Manchester United recovered from two early goals as they beat Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford on Saturday in the Premier League.
Manchester United fans received a pinch of happiness as the Reds rallied from two goals down to win their second Premier League match. United, who were without Luke Shaw and Mason Mount due to injuries, conceded two goals within the first five minutes.
The Reds pulled one back through Christian Eriksen’s goal in the first half, but Forest’s defence remained rock solid in combating the constant attack of Manchester United. However, Steve Cooper’s side finally gave in as the Reds equalized thanks to Casemiro’s goal.
A foul on Rashford provided Fernandes the opportunity to score the winning goal for United via the penalty spot.
Let’s look at the five talking points of the match against Nottingham Forest:
#1 – Casemiro’s dip in defensive form continues
The veteran midfielder was the backbone of United’s midfield last season. Despite missing out on a few matches due to suspensions, the Brazilian was instrumental with his decent defensive contributions as well as a few important goals scored over the season.
However, this season, he has been thoroughly exposed in all three matches. While some may argue that both Mount and Eriksen haven’t complemented him well in the midfield, Casemiro’s decision-making and lethargic off-the-ball movements are clearly a warning sign. The former Real Madrid man was directly responsible for Forest’s second goal as he failed to clear, what would have been an easy clearance.
#2 – Aaron Wan Bissaka needs to improve his end product
Wan Bissaka has drastically improved his attacking game in the last couple of months. The right-back was excessively criticized for his ultra-defensive approach, at the beginning of his United career. However, in the current campaign, the former Crystal Palace man has regularly made significant contributions on the right wing by overlapping.
However, the 25-year-old still has to improve his decision-making. In the first half, he nutmegged his opponent and had a free run into the penalty box with Rashford and Martial, among others. But Wan Bissaka squandered the opportunity by providing a sloppy cross into the box.
#3 – Bruno Fernandes continues to shine
Bruno Fernandes has been the star of United’s midfield. The Portuguese smartly assisted Casemiro’s goal for United’s equalizer. He also had a role in United’s first goal when his long-range shot was saved by Matt Turner, allowing Rashford to slot in a quick cross for Eriksen to find the back of the net.
Fernandes orchestrated almost all of United’s attack. United’s captain also came very close to scoring from Antony’s low cross in the second half. He finally got his name on the scoresheet with a calm and composed penalty to score the winning goal for United.
#4 – Anthony Martial’s Manchester United career is soon to be over
Martial started for United for the first time this season. The Frenchman spent the majority of the season sidelined due to injuries. He came on as a substitute in United’s previous two games and was given a start against Forest. At the beginning of the match, he did well in linking up play with Digo Dalot, who played as an inverted fullback at times.
But Martial was awful playing at the front. From failing to slot into the perfect positions, to lazy movement, the Frenchman did not provide much depth to United’s attack. He even shifted to the left wing, giving space for Marcus Rashford to play up top, but failed to make a mark there too.
#5- Manchester United desperately need a clinical No. 9
Manchester United have scored four goals so far this season, but none of them have been scored by the strikers or the wingers. The likes of Fernandes, Eriksen, and even Antony created loads of chances, but the Reds failed to capitalize on them. Rashford once again showed why he prefers playing on the left wing, and the less said about Martial, the better.
Sancho played as the No. 9 in the latter part of the second half, replacing Martial, but was not convincing enough to be the main man for scoring goals. Hopefully, things get better with the return of Rasmus Højlund, most likely in the Arsenal game next week.
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