Nottingham Forest 0-2 Manchester United: Player ratings as Antony and Dalot take Red Devils up to third

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Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 on Sunday at the City Ground to strengthen their hold on a UEFA Champions League qualification spot.

Goals in either half from Antony and Diogo Dalot were enough to take Erik ten Hag’s men up to third in the Premier League table, overtaking Newcastle United after their defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Forest – without a win in 10 – remain in the relegation zone, behind Everton on goal difference.

United’s injury issues lengthened further after Marcel Sabitzer pulled up with a groin problem in the warm-up, with Christian Eriksen replacing him in the starting line-up, but that did not appear to weaken the Red Devils.

Jadon Sancho had a glorious chance to give the visitors the lead inside the first minute after Keylor Navas palmed a Bruno Fernandes cross straight to him, but the former Borussia Dortmund man could only hit Felipe with his effort.

Harry Maguire was lucky not to concede a penalty when a Forest corner struck the England defender’s outstretched arm at the far post, and United took full advantage of that moment of fortune.

Fernandes had been pulling the strings in midfield, and in the 32nd minute, found Anthony Martial with a throughball. The Frenchman’s shot was saved by Navas, but Antony followed in for a simple tap in at the back post.

Navas tipped a Fernandes effort from an angle onto the bar early in the second half, while Martial missed a good headed chance with 20 minutes remaining as United looked for a second.

That arrived in the 76th minute as Antony played a neat ball into the path of Dalot, who raced into the penalty area and finished well past Navas as United secured just their second away league win of 2023.

Nottingham Forest player ratings

GK – Keylor Navas – 8/10 – Made a few stunning saves throughout to keep Forest within touching distance of Man Utd.

CB – Felipe – 6/10 – A threat from set pieces.

CB – Scott McKenna – 5/10 – Battled well at times but struggled when the ball was played in behind.

CB – Moussa Niakhate – 4/10 – Struggled with Antony’s movement in off the right flank.

RM – Neco Williams – 5/10 – Didn’t get forward well enough.

CM – Remo Freuler – 3/10 – Chasing shadows in the midfield.

CM – Danilo – 3/10 – Lost the ball in the lead up to Man Utd’s opener.

LM – Renan Lodi – 3/10 – He didn’t have much hope against Antony.

AM – Morgan Gibbs-White – 3/10 – Not as creative as Forest needed him to be.

ST – Taiwo Awoniyi – 2/10 – Involved a fair amount, but rarely showed any quality.

ST – Brennan Johnson – 4/10 – He wasn’t at the races today.

SUBS

Orel Mangala – 4/10 – Didn’t contribute anything other than a yellow card.

Sam Surridge – 3/10 – Ineffective.

Emmanuel Dennis – N/A.

Jesse Lingard – N/A.


Manchester United player ratings

GK – David de Gea – 5/10 – The Spanish goalkeeper had basically nothing to do.

RB – Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 5/10 – Got forward well when he needed to.

CB – Victor Lindelof – 6/10 – Decent on the ball.

CB – Harry Maguire – 5/10 – Immediately booked for a silly challenge. He didn’t have much to do after that.

LB – Diogo Dalot – 7/10 – A striker’s finish to double Man Utd’s lead.

DM – Casemiro – 7/10 – Held the fort as his midfield partners went forward.

DM – Christian Eriksen – 8/10 – Classy performance. Man Utd are not the same team when he’s unavailable.

RM – Antony – 8/10 – Right place at the right time to open the scoring, then slid a lovely ball through for the second.

AM – Bruno Fernandes – 9/10 – Linked up beautifully with Eriksen throughout. His best performance in quite a while.

LM – Jadon Sancho – 6/10 – Nearly opened the scoring within a minute. The quietest of Man Utd’s attacking players thereafter.

ST – Anthony Martial – 7/10 – His pressing led to the opening goal. Overall play was good, but should have doubled Man Utd’s lead in the second half.

SUBS

Wout Weghorst – N/A.

Fred – N/A.

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