Manchester United advances to FA Cup Quarterfinals with late Casemiro header against Forest

In a dramatic turn of events, Casemiro shattered Nottingham Forest's dreams with a late goal, propelling Manchester United into the FA Cup quarter-finals for an astounding 48th time and a remarkable ninth time in the last 10 seasons.

The 1-0 victory at the City Ground was secured amidst an injury-ridden Manchester United side, forcing them to deploy a nearly full-strength XI for their crucial encounter in the East Midlands.

Despite the challenging circumstances, Scott McTominay, making his first start since early January, nearly made an immediate impact. His early header elicited a routine save from Matt Turner, following Antony’s earlier attempt that had rattled the crossbar.

The initial 20 minutes witnessed frenetic action, and although Forest took some time to settle, they managed to test André Onana, who skillfully parried away Taiwo Awoniyi’s powerful drive.

The fluctuating momentum of the first half favored United once again, with McTominay’s header forcing a more challenging save from Turner, denying United a breakthrough before halftime.

The second half maintained its intense pace, with Forest starting brightly.

However, in a duel between Onana and Awoniyi, the United goalkeeper emerged victorious.

Onana continued to showcase his prowess, denying Divock Origi shortly after, leaving Forest frustrated in their quest to open the scoring. Both teams seemed destined for extra time, given the lack of quality in the final third.

However, Casemiro intervened, executing a timely header at the near post to convert a Bruno Fernandes free-kick in front of the jubilant traveling fans.

Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes

This crucial victory spared United from extra time, a relief ahead of the impending Manchester derby against City on Sunday. The triumph sets the stage for a thrilling quarter-final clash against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

While the defeat is undoubtedly disheartening for Forest, it may serve as a blessing in disguise. Now, they can redirect their focus solely on the Premier League battle to avoid relegation, starting with a crucial match against Liverpool on Saturday.

It was a very timely winner for United, who certainly won’t have wanted extra-time with a Manchester derby to come against City on Sunday.

The victory sets up a blockbuster quarter-final tie against Liverpool at Old Trafford, and as painstaking as this defeat must feel for Forest, it is perhaps a blessing in disguise.

They can now focus solely on their battle to beat the drop in the Premier League, which resumes with the visit of Liverpool on Saturday.

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