Marcus Rashford scored one aim and arrange one other as Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 to maneuver some extent behind fourth-placed Tottenham within the Premier League.
United’s preparations have been disrupted by a virus which left Raphael Varane, who had solely simply returned from World Cup obligation with France, as their solely match centre-back, with Erik ten Hag having to make use of left-back Luke Shaw alongside him.
However Forest not often examined their makeshift backline, and, in United’s first Premier League recreation since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, Rashford took centre stage, dispatching the opener from Christian Eriksen’s intelligent nook within the nineteenth minute, then teeing up Anthony Martial for the second aim shortly afterwards.
Forest’s Ryan Yates noticed a aim dominated out for offside by VAR shortly earlier than half-time, however United have been in any other case dominant and wrapped up the win when the wonderful Casemiro stole possession excessive up the pitch and fed substitute Fred, who lashed residence a robust end three minutes from time.
The victory ensures United resume their Premier League marketing campaign in one of the best ways attainable, closing the hole to Spurs as they chase a top-four end, whereas Forest stay nineteenth, some extent from security.
Man Utd: De Gea (7), Wan-Bissaka (7), Varane (7), Shaw (7), Malacia (7), Casemiro (9), Eriksen (7), Fernandes (7), Antony (6), Martial (7), Rashford (8).
Subs: Van de Beek (6), Garnacho (6), Maguire (6), Elanga (n/a).
Nottingham Forest: Hennessey (7), Aurier (6), Worrall (5), Boly (6), Freuler (6), Lodi (6), Mangala (6), Yates (6), Lingard (6), Johnson (5), Awoniyi (5).
Subs: O’Brien (6), Surridge (6), Toffolo (6), Dennis (6), Williams (n/a).
Man of the match: Casemiro
How United cruised to victory
The warning indicators have been there for Nottingham Forest from the primary couple of minutes of the sport, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Tyrell Malacia discovering area on the flanks and the latter seeing a robust effort turned onto the submit by Wayne Hennessey.
The goalkeeper, standing in for the on-loan Dean Henderson towards his guardian membership, was lucky that shot did not squirm into the web fairly than onto the upright, however United did not have to attend lengthy to make the breakthrough.
Crew information – Man Utd hit by virus
- Man Utd have been with out Victor Lindelof and Scott McTominay because of a virus, with Harry Maguire solely match sufficient for the bench as Raphael Varane was rushed again in defence.
- Jesse Lingard began towards his former membership for Nottingham Forest whereas Wayne Hennessey was named in aim, with Dean Henderson unable to face his guardian membership.
Rashford’s aim, dispatched first-time following a pre-rehearsed nook routine, made it 5 in his final eight video games for United both aspect of the World Cup – the place he additionally netted 3 times for England – and he then turned supplier for Martial.
Hennessey ought to have accomplished higher with Martial’s low effort, the Welsh worldwide crushed regardless of getting a hand to the shot, however the aim capped a slick counter from the hosts which began with Casemiro profitable a deal with close to his personal byline.
United regarded in full management as half-time approached however that they had a let-off when the unmarked Yates had a aim dominated out by VAR following a free kick, his header discovered to have hit Wily Boly in an offside place earlier than beating David de Gea.
Forest began the second half a bit of extra brightly, however the most effective possibilities continued to fall to United, with Antony, Martial, Rashford and Casemiro all denied by Hennessey.
Forest’s finest alternative to tug a aim again got here when Brennan Johnson’s backheeled flick drew a parried save from De Gea at his close to submit, however United sealed the win in model.
Casemiro, wonderful at each ends of the pitch over the course of the sport, confirmed spectacular alertness to intercept a Forest move as they tried to launch a counter-attack, then performed in Fred, whose advantageous end discovered the far nook, capping a satisfying evening’s work for the hosts.
Ten Hag completely satisfied however focusing on signings
Erik ten Hag instructed the BBC: “We conceded no targets, saved a clear sheet. Proud of that as a result of it’s at all times the bottom to compete. We might have scored extra targets undoubtedly.
“We had some nice assaults, a number of motion. When you could have one on ones with the keeper, you need to rating extra targets.”
On Marcus Rashford’s efficiency, he added: “It was not solely Rashford however I am actually completely satisfied along with his efficiency as soon as once more. He’s in a extremely good sample and if he retains with this sample and spirit, it’s good for us and good for him.”
Relating to United’s plans for the January switch window, he added to Amazon Prime: “We’re on the lookout for offensive gamers. We’re on the lookout for a striker.
“We’re at all times out there, however it has to match the sporting standards but additionally the monetary standards. We do what we will to herald the gamers we’d like.”
Resurgent Rashford eyeing silverware
Marcus Rashford instructed the BBC: “I believe the principle factor is that I am having fun with myself and I am targeted and completely satisfied. I am hoping that may keep on. I wish to have a extremely good season this yr and hopefully win a trophy with the membership.
“That is the principle goal. It is an ambition that we have had for some time. After I first got here into the crew we had a great begin, we gained three or 4 trophies within the first couple of years.
“Since then we have been in a tough patch however the one approach to come out of it’s to maintain working laborious and we now have to maintain listening to the supervisor and the employees, play the soccer he desires to play and win video games. If we maintain bettering we’ll be in and round these alternatives
“I believe everybody enjoys taking part in right here [at Old Trafford], it is most likely among the best stadiums on the planet. It is obtained sensible followers and once we’re taking part in properly it is an excellent feeling, nice ambiance. There’s not a lot you may examine to it.”
Evaluation: Casemiro reworking Man Utd
If Manchester United are to go on and safe a top-four end, it’s going to owe loads to Casemiro. The Brazilian was eased into the aspect progressively following his arrival from Actual Madrid in the summertime, however there is no such thing as a doubting his significance now.
Beginning for the thirteenth time in 14 United video games both aspect of the World Cup, he produced arguably his finest efficiency but in a win which places Erik ten Hag’s aspect solely some extent behind fourth-placed Tottenham.
United actually wanted him given a virus had pressured the supervisor to discipline a makeshift centre-back pairing of Raphael Varane, who had solely simply returned from vacation following his World Cup exploits with France, and left-back Luke Shaw.
However the 30-year-old protected that duo fantastically, dominating the midfield proper from the beginning of the sport and serving to to make sure Forest not often obtained close to the United aim.
He excelled in a defensive sense, snapping into tackles – considered one of which began the transfer for United’s second aim – and anticipating hazard, however he was equally influential on the different finish of the pitch, his all-round show a reminder of his completeness.
He nearly scored with a deft chip which pressured a scrambling save from Forest goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey within the second half, and the move to arrange Fred’s late aim, following a usually good interception, was considered one of three possibilities he created.
This type of efficiency ought to come as no shock, in fact. Casemiro is a five-time Champions League winner for a cause. However what’s key for United is that he has tailored to the Premier League so shortly. They’ve misplaced solely a type of final 13 video games he has began. His position of their current enchancment is a big one.
Cooper bemoans Forest defending
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper mentioned: “It was at all times going to be actually robust right here tonight and we knew the sport was going to look because it did when it comes to them having territory and possession.
“The targets are a killer when it comes to a set piece the place some gamers have clearly not caught to their obligations.
“After which we’re in a half-decent place in United’s field, however then to surrender the area and the territory we did. I would not say we gifted the aim as a result of they should work for it, however it’s irritating with the targets.
“I simply felt we might’ve backed ourselves a bit extra within the recreation. We obtained in between the traces two or 3 times within the first half however did not profit from it. In the long run you do should profit from these conditions at this degree.
“I am a giant believer in trying on the means of the efficiency. I used to be extra annoyed at instances with a scarcity of high quality at instances on the high finish of the pitch, a scarcity of perception in choice making and taking dangers and backing ourselves.”
Rashford’s advantageous type – Opta stats
- Marcus Rashford has scored 10 targets in all competitions this season for Manchester United (21 video games), double his tally from the entire of the final marketing campaign (5 in 32 video games).
- Anthony Martial has been immediately concerned in 5 targets in his final six Premier League appearances for Manchester United (three targets, two assists all beneath Erik ten Hag) – yet one more than he managed in his earlier 21 (beneath Ralf Rangnick, Michael Carrick and Ole Gunnar Solskjær).
- Fred’s aim, assisted by Casemiro, was the primary time two Brazilians mixed for a Manchester United aim within the Premier League.
- Manchester United have saved 4 consecutive clear sheets at Outdated Trafford within the Premier League for first time since February-June 2020.
Manchester United are away to Wolves of their subsequent Premier League recreation on Saturday, with kick-off at 12.30pm.
Nottingham Forest host Chelsea reside on Sky Sports activities on Sunday, with kick-off at 4.30pm.