MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough2Nottm ForestNottingham 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."



Formation 4-3-3

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


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

Nottm Forest

Formation 4-2-3-1

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


  • 2Lichaj
  • 4Mancienne
  • 5Guédioura
  • 7Bridcutt
  • 10McKay
  • 17Brereton
  • 33Kapino
David Webb

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamNottm Forest
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Nottingham Forest 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Nottingham Forest 0.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    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.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Martin Cranie replaces Patrick Bamford.

  6. Post update

    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.

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Britt Assombalonga replaces Adama Traoré.

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

    Foul by Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough).

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Fox (Nottingham Forest).

  20. Post update

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

As It Stood

4Aston Villa4121101065402573
8Bristol City411614115647962
9Sheff Utd41188155548762
16Sheff Wed411114164855-747
17Nottm Forest40137204358-1546
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