Marcus Rashford scored one objective 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 had been disrupted by a virus which left Raphael Varane, who had solely simply returned from World Cup responsibility 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 hardly ever examined their makeshift backline, and, in United’s first Premier League sport 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 objective shortly afterwards.
Forest’s Ryan Yates noticed a objective dominated out for offside by VAR shortly earlier than half-time, however United had been in any other case dominant and wrapped up the win when the superb Casemiro stole possession excessive up the pitch and fed substitute Fred, who lashed residence a strong end three minutes from time.
The victory ensures United resume their Premier League marketing campaign in one of the simplest ways doable, 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 had been there for Nottingham Forest from the primary jiffy of the sport, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Tyrell Malacia discovering area on the flanks and the latter seeing a strong effort turned onto the put up by Wayne Hennessey.
The goalkeeper, standing in for the on-loan Dean Henderson towards his father or mother membership, was lucky that shot did not squirm into the web moderately than onto the upright, however United did not have to attend lengthy to make the breakthrough.
Workforce information – Man Utd hit by virus
- Man Utd had been with out Victor Lindelof and Scott McTominay attributable to 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 objective, with Dean Henderson unable to face his father or mother membership.
Rashford’s objective, 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 thrice for England – and he then turned supplier for Martial.
Hennessey ought to have executed higher with Martial’s low effort, the Welsh worldwide crushed regardless of getting a hand to the shot, however the objective 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 they’d a let-off when the unmarked Yates had a objective 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 just a little extra brightly, however the perfect probabilities continued to fall to United, with Antony, Martial, Rashford and Casemiro all denied by Hennessey.
Forest’s finest alternative to drag a objective again got here when Brennan Johnson’s backheeled flick drew a parried save from De Gea at his close to put up, however United sealed the win in model.
Casemiro, glorious at each ends of the pitch over the course of the sport, confirmed spectacular alertness to intercept a Forest go as they tried to launch a counter-attack, then performed in Fred, whose nice end discovered the far nook, capping a satisfying evening’s work for the hosts.
Ten Hag comfortable however concentrating on signings
Erik ten Hag advised the BBC: “We conceded no targets, stored a clear sheet. Pleased with that as a result of it’s at all times the bottom to compete. We might have scored extra targets positively.
“We had some nice assaults, a lot of motion. When you will have one on ones with the keeper, it’s important to rating extra targets.”
On Marcus Rashford’s efficiency, he added: “It was not solely Rashford however I am actually comfortable together with his efficiency as soon as once more. He’s in a very good sample and if he retains with this sample and spirit, it’s good for us and good for him.”
Concerning United’s plans for the January switch window, he added to Amazon Prime: “We’re in search of offensive gamers. We’re in search of a striker.
“We’re at all times available in the market, however it has to match the sporting standards but additionally the monetary standards. We do what we are able to to herald the gamers we want.”
Resurgent Rashford eyeing silverware
Marcus Rashford advised the BBC: “I believe the primary factor is that I am having fun with myself and I am targeted and comfortable. I am hoping that may keep it up. I wish to have a very good season this 12 months and hopefully win a trophy with the membership.
“That is the primary goal. It is an ambition that we have had for some time. Once I first got here into the crew we had a superb begin, we gained three or 4 trophies within the first couple of years.
“Since then we had been in a tough patch however the one technique to come out of it’s to maintain working laborious and we’ve to maintain listening to the supervisor and the workers, play the soccer he desires to play and win video games. If we preserve 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 finest stadiums on this planet. It is received sensible followers and after we’re taking part in effectively it is a fantastic feeling, nice environment. There’s not a lot you’ll be able to evaluate to it.”
Evaluation: Casemiro reworking Man Utd
If Manchester United are to go on and safe a top-four end, it can owe so much to Casemiro. The Brazilian was eased into the aspect regularly following his arrival from Actual Madrid in the summertime, however there isn’t 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 definitely wanted him given a virus had pressured the supervisor to subject 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 hardly ever received close to the United objective.
He excelled in a defensive sense, snapping into tackles – certainly one of which began the transfer for United’s second objective – 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 go to arrange Fred’s late objective, following a sometimes sensible interception, was certainly one of three probabilities he created.
This sort 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 kind of final 13 video games he has began. His function of their latest enchancment is a major one.
Cooper bemoans Forest defending
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper stated: “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 objective as a result of they need to work for it, however it’s irritating with the targets.
“I simply felt we might’ve backed ourselves a bit extra within the sport. We received in between the traces two or thrice within the first half however did not benefit from it. Ultimately you do need to benefit from these conditions at this degree.
“I am a giant believer in wanting on the technique of the efficiency. I used to be extra pissed off at occasions with a scarcity of high quality at occasions on the prime finish of the pitch, a scarcity of perception in resolution making and taking dangers and backing ourselves.”
Rashford’s nice 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 straight concerned in 5 targets in his final six Premier League appearances for Manchester United (three targets, two assists all underneath Erik ten Hag) – another than he managed in his earlier 21 (underneath Ralf Rangnick, Michael Carrick and Ole Gunnar Solskjær).
- Fred’s objective, assisted by Casemiro, was the primary time two Brazilians mixed for a Manchester United objective within the Premier League.
- Manchester United have stored 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 sport on Saturday, with kick-off at 12.30pm.
Nottingham Forest host Chelsea dwell on Sky Sports activities on Sunday, with kick-off at 4.30pm.