Home » Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest thanks to excellent second half display

Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest thanks to excellent second half display

by Abhishek Sarkar

Manchester United have beaten Nottingham Forest 2-0 in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.

The Red Devils lined up with a relatively strong side featuring the likes of Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Antony despite having a 3-0 lead from the first leg.

United started off dominating possession in the first quarter of the game, with Forest being reduced to having less than 20 percent of the ball.

Despite this obvious handicap, Forest kept posing a threat on the counter as the trio of Gustavo Scarpa, Neco Williams and Renan Lodi found space to venture forward and deliver dangerous crosses into the United box.

In the 16th minute, United had a fairly decent penalty shout after Aaron Wan Bissaka gave the ball away in midfield. A lovely lay-off from Weghorst and Fred would release Garnacho with a diagonal pass. The young Argentinian found himself entangled with Neco Williams in the Forest box, but the referee was not moved.

There was soon another similar shout when Williams looked to have handled the ball within the area, but once again, it was deemed not enough to be overturned by VAR.

Just before the half-hour mark, Garnacho, who was looking menacing on the wing, was brought down by Gustavo Scarpa. From the resulting free-kick, Luke Shaw found Raphael Varane at the far post but his header was saved by the legs of Wayne Hennesey in the Forest goal.

Forest had their first strike on goal against the run of play in the 34th minute but Brennan Johnson hit his shot straight at Tom Heaton.

From the resulting clearance, a scrap ensued in midfield and Fred found himself in the book, after a tussle with his compatriot Scarpa.

Soon after, Antony blazed one over the bar in the 37th minute after a Forest clearance from a Luke Shaw corner landed at his feet.

Forest had another fantastic chance to shock the hosts but Emmanuel Dennis’s shot, which looked to be on target, was unfortunately blocked by his own teammate, Sam Surridge.

United’s best chance of the first half arrived just before half-time when Wout Weghorst hit the post after an excellent cross from Casemiro.

The second half began in earnest, with both teams scrapping hard to come out on top.

The first highlight, another penalty shout, this time for a Scott McKenna foul on Weghorst in the 55th minute, looked ominous for Forest, but it was deemed fair by the referee.

There was also a VAR check for a possible red card surrounding a tussle between Garnacho and Brennan Johnson but once again, nothing was given.

Just past the hour mark, Garnacho once again showed super feet to dribble away from and draw a great save from Hennesey at his near post.

It proved to be his last as Martial, Sancho and Rashford replaced the attacking trio of Garnacho, Weghorst and Antony on the pitch.

It was Sancho’s first appearance for United since featuring in the 1-1 stalemate against Chelsea in October.

In the 65th minute, a good corner from the right found Casemiro, but his header just went wide.

A Marcus Rashford shot was blocked by Williams soon after, while Casemiro found Hennessey with another effort from inside the area on his left foot, as United looked to up the ante.

The breakthrough finally arrived in the 73rd minute when Antony Martial found the net after another mesmerising Marcus Rashford run, his shot initially blocked by the Forest goal-keeper, only for the Frenchman to apply the finishing touch.

Soon enough, the Red Devils doubled their lead as Fred scored, after being set up by a combination of Fernandes and Rashford, taking his tally to four for the season for the Red Devils.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof replaced Casemiro and Varane in the 80th minute, as United looked to strengthen at the back.

New Forest signing Danilo drew a top save from Tom Heaton in the 82nd minute, but Sam Surridge blazed over on the rebound, with the goal gaping. A lucky break for United.

Fernandes had a chance to make it 3-0 for United on the night, but his shot flashed across the goal, albeit from a tricky angle.

A superb second half performance from the Red Devils as they continue their march on multiple fronts.

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