Nottingham Forest produced arguably their best performance of the season at the City Ground to comfortably dispose of Middlesbrough.
A brace from Joe Lolley and a ferocious volley Alex Milosevic gave the Reds a 3-0 victory to send the supporters home happy.
A masterclass in flair and skill from Joao Carvalho left supporters raving about the magician and highlighted to Martin O’Neill exactly what he can bring to the team.
Following the contest, we rated the Forest players out of 10 as follows…
Costel Pantilimon – 7
Did what he had to do with minimal fuss on a quiet afternoon for the big Romanian stopper.
Molla Wague – 7
Looked much more comfortable playing alongside two other central defenders and was robust throughout.
Alexander Milosevic – 8
Scored a rocket of a volley to put the Reds 2-0 up and at the other end, his defending was typically calm and collected.
Jack Robinson – 8
The captain for the afternoon had a brilliant game as part of a back three and didn’t give ex-Forest man Britt Assombalonga a kick all game.
Matty Cash – 7
The academy graduate was typically energetic. Seems to have been trying too hard in recent weeks, but edged back towards his best here.
Ryan Yates – 8
One of Yates’ best performances in recent weeks and he fully justified his inclusion in the team ahead of Claudio Yacob.
Pele – 8
Probably the midfielder’s best performance in a Forest shirt. Provided Forest with some much-needed physicality against an uncompromising Middlesbrough side.
Ben Osborn – 8
If there has ever seemed like a role tailor-made to suit Osborn, it is this one at left-wing-back. Linked up well with the front three going forwards and was solid at the back.
Joao Carvalho – 9.5
The first half mark we have ever given and it’s only not top marks as he didn’t score a goal. What a performance from the magician. Boro couldn’t handle his flair and he made a mockery of O’Neill’s decision to use him sparingly during the last three months.
Joe Lolley – 9
Capped an impressive display with two more goals for his tally and was a constant menace to a fragile Middlesbrough. Looks a lot more confident when Carvalho is alongside him in the attack.
Karim Ansarifard – 7
The Iranian was decent and deserved his ovation when he went off. Looked slightly rusty having not played much, but held the ball up well and won the penalty for Forest’s opener.
Lewis Grabban (Ansarifard, 62′) – 7
Was unlucky not to net and looked extremely lively when he was introduced.
Claudio Yacob (Pele, 84) – N/A
No time to make an impact but always looks calm and composed.
Adlene Guedioura (Carvalho, 88) – N/A
Came on to allow Carvalho the standing ovation he thoroughly deserved.