Manchester United secured a confident 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest in their first Premier League appointment after the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday night (27 December).
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial found the back of the net in the first half, with Fred adding the cherry on top in the dying embers of the game.
Following the comfortable victory, Manchester United find themselves in fifth place in the Premier League standings with 29 points. Tottenham Hotspur currently sit in fourth place with 30 points but have played a game more than the Red Devils.
Erik ten Hag’s side enjoyed a blistering start to the game, coming agonizingly close to opening the scoring after only six minutes of play. Right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka found Rashford with a neat cross and the forward unhesitantly pulled the trigger. His initial shot was blocked but it found its way back to Tyrell Malacia. The left-back struck it firm and true, but Wayne Hennessey reacted superbly to turn the ball onto the post.
I‘m with you Old Trafford 🏻 Let’s go Red Devils
United eventually pulled themselves in front in the 19th minute, with Rashford putting away Christian Eriksen’s low cross with a confident side-footed finish. A mere three minutes after netting their first goal, United doubled their tally. Bruno Fernandes played Rashford into space down the left wing. The Englishman ran down the wing before cutting in and finding Martial on the edge of the area. The Frenchman’s strike could have been cleaner, but it was enough to go through Hennessey and into the back of the net.
United nearly tripled their lead 11 minutes into the second 45. Fernandes laid the ball off to Antony in an encouraging position, but the Brazilian failed to place his shot, hitting it straight at the keeper and allowing him to collect. Four minutes later, Martial got the opportunity to put the game to bed. But, just like Antony, he hit it straight at the goalkeeper.
United’s third goal finally came through Fred in the 87th minute. Casemiro broke Forest’s counter-attack and found his compatriot in space inside the box. The midfielder made no mistake in burying the opportunity.
Here are five players who impressed as Manchester United outplayed Forest at Old Trafford on Premier League matchday 15:
Coming off the bench in the 77th minute, Fred made quite an impact. He injected more energy into the game, chasing down every ball, creating openings, and applying a confident finish to triple United’s lead in the 87th minute.
Another amazing victory at home. Thanks God for everything in my life! 🏾
At Old Trafford, Fred played two key passes, completed six passes (75% accuracy), and won an aerial duel.
#4 Raphael Varane
Manchester United center-back Raphael Varane looked as confident as ever at the heart of the defense on Tuesday. He used his pace well to thwart bubbling threats, cleared the ball without hesitation, and rarely gave possession away.
| Raphaël Varane becomes the FIRST player to play in the World Cup final and then play for their club afterward.
The former Real Madrid man made four clearances, intercepted the ball twice, and attempted a tackle against Forest. Additionally, he completed 70 passes (94.6% accuracy), delivered four accurate long balls, and won a ground duel.
#3 Bruno Fernandes
Manchester United skipper Bruno Fernandes did not do anything flashy against Nottingham Forest, but he was at the heart of most things positive. He rarely misplaced passes, created chances for teammates, and was not afraid to get his hands dirty.
A top team performance for a late Christmas present 3 points 🏻
Fernandes played three key passes and created two big chances against Nottingham Forest. He also delivered three accurate long balls, attempted four tackles, won four ground duels, and made an interception.
The most accomplished player on the team, Casemiro produced a memorable performance in his Premier League return. He cut out threatening passes, kickstarted multiple United counter-attacks, sprayed balls from deep, and created openings for his teammates. Casemiro’s most tangible contribution of the night came in the 87th minute, as he assisted Fred’s strike with a visionary long ball from deep.
Love this guy
On Tuesday night, Casemiro played three key passes, delivered seven accurate long balls, and created one big chance. He also won six duels, made three clearances, interception the ball thrice, and attempted five tackles.
#1 Marcus Rashford
The club’s poster boy Marcus Rashford put on an impressive showing against Nottingham Forest. He worked tirelessly, linked up flawlessly with teammates, and pitched in with a goal and an assist.
In the 19th minute, Rashford connected with Eriksen’s pass around the penalty spot and guided it into the far corner of Forest’s goal. Rashford’s assist, three minutes later, showed his awareness and selflessness. He cut in from the left, located Martial in space, and set him up with a simple pass across the face of the goal.
More than just a friend, Good to see you bro
Against Nottingham, Rashford played a key pass, delivered an accurate long ball, won a ground duel, made an interception, and cleared the ball once.
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