MARC MY WORDS MANCHESTER UNITED beat Nottingham Forest 8-1 last time they met in the Premier League, all the way back in 1999.
This time they were happy to settle for 3-0, as they chopped the not so Tricky Trees down at the Theatre of Dreams.
Manchester United showed no rust as they easily beat Nottingham Forest
Erik ten Hag’s side looked brimming with confidence as they aimed to pick up from where they left off prior to the World Cup, when they had won five of their last six matches in all competitions.
And they did just that, comfortably securing three valuable points in their battle to narrow the gap to Tottenham in fourth.
It was a case of no Cristiano Ronaldo, no problem for United in their first Prem outing since axing the veteran Portuguese forward.
Following their comfy win, Domoredosport’s Ajibola Victor rates each Red Devils performer from this evening’s clash with Forest.
DAVID DE GEA – 6
Saved a driven first half effort from range by Ryan Yates with his chest.
Made a decent stop to keep Brennan Johnson’s back-heel out, but was otherwise rarely tested.
AARON WAN-BISSAKA – 7
Finally handed his first Prem start of the season in the absence of Diogo Dalot. Lost Yates from a set-piece in the build-up to Willy Boly’s goal, and was fortunate that it was eventually disallowed by VAR for a narrow offside.
Looked uncharacteristically bright going forward, however, and if his lack of action has caused his confidence to dip, it didn’t show.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was back in Prem action for United
RAPHAEL VARANE – 7
Picked by Ten Hag just nine days after his World Cup final heartache.
Frenchman showed no signs of a post-tournament hangover – appearing every bit as poised and graceful as usual at the back.
LUKE SHAW – 7
Started at centre-half in a back four for the first time in his senior career.
Looked comfortable in his new position and was rarely troubled by Forest’s attack – while also providing smart, accurate distribution from the back.
Luke Shaw performed his centre-back duties well
TYRELL MALACIA – 6
Stung Wayne Hennessey’s palms with a fierce half volley early on. Booked for a challenge on Serge Aurier.
Decent performance from the Dutchman.
CASEMIRO – 9
Fantastic tackle set United on the counter for their second goal.
The Brazilian provided a typically solid base for his side to build from, reading danger and distributing the ball beautifully – both skills evidenced by his late assist for Fred.
Casemiro delivered a sensational performance
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN – 7
Perfectly executed a smart, low corner to set up Rashford’s 20th minute opener.
The brain of Ten Hag’s Red Devils – Eriksen made United tick with everything he did. Booked for dragging Yates back in the second half.
ANTONY – 5
Buzzed around in the opening 45 but couldn’t get anything to come off – although he did produce some good movement to create space for Martial’s goal.
Should have scored in the 56th minute when teed up perfectly by Bruno Fernandes. Not the Brazilian’s night and was hooked for Garnacho during the second half.
Not much came off for Antony against Forest
BRUNO FERNANDES – 6
Pressed and harried for his side as he skippered United in Harry Maguire’s absence from the starting XI.
Would have had an assist if Antony had finished off his cute lay-off.
MARCUS RASHFORD – 9
Beautifully swept home Eriksen’s smart corner to put Man United 1-0 up. Brilliant skill and cut-back for Martial’s goal for 2-0.
The England star looks brimming with confidence and a man reborn under Ten Hag, with the Dutchman claiming his star winger can bag him 20 goals a season in the build-up to tonight’s match – on this evidence he looks right.
Marcus Rashford confidently swept United into the lead
ANTHONY MARTIAL – 7
Confidently side-footed past Hennessey after being teed up by Rashford.
United may be hunting a striker in January, but Martial did his best to prove that he should remain the first choice No9 for the rest of the season.
Anthony Martial made it 2-0 in the first half
Alejandro Garnacho (for Antony, 65) – 7
Typically bright cameo from the exciting Argentine. Fans sang “Viva Garnacho” after a sparkling run – Cristiano who?
Donny van de Beek (for Martial, 65) – 6
Buzzed around after his introduction. Looks difficult for him to get past Eriksen or Fernandes, however.
Harry Maguire (for Varane, 77) – 6
Returned to action from the bench after a short illness kept him out of the starting XI.
Fred (for Eriksen, 77) – 7
Brazilian was as industrious as ever during his cameo and finished brilliantly from Casemiro’s excellent late pass.
Anthony Elanga (for Rashford, 86) – N/A
Not enough time to make a significant impact.
Subs not used: Heaton, Bennett, Williams, Iqbal
Fred slots home United’s third