A traumatized Manchester United defeated Nottingham Forest 3-2 after coming back from a two-goal deficit.
After barely 90 seconds, Taiwo Awoniyi’s goal gave Erik Ten Hag’s team a 1-0 deficit. The striker outran the trailing United defenders and slid the ball past Andre Onana. Within two minutes, Forest extended their advantage when center-back Willy Boly scored off a Brennan Johnson free-kick.
After a dismal start, Christian Eriksen’s close-range goal secured a point, and ‘Ten Hag out’ quickly became a trending topic on social media. In the second half, United finally saw all of its offensive pressure pay off as Bruno Fernandes set up Casemiro for a simple tap-in.
At Old Trafford, a questionable penalty saved the home team’s face, and Fernandes’ 76th-minute goal completed a comeback victory of 3-2. However, despite earning all three points, Ten Hag’s team made a number of terrible mistakes that caused them to fall behind Forest in the first place.
Following the 2-0 loss at Tottenham last week, United’s defensive woes continued. Awoniyi was able to run riot in the center of the field for the first goal thanks to a dubious defensive set-up from their own corner.
Forest’s second marked another poor instance of United defending, in this case for an opposition corner. The ball was allowed to go through three Red Devils defenders, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka shying away from the header before Boly made it 2-0.
Still relying on deadwood
In 2023–2024, Anthony Martial shouldn’t be starting for United. Despite the fact that the Frenchman’s career at Old Trafford should have ended some seasons ago, Ten Hag continues to rely on Martial as his main goal threat.
That is almost unacceptable in light of the fact that the manager has had close to £400 million available to spend on players since joining the team in the summer of 2022. This brings us to our subsequent Ten Hag error.
Given the outcome, it might seem strange to fault United’s shooting. But against Forest, especially in the first half, the terrible finishing was on clear display. United had 70% of the ball and nine chances, but they couldn’t convert any of them into long-lasting advantages.
The decision to pay £72 million on injured striker Rasmus Hojlund, who has yet to play for the Red Devils, seems increasingly more absurd with each game that goes by.