Match ends, Middlesbrough 3, Nottingham Forest 0.
Middlesbrough kept the pressure on the Championship front-runners with a resounding win against 10-man Nottingham Forest.
George Friend put the hosts ahead after the restart when he leapt high to head home Grant Leadbitter's corner.
Forest were reduced to 10 men when Kelvin Wilson picked up a second yellow for a challenge from behind on Kike.
Jelle Vossen got Boro's second before Leadbitter scored from the spot after Karl Darlow felled Patrick Bamford.
It was the perfect response by Aitor Karanka's side to last week's defeat at promotion rivals Ipswich, with a third win in four games putting them up to fourth - two points behind second-placed Town.
Forest's worrying slide continues though, with the gap between them and the play-offs up to seven points after five league matches without a win.
Boro started confidently and kept Darlow busy, with Friend going close twice and Albert Adomah's powerful effort stinging the hands of the visiting keeper.
Robert Tesche had Forest's best chance of the first half, but his long-range drive was parried away by Dimi Konstantopoulos.
Friend had Boro in front after the break when he latched onto Leadbitter's corner to head the ball low into the net.
And after Tesche struck just wide, Forest were a man down when Wilson was dismissed for a poor tackle on Kike.
It quickly got worse for Forest as Vossen notched his fourth goal of the season when he hammered a half-volley home from the edge of the area.
Darlow then brought down Bamford and Leadbitter converted from the spot, meaning Boro are now unbeaten in nine home matches.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka: "My players are used to playing in front of 12, 14, 16,000 people. I don't think many of them are used to playing in front of 32,000 people and in that kind of atmosphere.
"So they did very well. We finished the first half much better than we started. I was also pleased because all the fans have come. They can go home happy."
Nottingham Forest boss Stuart Pearce: "We're just suffering with a lack of confidence and composure on the ball at the moment.
"We were hoping to come here and hurt Boro on the break and we had opportunities to do that but couldn't find that killer pass."
- 10TomlinSubstituted forReachat 74'minutes
- 23BamfordSubstituted forWilliamsat 90'minutes
- 9KikeSubstituted forVossenat 68'minutes
- 4MancienneBooked at 39mins
- 6WilsonBooked at 67mins
- 18AntonioSubstituted forVeldwijkat 81'minutes
- 9AssombalongaSubstituted forVaughanat 45'minutes
- 29de Vries
- Scott Duncan
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 3, Nottingham Forest 0.
Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).
Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Rhys Williams replaces Patrick Bamford.
Goal! Middlesbrough 3, Nottingham Forest 0. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Penalty Middlesbrough. Patrick Bamford draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Karl Darlow (Nottingham Forest) after a foul in the penalty area.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Grant Leadbitter.
Attempt blocked. Robert Tesche (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Fox.
Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lars Veldwijk (Nottingham Forest).
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Lars Veldwijk replaces Michail Antonio.
Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Michael Mancienne (Nottingham Forest).
Goal! Middlesbrough 2, Nottingham Forest 0. Jelle Vossen (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Daniel Fox.
Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).
Daniel Fox (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).