Nottingham Forest 0 Manchester United 2
Manchester United have moved up to third in the Premier League with a comprehensive 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest this afternoon.
Erik ten Hag’s men would have to wait until deep into the second half to double our lead, as Antony turned provider to set up Diogo Dalot, with the Portuguese full-back showing excellent composure to beat Keylor Navas between the sticks.
Today’s victory sees us move three points ahead of Newcastle, who lost 3-0 to Aston Villa on Saturday and currently sit in fourth.
As United looked to get off to a flying start at The City Ground, a sequence of lovely play down the right saw Fernandes fizz the ball at Navas, who could only parry it into the path of Sancho. Our no.25 hit his effort straight at the Forest shot-stopper who denied us for a second time in quick succession.
Fernandes – at the heart of the action in the first 45 – came close to causing the opener after a teasing ball into the box was headed behind by Felipe, with Forest's Brazilian defender being millimetres away from turning it into his own net.
Although United began the game brightly, the hosts were only denied an opening goal by the woodwork. Scott McKenna towered above a crowded penalty area, but his header was met by the post. Moments later, Danilo struck an effort from range but his shot was dragged wide after deflecting off Christian Eriksen, but Forest failed to capitalise on the resulting corner.
In the run-up to half-time, Forest could quite easily have fired their way back into the game through Taiwo Awoniyi. After initially making an impressive recovery down the left, Dalot’s wayward touch took the ball into the path of the Forest forward but his thumping effort flew over De Gea’s goal. Fernandes had an equally excellent opportunity to double our lead when Eriksen found him with a pinpoint cross, but the Portugal international could only guide his header wide of Navas’s goal.
The start of the second 45 mirrored that of the first, in frantic fashion – this time it was Forest piling forward as they looked for the leveller. While both sides created a handful of half-chances, neither could make the instant impact they desired.
Ten minutes in, Ten Hag’s men came the closest to netting the second goal of the afternoon but for the deftest of touches from Navas. A short corner routine saw Bruno play the ball into Eriksen, who returned the favour, before our no.8 unleashed a sublime strike on goal that left the crossbar rattling after the Forest keeper looked to have made the slightest connection with it.
The Reds came close yet again with two efforts in quick succession. The first of which came from Antony, who deployed one of his signature efforts but could only watch it bobble beyond the post. The second was courtesy of Bruno, whose precise long-range shot looked bound for the bottom corner but for the gloves of Navas.
With less than 15 to go, we were finally able to double our lead after carving open the Forest backline and beating the formidable Navas. An excellent team move was ultimately finished off by Dalot, in a showing of real composure, after being played through one-on-one courtesy of an outrageous reverse ball from fellow goalscorer Antony.
Forest continued to surge forward chasing the game, but a resolute showing from our back four kept them at bay in what was a thoroughly deserved victory for Ten Hag and his men away from home.
Forest XI: Navas; Felipe, McKenna (Dennis 81), Niakhate; Williams, Frueler (Mangala 65), Danilo, Lodi; Gibbs-White (Lingard 88), Awoniyi (Surridge 65), Johnson.
Unused substitutes: Hennessey, Worrall, Shelvey, Toffolo, Ayew.
Bookings: Williams 67; Malanga 83.
United XI: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka; Casemiro, Fernandes; Antony, Eriksen (Fred 79), Sancho; Martial (Weghorst 71).
Unused substitutes: Butland, Williams, Jurado, Iqbal, Pellistri, Elanga.
Goals: Antony 32; Dalot 77.
Bookings: Maguire 3; Weghorst 90+3.
'WE GO AGAIN THURSDAY'
Here's how the Reds are reacting to our impressive win over Forest...
Hard work continues and a BIG victory today 🔴 pic.twitter.com/SSNvrCjIeu— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) April 16, 2023