Table topping Southampton demolished Forest with a confident performance at The City Ground
Forest had chances in the first half but it was Southampton that took the lead and slowed down play to frustrate the Forest side.
Southampton totally dominated the second half after Luke Chambers
was sent off early on and the away side put two more goals past Forest and it could have easily been more but for some late saves by Lee Camp
It was a slow start to the game with the first real chance going to Southampton when Dean Hammond found himself in plenty of space just outside the D where he had time to pick his spot and send the ball flying towards goal, forcing a good save from Lee Camp
in the eighth minute.
Southampton had more control of the ball, building their play slowly and deliberately and they had another chance from a free kick wide on the right which was taken by Daniel Fox His effort was headed away, but only as far as Adam Lallana whose shot from the edge of the box was easy for Camp.
Forest's first chance came from Lewis McGugan
's corner which came off the head of Fox to Marcus Tudgay at the back post, but he headed over the crossbar.
And Tudgay had another chance when Marlon Harewood fed the ball to him on to him on the edge of the penalty area where he tried to lob the ball over the Southampton keeper Kelvin Davis got back in time to make the save.
Forest came close again from a free kick taken a long way out by McGugan who sent the ball low through the wall where it was deflected into the path of Harewood on the edge of the six-yard box where it was blocked by Jos Hooiveld.
But Southampton made a quick break and caught Forest out to take the lead. Jack Cork crossed from the right and the ball was squared back to David Connolly whose effort was saved by Camp but came straight back out to Guly Do Prado who couldn't miss from eight yards.
Forest should have got a quick equalizer from McGugan's corner. The ball found Luke Chambers
who flicked it to Joel Lynch
at the back post, but he headed over from close range.
McGugan had another try at scoring from a free kick, this one some 30 yards out and his powerful effort went flying through a mass of bodies, forcing Davis to dive to his left and scramble the ball clear. Forest kept possession, giving Lynch a shot which produced another save from the Southampton keeper.
Forest found themselves down to ten men within four minutes of the start of the second half when Luke Chambers
was shown a red card after a challenge on David Connolly.
With Forest's defence depleted, Moussi moved to centre half, with Tudgay moving into midfield, leaving Harewood on his own at the front.
Southampton could have doubled their lead when they made a break down the left and Lallana sent in a low cross to Do Prado who missed the target from eight yards out.
The away side continued to dominate and created some more good football down the left with Lallana pulling the ball back to Do Prado. It broke for Cork whose shot was blocked by Moussi.
Southampton found the back of the net seconds later when Harding cut in and sent the ball across the box where it took a deflection and fell for Connolly who slotted the ball home from six yards out.
Forest made a substitution straight after with McGugan being replaced by Paul Anderson
and a couple of minutes later Robbie Findley
came on in place of Harewood.
And as they struggled to get the ball forward Forest replaced their second striker, Dexter Blackstock
coming on for Tudgay.
The third goal saw a mass exodus of fans from the City Ground
. More gaping holes left by Forest allowed Morgan Schneiderlin to get forward, pick his spot and smash the ball past Camp from 25 yards out.
A good save by Camp prevented a late fourth goal for Southampton when he dived to his right to turn substitute Lee Holmes' effort away from goal.
And he blocked another effort from Schneiderlin in the 90th
minute, tipping the ball over for a corner.
As Southampton continued to put pressure on the Forest goal, Aaron Martin missed a sitter at the far post.Nottingham Forest:
Camp, Gunter, Cunningham, Chambers(C), Lynch, Moussi, Greening, McCleary, McGugan(Anderson 66min), Tudgay(Blackstock,76min), Harewood(Findley 72min)
Subs not used: Smith, Reid,
Bookings: Chambers 49min RED CARD
Davis, Harding(Butterfield 85min), Schneiderlin, Cork, Do Prado(Holmes 71min), Fox, Hammond(C), Martin, Lallana(Reeves 90min), Connolly, Hooiveld
Subs not used: Bialkowski, De Ridder
Bookings: Hooiveld 25min
Scorers: Do Prado 27min, Connolly 66min, Schneiderlin 79min
Referee: Mr E Ilderton
Attendance: 20,221 away attn: 2,294