2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Lee Tomlin (26')
  • Ben Brereton (36')
  • Apostolos Vellios (90')

Forest defeat leaves Barnsley deep in relegation trouble

Nottingham Forest left Barnsley fighting for Championship survival as Aitor Karanka's side cruised to a comfortable 3-0 success at the City Ground.
Lee Tomlin scored a spectacular goal of his own, before setting up another for Ben Brereton, and sub Apostolos Vellios netted a late third, as Karanka dealt a severe blow to his old friend, Tykes boss Jose Morais, who he worked alongside at Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho.
There was no favours to be done between friends here, as Forest won to leave Barnsley two points adrift of safety, behind 21st-placed Bolton, with two games left to play.
Morais will hope that Karanka does provide a favour before the end of the season, however - as Forest face a trip to Bolton on the final day.
Barnsley keeper Jack Walton was a busy man, with Matty Cash forcing the first save of the game from him after turning neatly on the edge of the box before whipping a shot across the face of goal that was brilliantly pushed away.
Walton made rather simple work of saving a driven effort from Tomlin, from the edge of the box, as Forest made a confident start.
Cash was a lively figure down the right and when he controlled brilliantly, it gave him the chance to cut inside and dart across the face of the box, before simply feeding Tomlin.
He had the time and space to pick his spot and the on-loan Cardiff man did exactly that, finding the top corner with a delicious bending effort.
That goal came in the 26th minute and Walton was quickly called into action again to deny both Tomlin and Adlene Guedioura when they attempted audacious overhead kicks.
Stefanos Kapino did have to make a strong save, to parry a vicious strike from Oliver McBurnie.
But it was Forest who were to double their advantage, as Tomlin split the Barnsley defence with a precise pass nine minutes before half-time, sending Brereton racing clear on goal.
The 19-year-old rounded the keeper calmly, before slotting an equally composed finish into the back of the net.
A fine first half for Forest ended on a sour note when Spanish defender Juan Fuentes, who was making his debut, collected a serious looking injury from a committed challenge with Dimitri Cavare.
He received lengthy treatment which extended into the interval and it was no shock when he was replaced by Ben Osborn at the start of the second half.
Osborn almost had an instant impact with a clever free kick that dipped only a foot or so over, after taking a deflection.
Although Barnsley's own half-time substitute, Connor Mahoney, also flashed a shot wide - a powerful header from Liam Lindsay had the same outcome.
Forest continued to press with Cash driving a crisp strike into the side netting, with Walton beaten.
But Kapino had to react smartly to block a crisp effort from Mahoney and again to deny Gary Gardner.
But two Forest subs combined to round things off in injury time, with Walton brilliantly denying Joe Lolley, only for Vellios to sweep home the rebound.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Norwich City 17 +8 33
2 Middlesbrough 17 +11 31
3 Leeds United 17 +12 30
4 Sheffield United 17 +8 30
5 West Bromwich Albion 17 +12 28
6 Derby County 17 +5 28
7 Nottingham Forest 17 +7 27
8 Swansea City 17 +6 26
9 Blackburn Rovers 17 -1 26
10 Queens Park Rangers 17 -4 26
11 Aston Villa 17 +4 24
12 Birmingham City 17 +3 24
13 Bristol City 17 +1 22
14 Stoke City 17 -1 22
15 Brentford 17 +4 21
16 Wigan Athletic 17 -7 20
17 Sheffield Wednesday 17 -9 20
18 Preston North End 17 -4 18
19 Rotherham United 17 -9 18
20 Reading 17 -5 16
21 Millwall 17 -7 16
22 Hull City 17 -8 16
23 Bolton Wanderers 17 -12 16
24 Ipswich Town 17 -14 11