Nottingham Forest aren't the most fluent team going forward, we all know how Chris Hughton likes to set up his teams by now. However, Rafael was forced into two really key saves at important times in the match. The first was a instinctive stop down to his right in the first half from Glen Murray, and the second was an acrobatic save to deny Ameobi from putting the hosts 2-0 up and out of sight.
Andy Yiadom: 7
Played really well and is starting to show just how important he is to this team. In this diamond system that Pauno has adopted recently, width from the full backs is key, and Yids provides that in bucket loads.
His attacking prowess was proven in particular in the second half as he just kept on running down the right hand side and was a constant thorn in Forests’ side.
Tom Holmes: 6
He was solid enough throughout, and I don’t think you can really pin the blame on him for the goal, although I’m sure he will think he could’ve done better up against Murray. Other than that, I thought he was good and showed composure and confidence playing out from the back.
Liam Moore: 6
A typically solid display from the skipper at the back. Like I said before, Forest are never a team who are going to pin you down and apply lots of pressure, so it was a bit of an easier afternoon for the back four, but what Moore had to do, he did with his usual assurance.
Omar Richards: 5
I don't know if it’s just me but Richards look off it today. Got shrugged off easily by Sammy Ameobi for the goal (even though Ameobi’s about twice his size, Richards is usually much better in situations like that). Fell asleep on a couple of other occasions too which, on another day, could’ve and maybe should’ve been punished.
He’s still vitally important to this team, but just a bit of an off day.
Tom McIntyre: 6
Ticked the game over nicely in midfield. Nowhere near as comfortable an afternoon as he had last time out against Sheffield Wednesday, but still showed he’s more than good enough cover in midfield for Andy Rinomhota - albeit a very different kind of midfielder.
Showed a neat touch in the first half from a well-worked corner that fell into the path of Joao, but how the Portuguese striker missed I will never know.
Josh Laurent: 6
Grew into the match in the second half but the game just seemed to pass him on the whole. Clearly missing his partner in crime Rinomhota, and he's not the only one, it was 90 minutes of football in which Rino’s importance to the team shone brighter than it arguably has done in any game he’s played in this season.
Was involved in a big moment straight after Forest’s goal when he fed Puscas - unfortunately the striker ballooned the chance well over.
Alfa Semedo: 5
Alfa gets his fair share of critics but I didn't think he was that bad today, well he definitely wasn’t noticeably worse than any other player on the pitch. It was another game though where I struggled to see what Semedo brings to the team that anybody else doesn't - he’s just the epitome of a ‘meh’ player in my opinion.
Michael Olise: 6
Having watched the game without any commentary, I think it’s fair to say I now know who Pauno thinks is the heartbeat of this team - it’s Olise. Constant shouts along the lines of ‘Give the ball to Michael!’ and ‘find Michael!’ echoed around the City Ground all afternoon - among many other things I must add.
Looked a threat all afternoon and is clearly our star man when the likes of Swift and Ovie aren’t in the team. He’s our only source of creativity when the other two aren’t in the team, which is a lot of weight on such young shoulders.
George Puscas: 5
He looked sharp in the opening exchanges, however he did make the wrong choice on a couple of occasions and misplaced a few passes too - but the big howler came in the second half when he spurned a huge chance to get us back in the game straight after conceding.
I’m sure the Romanian will blame the turf but it’s a chance that should’ve really been taken.
Lucas Joao: 6
You might be wondering why I’ve given Lucas a 6 but Puscas a 5, considering they both missed huge chances. But I think Lucas played really well, particularly in the second half - and it showed how his mentality has changed in recent times.
He held the ball up incredibly well in the second half, brought others into play like a proper target man, bagged himself a fantastic assist and won two free kicks in very dangerous positions at 1-1 that could’ve been capitalised on. Bravo, Lucas.
Yakou Meite: 7
Talk about instinct impact. You could see as soon as he stepped onto the pitch that he meant business. And it didn’t take him long to get back into his groove, making a trademark run in behind (something no-one else in this team offers) before firing past Samba in goal.
The key is to keep Yaks fit now, if we do - he can turn a game on its head, like he did today, and we’ll need players like that in the run in.
Sone Aluko: 6
Thought he looked sharp again after coming on, forced Samba into a decent save from the follow-up of Yiadom’s effort that struck the post, and offered something different down the left hand side. A decent cameo.
Who was your MOTM against Nottingham Forest? Vote below or through this link.