Nottingham Forest were ravaged by runaway leaders Norwich City, with the Canaries claiming an easy 2-0 win in a difficult night for the hosts.

Teemu Pukki opened the scoring when he turned Tyler Blackett in the box and then fired low past Jordan Smith, who was deputising for the injured Brice Samba.

Smith was picking the ball out of his net again shortly after as ex-Red Kieran Dowell rifled home from outside the box as Norwich had the game wrapped up inside 15 minutes.

Ryan Yates had a great chance to pull one back, but he put a free header wide, while Lewis Grabban missed a one-on-one in the second half.

However, Norwich could and possibly should have had more, with Todd Cantwell and Pukki both missing from excellent positions.


Following a sobering night on Trentside for Forest fans and their manager Chris Hughton, here are four things that we learnt…

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Norwich are a bit good

Perhaps an understatement and not that it’s an excuse for how Forest were ripped to pieces early doors, but it’s easy to see why Norwich are going up.

Their movement, the speed of the passing, the way the made progress in transition – everything about them seemed Premier League.

Forest simply could not live with them at any stage and even despite being set up to contain, Norwich shredded through what was a paper thin resistance.

What will be of huge concern for Hughton though is the lack of effort, especially in the first 15 minutes – and as we know, by that point, Forest were 2-0 down.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Someone needs to teach Ryan Yates how to head a football

But yet, despite all of Norwich’s dominance, Forest could have easily made a game of it had they taken what was yet another golden opportunity they spurned.

Once again, it was Ryan Yates who had an opportunity from a set-piece as he timed his run brilliantly to meet a corner, but once again headed wide despite no-one being near him and having all the time in the world.

It’s been a recurring theme all season and while a lot is to be admired about how Yates finds this space in such congested areas, it’s equally painful how he misses them without fail.

It is something that he seriously needs to work on as it is not only a major weakness in his game, but it also harms the team when these chances aren’t taken.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Yates and Garner doesn’t seem to work

It’s perhaps a bit difficult to give a full verdict on this given the nature of the opposition they were facing, but the level of protection Yates and James Garner offered the back four was very minimal.

It just seemed as if they were leaving gaps everywhere and not working together at all, allowing Norwich to pass freely through the middle and into Forest’s final third.

This in itself is a bit of a surprise as both of them like to get stuck in, but there was no screen whatsoever for the back four.

As such, Norwich – as good as they were – didn’t have to work too hard to find gaps, which will also be of huge concern for Hughton.

Too little, too late – again

By the time Forest eventually found some rhythm and showed some intent, there was 45 minutes left to play and Norwich had a two goal head start.

Not that the second half could get worse than the first, but Forest at least showed some desire to get back into it and really should’ve done when Grabban was presented with a one-on-one, but took way too long to get his shot off and subsequently missed.

Luke Freeman also had a half decent chance after Cafu chested it down for him, but he shot wide.

It’ll be infuriating once again that Forest were too slow to get going and once again paid the price for it, but that represents at least a glimmer of a positive for the home side.

How damaging will this comprehensive defeat against Norwich City prove for Nottingham Forest?

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