Manchester United v Nottingham Forest: Premier League – live | Premier League

Mind you, AM9 isn’t half bad either. Awoniyi dribbles dangerously down the Forest right. But Casemiro makes a stunning tackle and interception, just as he looks like breaking into the box. United counter at speed. Rashford works down the left and finds Martial in the middle. Martial shoots through Boly’s legs from the edge of the D. The shot should be stopped by Hennessey, but squirms into the bottom left past soft hands. Some counter-attack, though!

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A brilliantly worked corner! Eriksen pulls the corner low towards the penalty spot. Rashford emerges from the pack ahead of everyone else, timing his run to perfection. He meets the pullback and sidefoots across Hennessey and into the top left!

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Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Shaw, Malacia, Eriksen, Casemiro, Fernandes, Antony, Rashford, Martial.
Subs: Heaton, Bennett, Maguire, Williams, Fred, Van de Beek, Iqbal, Elanga, Garnacho.

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Nottingham Forest: Hennessey, Aurier, Worrall, Boly, Lodi, Yates, Mangala, Freuler, Johnson, Awoniyi, Lingard.
Subs: Smith, Cook, Williams, Colback, O’Brien, Toffolo, Surridge, Dennis, McKenna.

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Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).

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It’s good to get back on the horse quickly after a big loss. Pity poor Nottingham Forest, then, who will have been brooding on that 8-1 defeat at the City Ground for the best part of 23 years. Yep, the day Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came to town in February 1999 and scored four times in 14 minutes for treble-chasing Manchester United against Ron Atkinson’s relegation-bound rabble was the last time these two famous clubs met. Nearly a quarter of a century’s worth of stew, bubbling in the pot.

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United were top that day, Forest bottom. The dynamic isn’t drastically different now …

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Pos Team P GD Pts
4 Tottenham Hotspur 16 10 30
5 Man Utd 14 0 26
6 Liverpool 15 13 25
18 Wolverhampton 16 -15 13
19 Nottm Forest 15 -19 13
20 Southampton 16 -16 12

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… and so you’d back the hosts to make it seven wins in a row against the Tricky Trees this evening. (For the record, that dim-and-distant run of consecutive United wins reads 5-0, 4-1, 4-0, 2-1, 3-0 and 8-1, giving a cumulative total of 26-3.) But history hands back a little something to everyone, and Forest have fond memories of a rout of their own, Brian Clough’s greatest team eviscerating Dave Sexton’s nearly men 4-0 just before Christmas at a suddenly not-so-festive Old Trafford in 1977, arguably the signature win of their title season. So there’s a little context, for what matches from 22 and 45 years ago are worth. Kick off tonight is at 8pm GMT. It’s on!

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Key events

34 minutes: Fernandes, deep on the right, attempts to release Malacia near the left-hand corner of the Forest box. The pass is overcooked and it flies out for a goal kick, but it’s an illustration of United’s confidence and ambition if nothing else.

32 minutes: … so having said that, Forest steam up the other end, Yeats pearling a shot towards the bottom right from distance. De Gea turns it around the post in a very strange manner, using his right shoulder and twisting. But it gets the job done, and nothing happens at the resulting corner.

31 min: There’s a swagger in United’s play now. Forest are struggling to hang on in there as they’re pushed back, Eriksen, Martial and Casemiro flicking the ball elegantly hither and yon.

29 minutes: Aurier and Yeats win another Forest corner down the right. This is probably more of a scoring opportunity for United on the counter, truth be told. And yes, the delivery is awful, and Rashford scampers off up the right at full pelt. Mangala cynically hauls him back, and he’s in the book as well now.

27 minutes: Malacia goes in for a 50-50 with Aurier. He scissors Aurier’s standing leg and earns himself the first booking of the evening. It looked clumsy rather than malicious, but he can have no complaints.

26 minutes: United’s tails are up all right. Malacia sashays down the left and then along the byline. He can’t quite find anybody with his attempted cutback, but Forest needed to swarm him to put a stop to his gallop.

24 minutes: Forest can be forgiven for thinking about that 8-1 all those years ago. Hennessey’s clanger won’t help.

GOAL! Manchester United 2-0 Nottingham Forest (Martial 22)

Mind you, AM9 isn’t half bad either. Awoniyi dribbles dangerously down the Forest right. But Casemiro makes a stunning tackle and interception, just as he looks like breaking into the box. United counter at speed. Rashford works down the left and finds Martial in the middle. Martial shoots through Boly’s legs from the edge of the D. The shot should be stopped by Hennessey, but squirms into the bottom left past soft hands. Some counter-attack, though!

21 minutes: That was such a simple goal. But such a sweet one as well. Work on the training ground paying off. Rashford is a player on a hot streak of form. Who needs Ronaldo? MR10 is your man.

GOAL! Manchester United 1-0 Nottingham Forest (Rashford 19)

A brilliantly worked corner! Eriksen pulls the corner low towards the penalty spot. Rashford emerges from the pack ahead of everyone else, timing his run to perfection. He meets the pullback and sidefoots across Hennessey and into the top left!

18 minutes: United are enjoying more of the possession, though. Antony’s persistent work out on the right wins another corner. Eriksen to take. And…

17 minutes: … nothing much happens. Forest will be reasonably happy with their start. Apart from the Malacia shot, United haven’t threatened much.

16 minutes: Rashford dribbles down the left and earns a corner off Aurier. From which…

14 minutes: The corner’s no good. United attempt to counter but Fernandes’ attempt to find Rashford is inaccurate and all momentum is lost. United came again, though, Rashford worked his way down the right and released Wan-Bissaka into a bit of space. The full back – who is much improved in attack these days under Ten Hag – fires a low cross into the box that’s hacked clear at the near post. Good move that.

13 minutes: Yeats skitters down the right and earns Forest the first corner of the evening.

10 minutes: Antony’s poor pass towards Malacia on the left was telegraphed and easily intercepted by Aurier. The ball’s shuttled forward to Lingard, who tries to release Awoniyi down the inside-left channel with a scooped pass. Had he got more air on the pass, United would have been in trouble. But Varane is able to intercept.

10 minutes: Antony’s poor pass towards Malacia on the left was telegraphed and easily intercepted by Aurier. The ball’s shuttled forward to Lingard, who tries to release Awoniyi down the inside-left channel with a scooped pass. Had he got more air on the pass, United would have been in trouble. But Varane is able to intercept.

Lingard in action against Malacia from his old club. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

8 minutes: Man back up. Johnson’s good to continue after a few deep breaths and a quick inventory check.

7 minutes: Johnson takes a full Shaw clearance in the fruit-bowl from close range. Ooyah, oof, that’s gotta hurt. And indeed it does. Man down!

6 minutes: Wan-Bissaka dinks a ball in from the right. Rashford takes it down at the far post, cuts back, then fires into a thicket of players. The ball breaks left to Malacia, who creates a drive towards the goal. Hennessey parries a little clumsily onto the left-hand post. But it’s enough to get the job done. Forest clear.

5 minutes: Shaw is playing as emergency center back tonight, incidentally, alongside World Cup finalist Varane. Not ideal for United, but do Forest have enough to test the bespoke partnership?

Shaw kicks the ball clear.
Shaw kicks the ball clear. Photograph: Matthew Peters/Manchester United/Getty Images

3 minutes: A little bit of possession for Forest now. Aurier loops the ball into the United box from the right. Shaw heads it clear. United counter, Fernandes nearly getting the better of Worrall down the left. The Forest defender stands firm and doesn’t let him past. Neat play all round.

2 minutes: United spent the first minute pinging it around the back to get a feel of the ball. Casemiro earns the first gasp of the evening with a cute flick in the center circle.

United and Forest take the knee – there’s no room for racism – and then the hosts get the ball rolling. It’s raining. Did we mention it’s raining?

Fans in rain covers wait for the start of the match
Fans in rain covers wait for the start of the match Photograph: Peter Powell/EPA-EFE

The teams are out! Manchester United in their famous red, white and black, Nottingham Forest in second-choice yellow. This will be the last time Forest wear a shirt without a sponsor this season: they’ll carry the logo of UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in the New Year. The club explained how it will be “a sign of solidarity for families who have been forced to flee their homes and communities.” There’s a moment of warm applause in memory of 1966 World Cup legend George Cohen, who recently passed. We’ll be off in a minute.

Ten Hag talks to Amazon! Inside! Where it’s dry and warm! Man’s no fool. “We have had illnesses during the week. Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Scott McTominay. Harry recovered but is not fit to start, so we have to be a little bit creative. We had to choose and we prefer this line-up. Raphael Varane takes responsibility, that’s why he’s so successful, he’s so important. He directly told me: ‘I’m ready, play me.’ The World Cup was quite intense for him, so we have to take care of him, but this is an emergency case and that’s why he is playing.”

No word yet from Erik ten Hag. Perhaps he’s got wind of Amazon’s ungracious rain-canopy distribution policy. In lieu of hot-off-the-press pre-match platitudes, here’s the latest coming out of the club courtesy of our man Jamie Jackson.

Forest boss Steve Cooper is interviewed by Amazon Prime under a pouring Mancunian sky. Host Simon Thomas and pundits Michael Owen, Patrice Evra and Stuart Pearce all have brollies. Steve doesn’t. It’s like the trophy presentation at the 2018 World Cup final all over again, the Amazon collective in the role of that bauble Putin. “We were doing a little bit better just before the break. We’ve tried to maximize the time [of the break] as best we can. The more time these guys spend together, the more they can grow into what we want to be. We have to make sure we pick up where we left off. It’s going to be difficult here, but we have to believe in what we do. We know this is a big game and a big stage, but we have to back ourselves. If we don’t, we don’t give ourselves the best opportunity. Thanks for the umbrella, by the way. I know where I stand!”

Gianni Infantino:
Gianni Infantino: “Today I feel Steve Cooper.” Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Manchester United make four changes to their starting XI from last week’s League Cup victory over Burnley. David de Gea, Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw and Antony replace Martin Dubravka, Victor Lindelof, Scott McTominay and Alejandro Garnacho. Club captain Harry Maguire is back, but only on the bench. Lisandro Martinez and Jadon Sancho are both missing, the former presumably still en fête.

Nottingham Forest made three changes to the XI named for their League Cup win at Blackburn last week. Wayne Hennessey takes the gloves from the on-loan Dean Henderson, who can’t play for his parent club, while Serge Aurier and Renan Lodi replace Neco Williams and Harry Toffolo in the wing-back positions. Jesse Lingard returns to his long-time stamping ground.

The teams

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Shaw, Malacia, Eriksen, Casemiro, Fernandes, Antony, Rashford, Martial.
Subs: Heaton, Bennett, Maguire, Williams, Fred, Van de Beek, Iqbal, Elanga, Garnacho.

Nottingham Forest: Hennessey, Aurier, Worrall, Boly, Lodi, Yates, Mangala, Freuler, Johnson, Awoniyi, Lingard.
Subs: Smith, Cook, Williams, Colback, O’Brien, Toffolo, Surridge, Dennis, McKenna.

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).

The team news in social-media form.

🥁 Here's your United line-up! 👊#MUFC || #MUNNFO

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 27, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/ManUtd/status/1607813591192768514″,”id”:”1607813591192768514″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”96c2d5b5-888d-495b-a446-3d417d763db6″}}”/>

Introducing your #NFFC side for tonight's clash at Old Trafford. 👊 pic.twitter.com/oO0m8m4S1C

— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) December 27, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/NFFC/status/1607813606116134913″,”id”:”1607813606116134913″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”9be8b101-4d9d-41da-8c8d-124b64e3ab85″}}”/>

Preamble

It’s good to get back on the horse quickly after a big loss. Pity poor Nottingham Forest, then, who will have been brooding on that 8-1 defeat at the City Ground for the best part of 23 years. Yep, the day Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came to town in February 1999 and scored four times in 14 minutes for treble-chasing Manchester United against Ron Atkinson’s relegation-bound rabble was the last time these two famous clubs met. Nearly a quarter of a century’s worth of stew, bubbling in the pot.

United were top that day, Forest bottom. The dynamic isn’t drastically different now…

… and so you’d back the hosts to make it seven wins in a row against the Tricky Trees this evening. (For the record, that dim-and-distant run of consecutive United wins reads 5-0, 4-1, 4-0, 2-1, 3-0 and 8-1, giving a cumulative total of 26-3. ) But history hands back a little something to everyone, and Forest have fond memories of a rout of their own, Brian Clough’s greatest team eviscerating Dave Sexton’s nearly men 4-0 just before Christmas at a suddenly not-so-festive Old Trafford in 1977 , arguably the signature win of their title season. So there’s a little context, for what matches from 22 and 45 years ago are worth. Kick off tonight is at 8pm GMT. It’s on!

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