Things we noticed in our first-leg win at Forest

Wednesday 25 January 2023 22:51

Manchester United emerged victorious in the first leg of our Carabao Cup semi-final, defeating Nottingham Forest 3-0 at The City Ground on Wednesday evening.

First-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Wout Weghorst were added to by a Bruno Fernandes strike in the latter stages, as Erik ten Hag's side earned a valuable advantage going into the second leg at Old Trafford next week.

From on-pitch actions to the off-pitch atmosphere, this felt like a classic cup tie which had a hint of everything.

Here are the key talking points from a chilly, yet energetic evening at one of English football's great arenas...

Nottingham Forest 0 United 3


Erik ten Hag's men will take a big lead into the second leg of our Carabao Cup semi-final.


The United supporters were very happy with that one, as Wout Weghorst got on the scoresheet for the first time as a Red. He was quickest to react inside the box and got his reward for being in the right place at the right time. It was a particularly important goal for United, with it coming on the stroke of half-time.


Ten Hag was asked about the Brazilian's start to life at United in his pre-match press conference and pointed out that the Reds have a highly successful record when the summer signing is on the pitch. The Dutchman also challenged our no.21 to deliver even more, and in turn, Antony was lively once again in our latest outing, during another win.

The Brazilian looked full of running against Forest throughout, and it was his shot which was parried into the path of Weghorst for the forward's goal. In the second half, he was influential too, laying the ball off for Christian Eriksen, who crashed an effort off the crossbar. Erik said United are better with Antony in the team, and that was certainly the case at The City Ground.


Our travelling fans were vocal from start to finish, buoyed by Marcus Rashford’s early goal, thrilled by Forest’s disallowed strike, and cheering as Weghorst opened his account for the Reds.

Throughout, our players seemed to feed off the unwavering backing of our away support.


There was much discussion before our clash with Forest about which goalkeeper Ten Hag would opt for, having used both Martin Dubravka – now back at Newcastle – and Tom Heaton in the previous rounds.

The boss chose to start David De Gea, and the Spaniard once again played an important role for United. In the first half he made a superb save from Renan Lodi’s long-range strike to preserve our lead, and in the second he looked as assured as ever.


Marcus Rashford was United’s in-form man going into this match, and he picked up where he left off almost immediately, cutting inside off the left and beyond Serge Aurier with ease, before firing a left-footed effort into the back of the net, just six minutes in.

His early finish was his 18th of the season in all competitions – and means he has now scored in all four of our Carabao Cup fixtures so far this season.


Young winger Facundo Pellistri made his second-ever appearance for United when he came off the bench in the second half.

The Uruguayan made an impact in his first appearance, providing an assist for Rashford against Charlton in the previous round, and looked lively again in flashes this time out, almost grabbing his first United goal in the latter stages before Wayne Hennessy gathered the ball at his feet. Pellistri’s perseverance in the box was also another key contributor to Bruno Fernandes’s injury-time goal.