Manchester United took advantage of fellow top 4 competitors slip up to further their grip on Champions League qualification for next season with a victory at the City Ground.
Nottingham Forest formation and starting eleven
Steve Cooper set out his side in 3-4-2-1 pattern with Navas in goal, Felipe, Mckenna, Niakhate, Williams, Freuler, Danilo, Renan Lodi, Gibbs-White, Awoniyi and Brendan Johnson completing the eleven.
Manchester United formation and lineup
The team tutored by Erik Ten Hag went with a 4-2-3-1 formation for the encounter with De Gea in goal, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Dalot, Casemiro, Eriksen, Anthony, Fernandes, Sancho and Martial completing the XI.
Manchester United got the game underway and they showed their determination right from the get-go against a resilient Nottingham Forest side.
Harry Maguire picked up the game’s first yellow card in the third minute for a foul on Nigerian International Taiwo Awoniyi.
Both sides continued to go at it, but the match first noticeable chance came in the 18th minute when Bruno Fernandes smashed a half-volley at goal but it was saved by Navas.
There was a call for a penalty a minute later by the Forest players after the ball ricochets off the arm of Harry Maguire but it was reviewed and no penalty was awarded.
In the 25th minute, another delightful delivery was sent into the box from a corner for Nottingham Forest and it was targeted at the far post.
Mckenna rised highest and got his head on it but he couldn’t direct it on target as it flicked off the goalpost.
7 minutes later, Anthony Martial opened the scoring after a beautiful telepathic pass found him from Fernandes but the Manchester United No 9’s attempt was saved by Navas.
However, the Brazilian was lurking around and it followed up the attempt by Martial with a rebound fired into an open net.
Two minutes was added as additional time for the first half and Manchester United almost doubled their advantage in the first minute of additional time.
Eriksen sent in a wonderful cross into the area and Bruno Fernandes was completely unmarked but the Portuguese nodded the ball wide of the right post.
It ended 1-0 in the first half with Manchester United confident at the break after a comfortable first 45 minutes that they had.
How the second half of proceedings went
In the second half of action, the tricky trees began proceedings for the second 45 and 10 minutes later, Manchester United almost scored an additional goal.
Bruno Fernandes plays a short pass to Eriksen who rolls it back to the captain who strikes instantly and well from the edge of the 18-yard-box but it was astonishingly saved by Navas who tipped it onto the bar.
In the 65th, Steve Cooper made his first set of substitutions in the encounter bringing on Orel Mangala for Remo Freuler and Sam Surridge replacing Taiwo Awoniyi.
2 minutes later, Jaron Sancho tried to break down the left hand side of United’s attack but Neco Williams pulled his shirt back as he was about advancing and the Nottingham Forest man was brandished a yellow card for the foul committed.
In the 71st minute, Martial was found in the box via a wonderful cross from Casemiro but the Frenchman couldn’t bury the chance offered to him on a silver platter.
A minute later, Wout Weghorst was brought on to replace Anthony Martial and 5 minutes later, Manchester United finally doubled their advantage.
Anthony had a Man Of The Match Performance against Nottingham Forest
Anthony who has been wonderful all evening on the right side of Manchester United’s attack drove into the middle of the front of Forest box before playing a delightful through ball to Dalot who had a touch before placing the ball beyond the reach of Keylor Navas.
In the 79th minute, Fred came on to replace Christian Eriksen who was called to replace the injured Marcel Sabitzer before the game after the Austrian picked up a knock before the encounter.
Two minutes later, Emmanuel Dennis came in for Scott Mckenna and Orel Mangala was yellow-carded in the 83rd minute for a foul on Anthony.
In the 88th minute, former Manchester United man Jesse Lingard was introduced for Morgan Gibbs-White.
The referee signalled four minutes as additional time for the encounter and in the third minute of stoppage time, Weghorst was cautioned for a push on Niakhate.
It finished at the City Ground with Manchester United victorious over Nottingham Forest as they aim to confirm their spot in the UEFA Champions League for next season.
Manchester United moved up to third on the Premier League table due to that victory
Via that win, they moved to third on the Premier League table with 59 points, three points ahead of Newcastle United on 56 points who sit fourth after they lost on Saturday to Aston Villa by 3-0.
For Nottingham Forest, following the defeat they occupy the first spot in the relegation zone as they sit 18th with 27 points gathered so far.
Steve Cooper would be scratching his head wondering how he can manoeuvre the daunting task ahead of him as the trick trees seek to avoid dropping to the Championship.