Reds can extend end-of-year run at Forest

Thursday 28 December 2023 13:07

Manchester United will be aiming to end the calendar year on a high when we face Nottingham Forest in our final game of 2023 on Saturday.

Recent history tells us it is actually something the Reds have been successful at doing over the last decade or so, with United unbeaten in our last 11 December concluders.

It is a run that started in 2012, with eight wins and three draws recorded since a 3-2 reverse at home to Blackburn Rovers in the prior year.

Ahead of Saturday’s fixture at The City Ground, we have taken a closer look at the streak, which contains several notable trends…

Calendar-year concluders


Highlights from United's last 11 matches that have rounded out December, featuring eight wins and three draws.


This weekend’s match will be the first time United have ended a calendar year not playing Burnley or Wolves since 2018. The two aforementioned teams have been our final opponents in each of the last four Decembers (twice each).

Marcus Rashford has been the scourge of Wolves on both occasions we have faced the Black Country club, with our no.10 netting a late winner in the 1-0 triumphs of 2020 and 2022.

Against Burnley, a 2-0 away success in 2019 – a game in which Rashford was also on the scoresheet – preceded a 3-1 victory on home soil 24 months later.


Although we will be on the road on Saturday, the Reds have played seven of the 11 games in the run at the Theatre of Dreams.

That includes a stretch between 2015 and 2018, in which United signed off four consecutive years in front of our home fans.

Goalless draws with Chelsea (15/16) and Southampton (17/18) in M16 may be less memorable than 2016’s late turnaround to beat Middlesbrough 2-1, and a 4-1 win over Bournemouth two years later, in the third game of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s initial caretaker spell as manager.

Rashford was also on target in 2018 against Bournemouth - a good omen for Saturday's trip to Forest?


Across the 11 matches, United have kept eight clean sheets, something we also managed to do on both of our trips to The City Ground last season.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Reds scored two goals without reply at home to West Brom in 2012 – the opening match of this unbeaten run – registering the first of four year-ending matches in a row with a shutout.

A 1-0 win at Norwich (2013) and successive stalemates with Tottenham (2014) and Chelsea (2015) followed, as the initial platform was laid for what has been a staple of our strong recent performances before the turn of the year.


2022: Wolves 0 United 1
2021: United 3 Burnley 1
2020: United 1 Wolves 0
2019: Burnley 0 United 2
2018: United 4 Bournemouth 1
2017: United 0 Southampton 0
2016: United 2 Middlesbrough 1
2015: United 0 Chelsea 0
2014: Tottenham 0 United 0
2013: Norwich 0 United 1
2012: United 2 West Brom 0

All matches were played in the Premier League.