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Nottingham Forest 0-1 Man Utd – Five things noticed, two worrying patterns



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Manchester United scraped past Nottingham Forest thanks to a Casemiro header as they head into the FA Cup quarter-finals.

With Manchester United depleted through injury, Sofyan Amrabat started at left-back as Erik ten Hag‘s men lined up to face Nottingham Forest with a spot in the FA Cup quarter-finals at stake.

The first half was a drab affair. Scott McTominay had a couple of chances, and Antony hit the bar, but at the referee’s whistle, the tie remained goalless.

Read More: Player Ratings – Nottingham Forest 0-1 Manchester United (FA Cup)

The second half was much of the same story, with both teams failing to convert their chances until Casemiro threw himself at a low free-kick cross from Bruno Fernandes to nod in the winning goal with just minutes remaining.

Here, UtdDistrict explain five things we noticed during the tie.

#1 – Forest pace a problem

With United’s defensive right-hand side comprising both Amrabat and Lindelöf, there were immediate signs that the pair would struggle with the pace of Origi and Awoniyi – and in the first 30 minutes, the Nottingham club found themselves multiple chances from that side.

The second half saw this problem reduce. However, with United facing Manchester City on the weekend, this will certainly be a flaw Ten Hag must consider as he selects his XI for the Etihad.

#2 – Højlund would have scored

Marcus Rashford played upfront, but it was Scott McTominay who was presented with the best chances in the first half, with two opportunistic headers being saved.

Had that been Højlund in place of the Scottish international, it’s hard not to think that the Dane would have grabbed at least one goal, with Dalot looking lively on the right-hand side.

#3 – Carragher’s point

United’s set-up saw the full-backs press high, and the wingers stay wide, but this left a big hole in midfield for Casemiro to fill – a point that Carragher made earlier this week.

Ten Hag, at the time, refuted the claim and explained that he felt Carragher was not being objective. However, it was again obvious that the former Liverpool defender was not wrong in his criticism.

This has been one worrying pattern that has plagued United this season, with the other detailed below.

#4 – So MANY missed chances…

Just how many chances were missed by both sides over the course of the tie cannot be understated.

From minute one to minute ninety, defenders, midfielders, and strikers were offered brilliant chances to score, but a combination of good saves and poor shooting ability saw the tie still at a stalemate until Casemiro threw himself at a Bruno Fernandes free kick.

It has been a running theme this season, United either not creating chances or missing them when they do.

#5 – Next, Liverpool

The 1-0 win over Forest confirmed that United will now play Liverpool in the quarter-final of the FA Cup.

It will be the first of two times United will host Liverpool at Old Trafford in the next few months, with Jurgen Klopp’s side also travelling to Manchester at the beginning of April.

Should Erik ten Hag still be at the club, it will be another huge test for him and his job.