Match Report | Nottingham Forest 0-2 Cardiff City
Kieffer Moore's brace at the City Ground saw Cardiff City taste victory in their first Sky Bet Championship away game of 2020/21.
The Bluebirds' number ten scored his first competitive goals in a Bluebirds shirt in a dominant opening-half showing against Forest, giving the Bluebirds an ideal start to their away campaign.
While Joe Bennett made his 150th City appearance, Neil Harris' only change to the starting 11 from opening day saw Marlon Pack come into the side.
And the midfielder made an instant impact. Three minutes into the match, his lofted corner-kick was perfectly weighted for Moore to attack and the Welsh international buried his header to give City an early lead.
Forest did have a gilt-edged chance to equalise when Luke Freeman found Lewis Grabban with an exquisite cross, but the striker could only turn over the bar.
Having comfortably soaked up the home side's pressure, the Bluebirds twice went close to extending their lead.
First, Moore found Ralls with a superb reverse pass, but City's number eight couldn't quite take the ball in his stride in the area. Then Sheyi Ojo raced past his marker on the left flank, before seeing his near-post effort saved by Brice Samba.
The Bluebirds found their two-goal cushion five minutes before the break, as Moore doubled his tally at the City Ground.
Pack's long throw caused problems for the Forest defence and, after Leandro Bacuna's headed back into the danger zone, Sean Morrison's flick-on freed the striker to prod home his second.
In the second half, Alex Smithies was on hand twice before the hour-mark, palming Ryan Yates' header over the bar before comfortably dealing with Sammy Ameobi's long-range effort.
The Bluebirds did go close when Ojo found Ralls' clever forward run in the box, but the midfielder's effort was blocked.
The home side racked up plenty of possession and territory as they looked to find a way back into the game.
But with Smithies and the skipper marshalling the Bluebirds' back line superbly, they were able to preserve their clean sheet and secure a first win of the campaign.
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Jenkinson (Mighten 82), Ribeiro, Worrall, Figueiredo, Colback, Lolley (Taylor 37), Yates, Freeman, Ameobi, Grabban (C) (Guerrero 73).
Subs not used: Smith, Darikwa, Dawson, Johnson.
Cardiff City: Smithies, Osei-Tutu, Morrison (C), Nelson, Bennett (Bamba 82), Pack, Bacuna, Ralls, Ojo (Vaulks 74), Hoilett (Tomlin 77), Moore.
Subs not used: Day, Whyte, Paterson, Glatzel.