- Manchester United suffered a 2-1 defeat in their final game of the year against a rejuvenated Nottingham Forest side
- Erik ten Hag’s team have been beaten four times in December alone and Saturday’s result leaves them in seventh position in the league with 21 points
After an impressive performance against Aston Villa in midweek, there were high expectations for Manchester United head of the Nottm Forest vs Man United game. However, the Red Devils were unable to build on the positive result and ended up suffering a 2-1 defeat in their final game of the year against a rejuvenated Nottingham Forest side.
Nicolas Dominguez opened the scoring for Nottingham in the 64th minute after a goalless first half at City Ground. Marcus Rashford then capitalized on a blunder by the hosts goalkeeper Matt Turner and it looked as if he had rescued a point for Manchester United.
However, there was still drama to come in this match as Morgan Gibbs-White scored an 82nd minute winner. United’s academy graduate Anthony Elanga assisted the goal that saw his boyhood club end the year on a bad note. This is the first time in 31 years that Forest have beaten Manchester United.
Manchester United have lost four times in December alone and Saturday’s result leaves them in seventh position in the league with 21 points. The Red Devils have recorded ten victories, one draw and nine losses from 20 league matches so far.
What’s more, United have lost 14 times in the first half of a campaign for the first time since the 1930-31 season. There are many more poor statistics that Erik ten Hag and his team have recorded this season. They are already out of the UEFA Champions League and Carabao Cup.
Erik ten Hag is hoping that things will be better in January when Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire and Mason Mount return from injury.
“The injuries [are the main issue]. Also some issues but mainly the injuries hold us back in the process. In January we have a lot of players returning, so then our levels can be higher. Definitely [INEOS’ Sir Dave Brailsford] will see we have our problems. You want to build on the last result but we have to change our striker.” Erik ten Hag is quoted by Sky Sports.
The Red Devils will be back in Premier League action on 14 January when they host Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.
Nottm Forest vs Man United
Nottingham Forest, who were at home, made two changes from the team that beat Newcastle United in their midweek fixture. On the other hand, Manchester United made just one change, Antony replacing Rasmus Hojlund, who is ill.
This was the 100th meeting between these two clubs who had come from victories in their previous matches. The hosts started the game on a high note, with Nicolas Dominguez and Chris Wood getting chances to open the scoring. Danilo’s strike seemed to be going in if Aaron Wan Bissaka wasn’t alert to block it.
Manchester United, on the other hand, were not threatening and they easily lost the ball. Even though Forest created chances, it was until after the hour mark when they had the opener. Dominguez was just at the right place in the box to fire in from Gonzalo Montiel’s pass.
However, the hosts were only in front for a few minutes as Marcus Rashford equalized for Man United after a goalkeeper error. As Erik ten Hag’s team moved forward in numbers to chase what would have been an undeserved winner, they were caught on the break, with Elanga assisting the goal that was scored by Gibbs-White.
Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito was pleased by the performance of his team against United.
“Let’s celebrate. Enjoy the moment because it’s well deserved. I think it was a good performance. We started well, we controlled well and defended compact. We had good spells in possession. In the second half we went for it and created some combinations.” Sky Sports quotes Nuno Espirito.