Erik ten Haag’s side are fifth in the table, but just one point off the top four with a game to play in 2022 against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday.
1. Ten Hag brings back hope before 2023
Erik ten Haag wrote in his program notes that “fifth is the right position for us” after United’s season started but there is enough enthusiasm that they could be much higher by May. It is now one loss to close the gap with Forest winning 14 in all competitions Tottenham Hotspur Just one point out of fourth.
Finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League is the priority but there is also silverware to play in the Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Europa League. Set-backs – heavy defeats Brentford And City of Manchester stand-out — but there can be little doubt that things are looking much more positive this time than last year.
If the target can still be a problem cristiano ronaldo Not replaced in January and Ten Haag can’t find a way to get Jadon Sancho Back to his best but despite obvious shortcomings in the squad, there has been plenty of progress. For the first time in a while, United fans are looking forward to a new year with optimism and much of that has gone down to Ten Hague. Hopefully, the new year will be successful under the new manager.
2. Rashford and Martial soften Gakpo’s steps
Just 24 hours after finding out Cody Gakpo will join Liverpool In January Move to Old Trafford instead, Ten Hague needed the players to show that the team already has goals and Rashford did not let him down. The Dutchman challenged Rashford to reach 20 league goals this season and he got his fifth against Forest, rolling into the penalty area from a clever corner. Christian Eriksen.
United are still looking for a striker to replace Ronaldo but between now and May most of the responsibility in front of goal will fall on Rashford and Martial, who also found the net against Forest thanks to Rashford’s assist. Both Rashford and Martial have had seasons where they have reached 20-plus goals in all competitions and will likely need to keep the same tally before the end of the campaign if United are to finish in the top four and win a trophy. .
Martial’s first order of business has been to stay fit – his start against Forest was his third Premier League game this season – while Rashford has had to make the most of the run which has seen him score eight goals in 13 appearances for the club. The country from October 27.
3. Forest need to rediscover their pre-World Cup pace
Premier League survival will not be determined by away games in the top six, but Forest will want to ensure defeat at Old Trafford to avoid starting a losing run. They beat Liverpool in eight games without a win from late August to mid-October and Crystal palace Having moved off the bottom of the table in the month before the World Cup break and now that domestic football is back, it’s important they pick up points.
Steve Cooper has had a tough game against the team Chelsea On New Year’s Day but then play down Southampton Three days later what will be an important fixture at the foot of the table. It looked like Forest had turned a corner before the break after a difficult start to life in the Premier League and, at the very least, they gave themselves a chance to stay. At one point this season that was hard to imagine.
After conceding two goals in three minutes against United, they never threatened to get a result at Old Trafford but there were enough positive moments, particularly in the second half, to suggest Forest could be back here again next year.
Manchester United: David DiGea 7, Aaron One-Bissaka 7, Tyrell Malaysia 6, Raphael Varane 7, Luke Shaw 7, Casemiro 8, Christian Eriksen 7, Bruno Fernandes 7, Anthony 6, Marcus Rashford 8, Anthony Martial 7.
Members: Alexander Garnacho 7, Donnie van de Beek 6, Harry Maguire 6, Fred 7, Anthony Elanga 6.
Nottingham Forest: Wayne Hennessey 5, Serge Aurier 5, Renan Lodi 6, Joe Worrall 6, Willy say 5, Ryan Yates 6, Remus Fowler 5, Orel Mangala 6, Jesse Lingard 6, Brennan Johnson 5, Taiwan is here 5.
Members: Louise O’Brien 6, Harry Tuffalo 6, Sam Surridge 6, Emmanuel Dennis 6, Neko Williams 6.
Best and worst performers
Best Performer: Marcus Rashford, Manchester United.
Scored and set up Marshall for the second game in a row.
Worst performer: Wayne Hennessey, Nottingham Forest.
Starting in place of United Borrowers Dean HendersonHe let the marshal’s tame shot shake with his hand.
Highlights and notable moments
Rashford’s goal from a corner kick in the first half – as good as it looked in a live match, it will be in practice.
Marcus Rashford has continued his World Cup scoring form on his return to the Premier League. 🔥
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 27, 2022
After the match: What the players/managers said
Marcus Rashford on his goal, Amazon Prime: “We haven’t practiced it too much but it was one from the training ground. We saw that they are very man-to-man and if you can move them into the back half of the goal you can get good. Goal chances.”
Erik ten Haag on Rashford’s form to NBC Sports: “We’re happy with him. He’s a constant threat to every defense. He’s got a really big heart and a great shot. He’s also good with assists and he’s been incredibly good on the counter-attack. He’s had a really strong match and a good season.”
Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Data Research)
– Marcus Rashford has scored in five consecutive games at Old Trafford for the first time in his career With five Premier League goals this season, more than his total in 2021-22.
– With his 64th career Premier League goal, Rashford tied Eric Cantona for 8th in Manchester United’s history. He also surpassed Gabriel Jesus (63) for the third most goals in the Premier League by players aged 25 and under since the start of 2016. In that time, only Harry Kane (90) and Raheem Sterling (66) have more.
Manchester United: A visit to 17th placed Wolverhampton Wanderers on New Year’s Eve
Nottingham Forest: Ring in 2023 by hosting Chelsea.