One player made a huge impact on his return to the Nottingham Forest starting line-up yesterday.
There are many Reds supporters who have taken to Twitter to praise midfielder João Carvalho.
The Reds faced play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough at the City Ground yesterday afternoon, after seeing their own hopes of making the top six ended in recent weeks. It didn’t look an easy task on paper, especially with pressure building on manager Martin O’Neill after four defeats in a row.
But Forest returned to winning ways in the Championship with relative ease. There’s no doubt that Carvalho played a key role in this.
O’Neill’s side dominated for large periods and deservedly took the lead before half-time as Joe Lolley converted from the penalty spot. This came after Karim Ansarifard has been fouled from behind by Ryan Shotton.
It didn’t take the Reds long to reassert their dominance after the break. Alexander Milošević doubled their advantage with a well-taken volley, as he scored his first goal for the club. Lolley was then able to add a third late on.
Having been heavily involved throughout, Carvalho was given a resounding reception from supporters as he was substituted late on for Adlène Guedioura.
The 22-year-old has been a hugely popular figure among Reds supporters since joining in the summer, and many have been left frustrated by the lack of opportunities he has been given under O’Neill.
‘Made MON look really stupid’, ‘Perfection’
Here come the ‘Carvalho should be playing every week’. What it does prove is he can do it but needs to be stronger and more consistent. #nffc
— Sportnsnaps (@Sportnsnaps) April 22, 2019
In fifteen years of watching Forest, I’ve never seen an individual performance quite like that today from Carvalho.
Polished. Clinical. Perfection. #NFFC
— Thomas Robinson (@ThomasRoboNFFC) April 22, 2019
Watched Carvalho for 5 mins ! If you don’t think he’s class and needs the team built around him don’t talk to me #nffc
— Ben Greenhalgh (@bgreenhalgh12) April 22, 2019
Personally think Carvalho has made MON look really stupid today. I know he can’t play like that every game, but for him to have been left out the amount of times he has is criminal #NFFC
— Mr Feet (@TheFootLong) April 22, 2019
Take a bow Lord Carvalho. Best individual performance I’ve seen in a long long time #NFFC
— Raul Naylor (@notttmfails) April 22, 2019
Joao Carvalho with the best Easter reincarnation since Christ himself. Exceptional performance #nffc
— Forever Forest (@TFFpodcast) April 22, 2019
O’Neill’s side have lacked creativity and flair in recent weeks, attributes that Carvalho brings in abundance.
The Reds find themselves sat seven points off the play-offs with two games to go. It could’ve been so much different had Carvalho been regularly involved since O’Neill’s arrival.