Nottingham Forest destroyed Middlesbrough 3-0 at the City Ground on Easter Monday in a display of total dominance.
A double salvo from Joe Lolley and an Alexander Milosevic thunderbolt ensured a morale-boosting victory for Martin O’Neill’s men.
It ended a barren run of four straight defeats for Forest and they will now hope to finish with a flourish.
Following the win, Seat Pitch looked at three lessons learned from the contest.
Joao Carvalho is pure class
The Portuguese magician has been used sparingly by O’Neill since his arrival and Carvalho made a complete mockery of that yesterday.
He teased and tormented Middlesbrough all afternoon on Trentside and produced one of the most stunning solo displays in recent memory.
He didn’t grab a goal but was a constant menace throughout the game. The Forest boss would be wise to build his team around the 22-year-0ld next season.
Change in system suits Forest
With the season over for the Reds, O’Neill experimented with three at the back, two wing-backs and Carvalho and Lolley deployed as attacking midfielders behind Karim Ansarifard. It worked a treat!
If O’Neill had come in from the off and utilised such a system, he would probably have been cut some slack from the Forest faithful.
Carvalho’s inclusion helped of course, but the Reds were free-flowing and could have scored double the three they did.
Better players need each other
Joe Lolley looked more like his usual-self, Carvalho was sensational and Lewis Grabban was lively when he came on.
The trio were part of everything good about the Reds during the first half of the campaign, but have rarely been on the pitch together under O’Neill.
It is much easier for opposition teams to isolate one of the main attacking trio but that challenge becomes three times harder when they are unleashed together.
Hopefully, O’Neill will take that on board moving forward.