They may not have secured all three points, but Nottingham Forest continued their recent good form with a 1-1 draw at Derby on Friday night.
Chris Hughton’s side have really picked things up in recent weeks, with their 1-0 loss to Swansea earlier this month their only defeat in eight Championship games.
And on Friday, Forest could, and probably should have, won the game after dominating the second-half. While James Garner may be the player in the headlines following his goal, it was Anthony Knockaert who arguably stole the show.
The Frenchman was at his supreme best, channeling his inner Lionel Messi with a couple of incredible tricks and skills with that wand of a left foot. But it wasn’t just the flashiness that made the £35k-a-week earning ace stand out.
His overall game carried a lot of substance and he was Hughton’s real star on the night.
As per Sofascore, he completed 100% of his attempted dribbles against the Rams, spinning left-back Lee Buchanan this way and that – the Derby ace would finish the game with the lowest match-rating of any outfield player on the pitch and it was no surprise why given how he struggled to cope with Knockaert.
The Forest gem also sent in six crosses and provided one key pass, while he showed his ever-improving work rate by making three tackles and two interceptions – both of which were comfortably higher than his season average.
The Athletic’s Paul Taylor simply dubbed him as “impressive” for his display, while The Nottingham Post gave him the second-highest match rating of any player on the pitch, with 8, saying: “A real livewire at times and produced an insane piece of skill in the second half when he beat two players with a neat turn. Such a classy player.”
While Garner may take the post-match plaudits for getting his name on the score-sheet, it was Knockaert’s energetic and skilful display that really saw Forest dominate proceedings against Derby.