Manchester United 3 Nottingham Forest 0
Manchester United were comfortable winners over Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford in the Premier League, with goals from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Fred ensuring a 3-0 victory.
Taking to the field at the Theatre of Dreams for the final time in 2022, Erik ten Hag opted to start Luke Shaw alongside Raphael Varane at the heart of our defence, with the pair performing superbly across the 90 minutes.
Rashford's clever finish after 19 minutes opened the scoring. Martial soon added a second, a few minutes later, cleverly slamming home after a superb counter-attack. Substitute Fred added our third towards the end of normal time.
United remaining in fifth position following our triumph over Steve Cooper's men, who had a goal disallowed by VAR before the break.
It was United who piled on the pressure in the opening exchanges, as Tyrell Malacia fired his left-footed effort goalwards, calling Forest goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey into early action, with the help of his right-hand post.
The Reds took the lead after 19 minutes, in superb fashion, with Rashford notching his 10th goal of the season. Our no.10 was cleverly picked out by Christian Eriksen from a corner-kick, with the forward curling the ball across Hennessey and into the back of the net.
Just moments later, our lead was doubled, with Ten Hag's men's all-round play a sight to behold in M16. Casemiro's wonderful tackle began the move, as United broke forward on the counter attack. Rashford then turned provider, laying the ball into the path of Martial, who duly fired home our second of the evening.
Ryan Yates tested his luck from range as the first half edged on, with David De Gea more than equal to the midfielder's attempt, as he pushed the ball away from danger.
Before the interval, Yates thought he had halved the visitors' deficit by nodding home a free-kick. But after a lengthy VAR review, it was decided defender Willy Boly got the final touch and was in an offside position, so the score remained 2-0.
SECOND HALF - ICING ON THE CAKE
Antony went close to adding a third for the Reds as the second half began at Old Trafford. The Brazilian was neatly found by Fernandes inside the area, after good work by Rashford, before Hennessey kept his effort out.
Martial almost grabbed his second of the evening, as the Frenchman broke the offside trap to spring in behind, only for Forest's ever busy shot-stopper to once again be called into action.
Ten Hag opted to shuffle things around as the game entered its final 20 minutes of action, with the game never truly put to bed. Alejandro Garnacho and Donny van de Beek were introduced, as Antony and Martial made way.
Forest still offered a threat with our lead only at only two, Brennan Johnson's clever flick was dealt with wisely by David De Gea, before Remo Frueler's tame follow-up again failed to thoroughly test our Spanish keeper. That incident came after an unsuccessful handball shout by Rashford in the other box.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Casemiro linked up as the Reds continued to search for a third. The latter's chipped effort was flipped over by Hennessey and out for a corner, but the pressure finally told.
With three minutes remaining, the gloss was applied on a comprehensive showing, as Fred added a third to round off the scoring. Casemiro drove forward after intercepting the ball in midfield, before smartly playing through his countryman, who buried a smart left-foot finish.
United: De Gea; Malacia, Varane (Maguire, 76), Shaw, Wan-Bissaka; Casemiro, Eriksen (Fred, 76); Antony (Garnacho, 64), Fernandes, Rashford (Elanga, 85); Martial (Van de Beek, 64).
Subs not used: Heaton, Bennett, Williams, Iqbal.
Goals: Rashford 19, Martial 22, Fred 87.
Booked: Malacia, Eriksen, Garnacho.
Forest: Hennessey, Worrall (c), Mangala (Dennis, 61), Awoniyi (Surridge, 61) Lingard (O'Brien, 53), Johnson, Yates, Freuler, Aurier, Boly, Lodi (Toffolo, 61).
Subs not used: Smith, Cook, Williams, Colback, McKenna.
World-Class. Eriksen to Rashford. A beauty. #mufc— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) December 27, 2022
Rashford and Martial both score inside 23. Exactly what MUFC need. More goals, especially from the forwards. And no, this doesn't make up for getting drenched pre-match.— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) December 27, 2022
Jesse Lingard receives a warm welcome from the home crowd as he hobbles off for Forest. He turns to applaud the Stretford End for their support #mufc— Rich Fay (@RichFay) December 27, 2022
Anthony Martial in the Premier League this season vs. Anthony Martial in all competitions last season:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 27, 2022
🏟️ 6 Appearances
⚽ 3 goals
🅰️ 2 assists
🏟️ 23 Appearances
⚽ 2 goals
🅰️ 1 assists
Rejuvenated. ⚡ pic.twitter.com/AuhLHiweHI