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3 things we clearly learnt about Middlesbrough in 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest



Middlesbrough were held to a 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest at the Riverside Stadium.

It’s a result that will feel like two points dropped for the Teessiders as they remain in the drop zone in 22nd place.

Ryan Yates opened the scoring after his effort from 20 yards wrong-footed Aynsley Pears in the Middlesbrough goal, before a dramatic comeback emerged in the first half.

Rudy Gestede popped up with an equaliser after 30 minutes, before Hayden Coulson teed up Lewis Wing who bundled past Brice Samba with Lady Luck very much on his side.

Middlesbrough dominated the second period and certainly looked the more likely to get the next goal, but it was the visitors who equalised as Lewis Grabban scored a controversial leveller.

It was a late sucker-punch, but what did we learn about Middlesbrough?

Will Middlesbrough avoid relegation from the Championship?






A lack of aerial dominance from Aynsley Pears

It’s a criticism that has been aimed at him before, but a lack of a physical presence proved costly for Middlesbrough.

Aynsley Pears is plenty of good things between the sticks, but one area where he struggles is his ability to truly dominate his area by claiming crosses and roughing up attackers if need be.

It proved costly in the closing stages against Forest where Lewis Grabban was able to beat him in an aerial duel before slotting home.

Jonathan Woodgate suggested that it should have been a foul on the keeper, but after taking a second look it’s clear that the goal was perfectly fine.

There’s no doubting that Pears is a talent but perhaps this is an area to develop.

Hayden Coulson could be a saving grace

He was by far Middlesbrough’s best player on the night.

Usually a left-back by trade, Hayden Coulson was once again utilised in a more advanced left wing position – and he certainly made his presence felt.

Coulson was fearless on the ball as he used his pace to drive at Nottingham Forest’s back line – something which led to several key chances for both himself and those around him.

It was one of these runs that led to Lewis Wing’s goal just before the break, and it was very much deserved for the work from Coulson.

The youngster’s fearlessness on the ball is exactly what Middlesbrough need at the moment and based on that display Coulson could be a huge player in the remaining 10 games of the season.

Can you identify these Middlesbrough players based on their date of birth and birthplace? Have a go!

1 of 15

Which Middlesbrough player was born November 7th 1990 in El Saucejo, Spain?

Rudy Gestede still has a role to play

He was one of the surprise names on the Middlesbrough teamsheet but he certainly justified his inclusion.

Gestede was a handful from the first minute as he gave Nottingham Forest’s defender a torrid night with his aerial presence and well-timed runs in to the back post.

He showed glimpses of the threat he posed before scrambling him during the first half – a worthy reward for an excellent display.

Gestede divides opinion among the Boro supporters, but there’s no doubting what he can bring to Jonathan Woodgate’s side when he’s up for it.

That display showed that perhaps the targetman could have a big say in how the remaining Middlesbrough fixtures go.

North East-based EFL writer and aspiring author

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 things we clearly learnt about Middlesbrough in 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest

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