Manchester United 3-2 Nottingham Forest: United leave it late against ten-man Forest

With Manchester United having suffered a painful defeat in North London last weekend, Erik Ten Hag’s side would be keen to return to winning ways against Nottingham Forest. Steve Cooper’s side have been on both sides of a 2-1 scoreline thus far this season, losing to Arsenal before picking up the points against Sheffield United last time out.

MUN: Onana; Dalot, Martínez, Varane, Wan-Bissaka; Eriksen, Casemiro; Rashford, Fernandes, Antony; Martial

NFO: Turner; McKenna, Worrall, Boly; Aina, Danilo, Yates, Aurier; Gibbs-White, Johnson; Awoniyi

A sensational start to this fiery clash at Old Trafford saw Nottingham Forest take the lead after just two minutes, with Awoniyi’s strike completing a blistering counterattacking move for the visitors. Receiving the ball from Gibbs-White, the forward darted towards goal – poking a low strike past Onana to hand Steve Cooper’s men an early lead.

Matters would worsen further for the hosts just two minutes later, as Boly smashed a headed effort past the ‘keeper to extend the visitors’ lead! A deflected free-kick fell beautifully for the defender, who made no mistake from close range – and it was Erik Ten Hag’s side that had work to do if they were to rescue a result.

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A frenetic end-to-end game would continue to heat up in the 17th minute, as Eriksen powered past Turner to reduce the defecit. Rashford’s low ball into the box from the left flank picked out the Dane with excellent precision – and it was all to play for in Manchester!

Casemiro looked to restore parity almost immediately, finding himself in acres of space on the edge of the box – but his curling strike was parried wide by Turner. The Brazilian was soon to squander another effort, missing a point-blank header after being left unmarked at the back post from a corner.

A relatively quiet end to the first half saw Forest maintain their lead at the interval, but swift action from Manchester United saw the Red Devils drag themselves level after just seven second-half minutes. Casemiro was at the heart of the action once more, bringing the desired end to a well-worked set-piece manoeuvre in which Bruno Fernandes registered the assist.

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The match could have quite quickly flipped on its head as Antony beat his man, dancing infield from the right flank before curling an effort towards the bottom-left corner. Impressing since his move from Arsenal, Turner was equal to the Brazilian’s strike – getting fingertips to the shot to push it away for a corner.

And while United had the momentum, they’d soon find themselves with a numerical advantage on the pitch as Worrall was shown a straight red card for hauling Fernandes to the ground, denying the Portuguese star of a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Merely ten minutes later, the Red Devils were awarded a penalty – and a golden opportunity to take the lead for the first time on this miserable Saturday afternoon. Danilo was found to have fouled Rashford inside the area, and after the decision was confirmed by the VAR team, Fernandes stepped up to the spot. Comfortably dispatching an effort into the bottom-left corner, he left Turner with no chance.

There was to be one final chance for Nottingham Forest though, as Steve Cooper’s side forced Onana into action again. A pinball-esque scene inside the penalty area fell beautifully for Boly, but the defender was denied his brace by great goalkeeping from United’s summer signing.

Nottingham Forest will return to action in mid-week as they host Burnley in the Carabao Cup, while Manchester United have a week to recover before facing Arsenal in North London on Sunday.

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