Words by Christian Brown
Nottingham Forest only had themselves to blame after slipping to a 2-0 defeat away at Barnsley, despite being on top for large portions of the match.
Callum Styles rifled in from the edge of the box on the 85th minute, while Forest’s fate was confirmed just three minutes later when Cauley Woodrow doubled the Tykes’ advantage from close range after some slack defending.
The loss will be a blow for Chris Hughton’s men, who on the balance of play didn’t deserve to lose the game, especially with the quality of the chances that they spurned – although Barnsley did also hit the framework three times, albeit with two of these instances coming from fortuitous efforts.
Miguel Angel Guerrero shockingly missed two one-on-ones, Lyle Taylor had a header brilliantly saved by Barnsley stopper (and man of the match) Jack Walton, while a Joe Lolley volley from a few yards out was somehow blocked for a corner.
Following a frustrating afternoon, we pored over the Reds on an individual basis and gave them ratings out of 10.
Brice Samba – 6
Couldn’t do anything about either goal and apart from ensuring one effort stayed wide, had nothing to do. Commanded his area well when required.
Cyrus Christie – 5
Was good going forwards and delivered a peach of a cross for Taylor, but almost cost us two goals – firstly when Styles ran in behind him and set up Dominik Frieser who inexplicably headed wide, secondly when Luke Thomas did the same and played in Woodrow, who hit the bar.
Tobias Figueiredo – 7
Dominant in the air and generally speaking had the better of Woodrow over the course of 90 minutes. A strong showing.
Scott McKenna – 7
Much like his centre back partner, McKenna seemed to mop up everything on the floor and boss the aerial battles against a tricky opponent in Woodrow.
Yuri Ribeiro – 6
A rare below par performance from the Portuguese full back, who while showed moments of promise at both ends, was caught sleeping by Callum Brittain as he set up Barnsley’s second.
Anthony Knockaert – 8
Not sure what more he has to do to get an assist – his ball for Lolley’s blocked volley was exceptional, while his all round play was a joy to watch. Easily Forest’s MOTM.
Jack Colback – 7
Broke up play well, kept the ball ticking over – did his job to a tee and ran the midfield for large parts. The sooner people realise it isn’t his job to be a box to box midfielder, the better.
Ryan Yates – 6
Got stuck in well, sparked some good moves, looked to progress the ball when he could and on the whole, was an asset to his team – however, he could’ve done a lot more to prevent the first goal.
Joe Lolley – 7
Displayed some brilliant forward play on occasion – playing in Guerrero one-on-one being the best example – and was unfortunate not to score when his volley from close range was blocked by Styles.
Miguel Angel Guerrero – 6
Half of Guerrero’s game was great with some brilliant hold-up play and touches, but the other half was horrific – namely, the two fluffed one-on-ones he simply had to score.
Lyle Taylor – 7
Desperately unlucky not to score with a superb header that was plucked out of thin air by Walton. First touch was class as well, he caused a lot of problems for the Barnsley back line.
Luke Freeman (Guerrero, 72) – 4
Had one decent burst down the left after coming on, but was otherwise a total liability on the ball. Looks horrendously unfit and off the pace. His form – and fitness – is fast becoming a genuine concern.