Manchester United celebrated their second win in their second Premier League home game. The Red Devils were already 2-0 down after just four minutes against Nottingham Forest.
The close 1-0 win over Wolverhampton in the first home game was followed by a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur. So before the third league game, the Red Devils were under pressure. But the first few minutes at Old Trafford did not feel like redemption. The United fans must have felt like they were in the wrong film – the home side were already 2-0 down after just three minutes and 47 seconds. Awoniyi opened the scoring after two minutes (2nd), before Boly headed home a free-kick (4th). Both goals were set up by Gibbs-White.
It was undoubtedly a special goal for Awoniyi – the former Union Berlin striker had scored in his seventh consecutive Premier League game this season. Such a run had never been seen before by a Forest professional in England’s top flight. The Nigerian also became only the third African after Adebayor (Togo) and Salah (Egypt) to achieve the feat in the Premier League.
United did not let themselves go, however, but responded with fury in their bellies. The first successful goal came in minute 17 when Eriksen got the better of Forest keeper Turner, who had been anything but safe throughout the game. Shortly afterwards it should have been 2:2, but the surprised Casemiro headed past the goal from four metres (26.). A few minutes before the break, Forest ventured forward again – and almost scored the 3:1: Gibbs-White, however, shot unhappily at teammate Awoniyi (45.+2).
Gibbs-White misses 3:1 – Worrall flies off the pitch
After the break, Gibbs-White could have increased the lead, but mistakenly decided not to finish in a promising position (47th). Then it was the same old story: Manchester United built up enormous pressure and really crushed the underdogs. The equaliser came in the 52nd minute: Bruno Fernandes gave Casemiro a clever header and this time the Brazilian did not miss the chance.
The captain of the hosts could have turned the game around in the 59th minute, but Bruno Fernandes pushed the ball past the far post from six metres. Then a quarter of an hour before the end: ManUnited – outnumbered due to Worrall’s emergency foul (67th) – were awarded a penalty for Danilo’s challenge on Rashford, which Bruno Fernandes converted (76th).
In the last minutes of normal time, the courageous Forest looked for their chance again, but lacked the necessary precision. On the other side, United were too careless with their chances: Sancho’s pass towards Rashford completely failed (90.+8). After more than twelve minutes of injury time, referee Stuart Attwell ended the game. United’s second home win was sealed.
With six points, the team of coach Erik ten Hag is temporarily in fifth place – and can put its form to the test next Sunday. They will then play an away game against runners-up Arsenal, who surprisingly dropped points against Fulham (2-2) on Saturday.