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Nottingham Forest ends torrid run against United

Morgan Gibbs White celebrates in front of the Nottingham Forest fans

Morgan Gibbs White celebrates in front of the Nottingham Forest fans

Nottingham Forest claimed back-to-back Premier League (PL) victories for the first time since January after a 2-1 win over Manchester United, and ended a run of 11 consecutive defeats in all competitions against the Red Devils. 

This was the 100th league meeting between the two clubs, who both came into this match on somewhat of a high after morale-boosting wins over Newcastle United and Aston Villa respectively. Erik ten Hag’s side have had their fair share of woes on the road this season, and the hosts seized the early initiative with early chances for Nicolás Domínguez and Chris Wood. Meanwhile, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was alert to block Danilo’s strike from the edge of the box. In contrast, Ten Hag’s men carried little threat of their own against a Nottingham Forest  side that had conceded more PL goals than anyone else in 2023.

It was Nuno Espírito Santo’s side that started stronger after the break – Moussa Niakhaté made an impressive run down the right, but could not find his intended target in the box. The first real moment of urgency from the visitors came shortly afterwards, with Diogo Dalot rattling the post after being picked out in space by Wan-Bissaka. But a dismal season for Ten Hag’s side reached another low point just past the hour mark, as Domínguez fired in a clinical close-range finish from Gonzalo Montiel’s cut-back at the end of a brilliantly-worked Forest move.

Matt Turner Sabotaging Nottingham Forest?

Matt Turner almost sabotaged that lead with a horribly sliced clearance with Marcus Rashford ready to pounce, but had Niakhaté to thank for keeping the United forward at arm’s length. The American shot-stopper was not so lucky moments later, as Alejandro Garnacho brilliantly intercepted his sloppy clearance, and Rashford coolly caressed a finish into the bottom corner. However, that sinking feeling came to the fore once again at the end of a blistering Forest counter-attack, resulting in a stunning first finish by Morgan Gibbs-White from the edge of the box. Bruno Fernandes had a chance to equalise in stoppage time, but Turner made a smart stop to preserve a memorable win for Nottingham Forest.

It may have been a sobering evening for Ten Hag’s men, but this result continues the feel-good factor under new boss Nuno at the City Ground. These three points ensured Forest avoided the ignominy of suffering a fifth consecutive PL home defeat for the first time since 1999. It moves the East Midlands side five points clear of the bottom three. As for United, this was their 14th defeat in all competitions – the last time they lost more than 13 times before the new year was in the 1930-31 campaign.

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