Championship
Nottm ForestNottingham Forest1MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough2

Nottingham Forest 1-2 Middlesbrough: Britt Assombalonga stars on City Ground return

Britt Assombalonga scores Middlesbrough's first goal against Nottingham Forest
Britt Assombalonga's first-half goal was his fifth goal in 23 appearances this season

Neil Warnock masterminded a sixth successive Championship victory over Nottingham Forest as former Reds striker Britt Assombalonga set Middlesbrough on their way to three points at the City Ground.

Assombalonga put Boro ahead from close range, finding the net with a low, first-time finish from Jonny Howson's pass.

The visitors doubled their lead on the counter-attack soon after the break when George Saville calmly slipped the ball past keeper Brice Samba as he raced through one-on-one.

Forest finally rallied late on, scoring with their first attempt on target when Loic Mbe Soh headed in his first senior goal from Joe Lolley's delightful cross.

But they could not find an equaliser and a miserable evening was completed by Yuri Ribeiro's 97th-minute red card after appearing to stamp on Saville as Boro, who move up to seventh in the Championship, tried to waste time in the corner.

Forest were unbeaten in six league games and had been steadily improving under Chris Hughton, who replaced Sabri Lamouchi in October after a run of six defeats from seven.

But they were second best by a considerable margin against Warnock's Boro, who are now just three points off the play-off places with a game in hand on sixth-placed Bournemouth, despite chastening recent defeats against lowly Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham.

Middlesbrough settled impressively following Assombalonga's tidy finish and he almost made it two when his header came hit the post and rebounded off keeper Brice Samba and over the bar.

Forest brought on Lyle Taylor at the break but it was 2-0 to the visitors within five minutes when Assombalonga held the ball up and Marcus Tavernier played a lovely pass through for Northern Ireland midfielder Saville to score.

Marc Bola and Sam Morsy both went close to extending the lead, but Boro did not need the security of a third goal despite the late home response which briefly threatened to salvage a point for a Forest side, who drop to 20th in the table.

Forest manager Chris Hughton:

"It was a disappointing night, particularly on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run [in all competitions] and a really good performance [against Millwall].

"We never really got going. We needed to impose ourselves more on them and we were not able to do that. If you cannot do that, you need to be resolute and solid at the back.

"We conceded two really poor goals. With the form we have been in and certainly the defensive form we have been in, it was not like us.

"My gut feeling is I have no complaints with the sending off. With where we are, we have to keep our discipline."

Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock:

"When Britt's like that, he's as good as anything. I just wish he'd do that every week.

"We were at it from the first minute, I knew we'd be all right. We never took our foot off the pedal. That's lovely to see.

"We were sloppy on Saturday, but the only disappointment was not scoring more goals. Apart from their goal, I can't think of a save our keeper had to make. I'd give Jonny Howson 11 out of 10 for his performance."

Line-ups

Nottm Forest

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 30Samba
  • 2Christie
  • 4Worrall
  • 26McKenna
  • 5RibeiroBooked at 90mins
  • 22YatesSubstituted forMbe Sohat 82'minutes
  • 21SowBooked at 33minsSubstituted forTaylorat 45'minutesBooked at 67mins
  • 11AmeobiSubstituted forLolleyat 78'minutes
  • 18Ribeiro Dias
  • 17MightenSubstituted forKnockaertat 56'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 7Grabban

Substitutes

  • 3Figueiredo
  • 6Mbe Soh
  • 12Smith
  • 13Bong
  • 16Jenkinson
  • 19Guerrero
  • 23Lolley
  • 28Knockaert
  • 33Taylor

Middlesbrough

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 2Dijksteel
  • 6Fry
  • 17McNair
  • 27Bola
  • 5MorsyBooked at 13mins
  • 16HowsonBooked at 84mins
  • 22Saville
  • 7TavernierSubstituted forSpenceat 90+5'minutes
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 18WatmoreSubstituted forJohnsonat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Johnson
  • 8Wing
  • 10Akpom
  • 13Archer
  • 15Wood
  • 19Roberts
  • 29Spence
  • 33Coulson
  • 34Hackney
Referee:
Andy Woolmer

Match Stats

Home TeamNottm ForestAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home5
Away16
Shots on Target
Home1
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home21
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Middlesbrough 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 1, Middlesbrough 2.

  3. Dismissal

    Yuri Ribeiro (Nottingham Forest) is shown the red card.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Yuri Ribeiro (Nottingham Forest).

  5. Post update

    George Saville (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Booking

    Anthony Knockaert (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

  7. Post update

    Hand ball by Anthony Knockaert (Nottingham Forest).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Djed Spence replaces Marcus Tavernier.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Nottingham Forest 1, Middlesbrough 2. Loïc Mbe Soh (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joe Lolley with a cross.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Anthony Knockaert (Nottingham Forest).

  11. Post update

    Marc Bola (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Lyle Taylor (Nottingham Forest).

  13. Post update

    Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Yuri Ribeiro.

  16. Booking

    Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Lyle Taylor (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Loïc Mbe Soh replaces Ryan Yates because of an injury.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich25165435211453
2Swansea24137429131646
3Brentford23128337211644
4Watford24127528171143
5Reading2413473728943
6Bournemouth25119538211742
7Middlesbrough24116730201039
8Stoke2591063026437
9Bristol City24113102526-136
10Preston25112123133-235
11Barnsley25104112732-534
12Blackburn2496939281133
13Luton2596102127-633
14Huddersfield2594122835-731
15Cardiff2485113028229
16Millwall2461172124-329
17QPR246992330-727
18Coventry2468102234-1226
19Birmingham2568111830-1226
20Nottm Forest2567122029-925
21Derby2457121525-1022
22Rotherham2255122332-920
23Sheff Wed2367101523-819
24Wycombe2336141635-1915
View full Championship table

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