Ratings: Fernandes & Eriksen out in the work against Forest; Antony & Dalot got the goals on the way to victory

United got what they needed as an important week for their season approaches

Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 at the City Ground in the Premier League. Antony opened up the scoring for United in the 32nd minute after Anthony Martial struck on goal, it parried by Keylor Navas before the Brazilian firing the rebound into the back of the net. Diogo Dalot scored United’s second in the 76th minute, assisted by Antony with the Portuguese fullback scoring his third goal for United on his 100th appearance for the club.

United started well at the City Ground with Jadon Sancho getting an early shot on goal but it ended up being blocked well by the home side. Harry Maguire was booked in the third minute of the match after he fouled Taiwo Awoniyi in Forest’s half – which was not a great start for him. Awoniyi had a shot on goal blocked in the sixth minute of the match. Diogo Dalot then missed the target in the seventh minute, which was a shame. Brennan Johnson was then caught offside.

Antony had a shot on goal in the 16th minute of the match but he missed the target after Aaron Wan-Bissaka provided the ball for him. Forest then had a shot a minute later through Moussa Niakhaté but he missed the target. Bruno Fernandes then forced a save from Keylor Navas in the 18th minute of the match which was close for United. Anthony Martial was caught offside in the 22nd minute of the match after Fernandes tried to find him with a through ball.

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In the 25th minute, Scott McKenna had a shot on goal blocked as Forest sought to find a goal. It just was not working for them. Danilo then had a shot blocked six minute later. Martial had a shot on goal in the 32nd minute of the match but Navas parried the attempt from the Frenchman and Antony was there to find the back of the net – scoring his eighth goal of the season for United. Sancho was then caught offside two minute after United broke the deadlock.

United seemed to dominate much of the match but Forest did garner some chances. In the 44th minute, Awoniyi had another chance on goal but he ended up missing the target completely. David De Gea, who seemed to be carrying an injury in the early stages of the match, seemed to be doing well with it and continuing the match. There was a minute of added time at the end of the half and Fernandes had another chance on goal for United – but he missed the target.

United had 69.6% of the ball in the first half of the match, having seven shots on goal – four of those being on target. Forest had just four shot on goal, none of those on target. You can see why they are in a relegation battle at this stage of the season. It will go from bad to worse for them. United may be buoyed with injuries at this stage of the season but they can still get the goals that are needed to gun for victory in matches like this – it will get more difficult for them though.

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At the start of the second half there were no substitutions for either team. Antony missed the target against for United in the 50th minute of the match after a good attack from United. Two minutes later, Awoniyi missed the target for Forest. Aaron Wan-Bissaka had an attempt on goal blocked in the 55th minute as United sought to find their second goal of the match. A minutes later, Fernandes forced another save from Navas. A minute after that Antony missed again.

Christian Eriksen saw an effort on goal blocked in the 57th minute of the match with United doing well in attack once again. A minute after that, Antony missed the target again. He seemed frustrated from that miss. Fernandes forced another save from Navas in the 61st minute of the match, which was a good attack from the Portuguese midfielder. Eriksen had an attempt on goal saved and another blocked in the 64th minute of the match. United were still dominating.

Forest made a double substitution in the 65th minute with Orel Mangala and Sam Surridge replacing Remo Freuler and Taiwo Awoniyi. Neco Williams became the second player to be booked in this match for his foul on Sancho in the 67th minute of the match. Martial had a shot on goal in the 71st minute of the match, missing the target. Ten Hag then made his first substation with Wout Weghorst replacing Anthony Martial in the 72nd minute of the match.

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Felipe had a good break for Forest in the 73rd minute of the match, firing a shot on goal after Morgan Gibbs-White played him the ball. But he missed the target. A minutes later, Antony had another shot on goal, this time seeing it saved by Navas. United found their second goal of the match in the 76th minute with Diogo Dalot scoring his third goal for United on his 100th appearance for the club. Antony provided the assist for the fullback to score. What a finish it was.

Ten Hag made his second substitution in the 79th minute with Fred replacing Christian Eriksen. Forest made another substitution in the 81st minute with Emmanuel Dennis replacing Scott McKenna. Orel Mangala was shown a yellow card in the 83rd minute after a foul on Antony. Fernandes had a shot on goal in the 84th minute of the match but missed the target. Sancho then missed the target three minutes later with a shot on goal. United were no so clinical on goal today.

Forest made a fourth substitution in the 88th minute with former United attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard replacing Morgan Gibbs-White. Four minutes of time were added at the end of the half. Antony had an attempt blocked in the first minute. Weghorst was booked for a foul on Moussa Niakhaté. United got the job done though, winning 2-0 at the City Ground. United have beaten Forest four times this season. Sevilla are up next for United – another big match.

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Player Ratings

David De Gea: Seemed to be carrying an injury in the early stages of the match but also seemed to weather it and continue playing. He had nothing to deal with throughout the match with Forest getting no shots on target. This was his 14th clean sheet in the Premier League this season; his 186th for United. ★★★★★★

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: The right-back interacted well with Antony once again. The duo seem to be having quite a presence on the right flank this season. Long may that continue. It turned into a great match for the right-back and his partnership on the flank with Antony. This could be a stand-out season for him. ★★★★★★★

Victor Lindelof: This was a good game for the Swedish international. He barely gave the Forest forwards a kick on the ball. He has features sparingly for United since the FIFA World Cup but when he did play, he seemed to work too much. This was a good game for him to come back and the clean sheet reinforces that. ★★★★★★★★

Harry Maguire: Booked in the third minute for United having taken down Taiwo Awoniyi in his own half of the pitch. He seemed edgy from there but by the end of the first half, seemed more confident. Could have conceded a penalty in the first half but seemed much more confident in the second, keeping another clean sheet. ★★★★★★

Diogo Dalot: Came in at left-back, a largely unfamiliar role for him at United. He did what was required after the absence of both Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia. He made an error but it didn’t cost United. Got his third goal for United on his 100th appearance for the club. His finish was brilliant to see – as was his celebration with Antony. ★★★★★★★

Casemiro: The Brazilian gave the midfield some balance, which was needed – especially after his suspension in which United seemed to be struggling in the midfield. He was reunited with Christian Eriksen after an injury to Marcel Sabitzer kept him out of the game after the warm up. Glad to see him back and doing what he does for United. ★★★★★★★★

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Christian Eriksen: Started ahead of Marcel Sabitzer, who was withdrawn after the warm up prior to the match. It was great to see him start for United again. His presence in midfield gives United a different edge with Casemiro working well with him. He was United’s best player in the first half and continued doing what he does in the second. Replaced by Fred. ★★★★★★★★

Antony: Scored his eighth goal of the season for United. Anthony Martial had the initial chance on goal which was saved by Keylor Navas and parried into Antony, who found the back of the net. He also got the assist for Dalot’s goal in the 76th minute – and the celebration between the two was good to see. What a player he could be with more goals. ★★★★★★★★

Bruno Fernandes: The Portuguese midfielder ran the shot in the first half of the match showing a lot of attacking intent and creating the play which saw Antony score his eighth goal of the season for United. Had a few shots on goal himself, heading wide from a Christian Eriksen cross. Also his the crossbar. ★★★★★★★★

Jadon Sancho: Patience is being lost on the English winger. He spurned an easy chance on goal and did not take on Neco Williams as he would have been expected to. For a player with so much talent, he really is not doing himself any favours this season. He will need to stand up and make himself be counted this season. ★★★★★

Anthony Martial: The Frenchman seemed to be on fire again for United. He had a great shot on goal in the 32nd minute, which was initially saved by Navas only for Antony to pounce on the rebound and get the goal for United. Could have also had another goal before being replaced by Wout Weghorst in the 72nd minute. ★★★★★★

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Wout Weghorst: Replaced Martial 72′. His work rate helped open up some space for Dalot to score United’s second goal. He might not be scoring or assisting the goals but he has a part to play for United during the remainder of the season. I would like to see him get some more goals and assists though. ★★★★★★

Fred: Replaced Eriksen 79′. Came on to give Eriksen a breather after playing a good part in today’s victory. Eriksen was not due to start and had about 15 minutes notice. Fred came on with energy and helped keep United in front doing what he does in the midfield. He will be seeking to get more minutes under his belt this season. ★★★★★★

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Match Information

Goals: Antony 32′, Diogo Dalot 76′

Assists: Antony 76′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Dalot; Casemiro, Fernandes; Antony, Sabitzer, Sancho; Martial (Weghorst 72′)

Substitutes Not Used: Butland; Williams, Jurado; Fred, Pellistri, Iqbal; Elanga

Bookings: Neco Williams 67′, Orel Mangala 83′; Harry Maguire 3′, Wout Weghorst 90+3′

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.