Championship
Middlesbrough2Nottm Forest0

Middlesbrough 2-0 Nottingham Forest

Daniel Ayala
Middlesbrough scorer Daniel Ayala spent a season on loan at Forest in 2012-13, scoring once in 12 appearances

Middlesbrough bolstered their play-off hopes as Aitor Karanka's return to the Riverside Stadium as Nottingham Forest boss ended in defeat.

Forest old boy Daniel Ayala gave Boro an early lead as he turned and planted a fine finish into the top corner.

Ayala then turned provider, flicking on for Stewart Downing to drill a low finish past Costel Pantilimon.

The visitors improved after the break, but failed to score for the fifth successive match.

Former Forest strikers Patrick Bamford and Britt Assombalonga were in the Middlesbrough squad, but it was their former centre-back who did the damage, scoring from the first corner of the match before teeing up Boro's second goal for Downing.

Forest's failure to defend set-pieces was again their undoing, conceding from a corner for the 11th time in the league this season before George Friend's long throw into the box led to the second goal.

Ben Osborn also had to clear off the line from Friend's free header as Boro dominated the first half.

Tony Pulis' side were then happy to absorb the increasing pressure and defend their two-goal lead, with Lee Tomlin's powerful drive, pushed away by Darren Randolph, as close as Karanka's men came.

Middlesbrough are sixth and a point ahead of Millwall, while Forest, who have failed to score in their past 462 minutes of action, are 17th.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"I thought first half we were very good and the worst thing was half-time. It took the steam out of us and gave them a chance to clear their heads, and they came out and played some good football.

"I'm very, very pleased. Aitor sets his teams up very, very well - they're very good in possession and they're very strong defensively.

"I thought we created a lot of chances today against a team that's well set-up."

Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka told BBC Nottingham:

"You can't concede two goals from set-pieces. I'm upset and disappointed, but also confident with the future.

"I have my explanation, but I prefer not to say anything. It's for the manager to know why and what's happening in the first half.

"All of them are trying their best but, again, when you have so many shots and have only three on target, and they have seven you can see the difference."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 25Randolph
  • 5ShottonBooked at 57mins
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Gibson
  • 3Friend
  • 16Howson
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 27BesicSubstituted forClaytonat 63'minutes
  • 37TraoréSubstituted forAssombalongaat 81'minutes
  • 11BamfordSubstituted forCranieat 89'minutes
  • 19Downing

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 2da Silva
  • 8Clayton
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 14Cranie
  • 20Fry
  • 23Harrison

Nottm Forest

  • 1Pantilimon
  • 27Darikwa
  • 3Pereira FigueiredoBooked at 34mins
  • 13Fox
  • 11Osborn
  • 32Watson
  • 18Colback
  • 20DowellBooked at 13minsSubstituted forMcKayat 59'minutes
  • 15Tomlin
  • 23Lolley
  • 39VelliosSubstituted forBreretonat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Lichaj
  • 4Mancienne
  • 5Guédioura
  • 7Bridcutt
  • 10McKay
  • 17Brereton
  • 33Kapino
Referee:
David Webb
Attendance:
25,812

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamNottm Forest
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home13
Away14
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away8
Fouls
Home9
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Nottingham Forest 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Nottingham Forest 0.

Attempt saved. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jonny Howson.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Martin Cranie replaces Patrick Bamford.

Attempt missed. Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Britt Assombalonga.

Daniel Fox (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough).

Lee Tomlin (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Britt Assombalonga replaces Adama Traoré.

Attempt saved. Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jack Colback.

Daniel Fox (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough).

Attempt saved. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Attempt blocked. George Friend (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adama Traoré.

Attempt missed. Ben Watson (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Barrie McKay (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Joe Lolley.

Foul by Daniel Fox (Nottingham Forest).

Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt blocked. Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Ben Gibson.

Attempt blocked. Ben Brereton (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Barrie McKay.

Lee Tomlin (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

Attempt missed. Tendayi Darikwa (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Adam Clayton replaces Muhamed Besic.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Barrie McKay replaces Kieran Dowell.

Substitution

Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Ben Brereton replaces Apostolos Vellios.

Attempt missed. Tobias Figueiredo (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Tendayi Darikwa with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Ryan Shotton.

Attempt blocked. Ben Watson (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Grant Leadbitter.

Attempt blocked. Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Watson.

Attempt blocked. Lee Tomlin (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Colback.

Foul by Apostolos Vellios (Nottingham Forest).

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Daniel Fox (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves41278674363889
2Cardiff40248862342880
3Fulham412212771413078
4Aston Villa4121101065402573
5Derby401814860382268
6Middlesbrough411991358391966
7Millwall4117141052391365
8Bristol City411614115647962
9Sheff Utd41188155548762
10Brentford4116131257471061
11Preston411515114943660
12Norwich411413144551-655
13Leeds41159175357-454
14Ipswich41158184952-353
15QPR411311174961-1250
16Sheff Wed411114164855-747
17Nottm Forest40137204358-1546
18Hull411014175961-244
19Reading411012194660-1442
20Birmingham41117233158-2740
21Bolton41912203462-2839
22Barnsley40813194260-1837
23Sunderland41614214473-2932
24Burton41711233072-4232
View full Championship table

Top Stories