Nelson Oliveira and Ryan Mendes gave the hosts a blistering start, putting Forest 2-0 up within the first 16 minutes as they put struggling MK Dons to the sword with direct attacking play.
The game calmed down somewhat after the frantic opening 20 minutes, and the visitors began to gain a foothold in the match and dominate possession as they sought a breakthrough.
Forest’s defending was mostly superb throughout, and their standout player in this regard was holding midfielder David Vaughan, who led by example in the middle of the park.
|Tackles||Interceptions||Defensive Duels Won||Aerial Duels Won||Ball Recoveries||Touches||Accurate Passes||Mins Played|
As seen in the table provided by Opta Stats, Vaughan was instrumental in helping his side to victory as he contributed greatly to his side’s defensive play over the course of the 90 minutes.
The former Sunderland midfielder won two aerial duels, five tackles, five interceptions, six ball recoveries and an impressive 11 defensive duels.
In possession he was reliable as ever, taking 44 touches and displaying 17 accurate passes.
MK Dons had 66% of the ball over the 90 minutes, and Karl Robinson’s men did find a lifeline ten minutes from time as Josh Murphy’s first-time strike set up a tense finale.
But in all honesty the hosts held out comfortably enough, with Vaughan in particular a real rock in the middle and always willing to put his body on the line for the benefit of the team.
The victory leaves Forest just six points short of the play-off places heading into a busy festive period.