Henri Lansbury was the hat-trick hero for Nottingham Forest as they beat Barnsley in an epic encounter to kick-off the EFL weekend live on Sky Sports.The mercurial midfielder’s three goals were accompanied by strikes from Apostolos Vellios and Ben Osborn as Philippe Montanier’s men secured only their second away victory of the season.
The scoring spree started as early as the fifth minute but it was Barnsley who went in front, with Sam Winnall heading home an exquisite James Bree cross.
Forest equalised in the 13th minute when the impressive Lansbury played a one-two with Pajtim Kasami from a free-kick, before firing the lay-off into the bottom corner of Adam Davies’ net.
But it stayed 1-1 for only 73 seconds as the Tykes re-took the lead. Marley Watkins drifted past Forest’s three centre-backs from a Conor Hourihane centre, and finished comfortably.
The scoring didn’t let up and, 10 minutes later, back came the visitors to make it 2-2 through Vellios - the striker nipping in at the near-post to convert a Danny Fox cross from the left.
And it was down the left where Forest found the source to go 3-2 up just before half-time. Osborn was the creator this time, and it was Lansbury who headed home superbly to put his side in front for the first time on the night.
After the interval, the second half started much like the first with crosses causing issues, but Barnsley failed to capitalise on the pressure they applied.
They were made to pay, too, when Michael Mancienne crossed in a rare attack at the other end, and midfielder Osborn glanced a header home brilliantly for 4-2.
Two goals behind, Paul Heckingbottom’s side were then a man down shortly after as Watkins saw red for a stamp on Thomas Lam.
And things got worse for the hosts when Forest were awarded a penalty with 10 minutes to play. Lansbury grasped the ball, and the opportunity, and rifled past Davies to score his first career hat-trick, on his 261st senior appearance.
That’s how the scoreline stayed, and the 5-2 victory saw Forest move above their opponents in the Sky Bet Championship table, up to 16th.
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