Nottingham Forest 0-2 Middlesbrough: Chris Hughton's side take another league blow
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Neil Warnock, Manager of Middlesborough reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Luton Town at Riverside Stadium on December 16, 2020 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Nottingham Forest fell to defeat again as Middlesbrough picked up an away win in the EFL Championship, winning 2-0.

Chris Hughton's side had started the season poorly with only one win in six games and this game was a chance for the manager to kickstart a good run of results. Something they failed to do yet again.

Neil Warnock's side hadn't started much better with only one win and three draws to their name in the first six games. They had also scored just six goals until this point with Matt Crooks their top scorer with two. 

They found their seventh in this game thanks to Andrez Sporar who gave the visitors the lead just before 25 minutes. Warnock's side took that lead into the break before Hernandez found the second deep into the second half, pouncing on a Forest mistake. 

  • Story of the match

The first ten minutes were end to end with plenty of attacks at both ends not having an end product. Forest had more of the early chances with Lewis Grabban coming close despite being offside. 

However, in the 24th minute Sporar put the visitors ahead after his shot from 25-yards out flew into the near, top corner past Ethan Horvath

After the goal the away side settled down more, taking control of possession and ultimately let Forest play themselves into trouble, which they nearly did on a couple of occasions. 

They did however have enough chance just before the break to make it level but they couldn't convert it. A deep free kick found Joe Worrall after a scramble in the box. The centre back's strike from close range was blocked by Crooks before going out for a corner. 

The second half saw Forest come out swinging with multiple half chances ending off decent attacks. Philip Zinkernagel had a wide dead ball that landed on the roof of the net whilst Grabban had a shot from distance that flew wide of the mark. 

Forest continued as the half went on to push for a goal and challenge Middlesbrough's defence. However, despite the hosts piling on the pressure the visitors looked comfortable dealing with it. 

They were and found a second just after 70 minutes, an awful touch from keeper Horvath gifted Onel Hernandez a tap in to an open goal, which he converted with ease.

His goal would secure all three points for Boro in a game where they were expected to win. 

  • Man of the match 

Marcus Tavernier grabbed the assist for Sporar's goal and had been causing problems out wide. In the first half he averaged a pass success rate of 94% and created the most chances, three.

Beating the defender has always been part of the 22-year-old's game and he completed half his dribbles. This caused him to become the most fouled player of the game. 

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His ability to beat the man and provide service into the box for Lyle Taylor and although it didn't result in a goal tonight, they came close. In a side that isn't known for his creativity the winger can beat most full backs and draw in fouls. 

Of course this works brilliantly for Boro who are dangerous from set pieces with the likes of Dael Fry, Grant Hall, Matt Crooks and Sporar in their ranks.