricio Pochettino, but it was Forest who should have taken the lead before half-time through the in-form Awoniyi, who had scored in each of his previous seven Premier League games.
Chelsea manager Pochettino deployed new £42.5 million signing Cole Palmer as he sought a way back into the game and nearly got one when Nicolas Jackson shot over from a few yards out late on after being thwarted earlier by a last-ditch block by Willy Boly.
Thiago Silva also came close as the clock approached the end, and Raheem Sterling hammered an attempt wide deep into stoppage time, but Forest held on for a memorable victory – their first against Chelsea in almost 28 years. Steve Cooper’s squad moved up to ninth in the Premier League rankings, while Chelsea dropped to 11th after their second defeat of the season.
Sterling was denied by Ola Aina’s block, and Ben Chilwell missed to complete Sterling’s brilliant ball in a purposeful start for the hosts, who were looking to build on their first victory of the season last week against promoted Luton Town.
Despite excellent build-up play, Sterling and striker Jackson were unable to spark a comeback from the hosts.
Jackson will be left wondering how he didn’t equalize and set up a tight finish, but Forest, who were left empty-handed from a two-goal lead against Manchester United the week before, refused to bend under rising pressure to secure an important win on the road.
UNIQUE CODE: IVANOLAD2410