Five things we learned as Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest

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Five things we learned as Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest

Manchester United have beaten Nottingham Forest 2-0 thanks to goals from Antony and Diogo Dalot.

Here is a look at five things we learned from the match…

Manchester United take big step forward in top four race

Since losing at Newcastle, Manchester United have now racked up three Premier League wins in succession.

This was an important one to grind out. Newcastle and Tottenham both suffered defeats on Saturday, and Manchester United took advantage.

Manchester United are now in third place, three points clear of Newcastle. It’s the advantage over Tottenham in fifth which really stands out.

United are six points clear of Spurs with a game in hand. A win away at Tottenham later this month could all but seal a Champions League spot.

This was the fourth time this season Manchester United have beaten Nottingham Forest. They must be sick of us…

United’s bench is seriously light

Manchester United’s bench included five players who have not played a competitive minute this season, Jack Butland, Nathan Bishop, Zidane Iqbal, Marc Jury and Brandon Williams.

Another option, By making Pellistrihas never started a Premier League game in his time at the club, with just one to his name in all competitions.

Fresh injuries to Tyrell Malaysia and Marcel Sabitzer (in the warm up) have added to United’s woes.

Hopefully there will be some injury returnees soon. United’s luck has to change for the better, doesn’t it?

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Antony breaks Premier League drought

Antony had scored three goals in his first three Premier League games, and then none since. It was an oddity seized on by the media earlier this month in a press conference.

Erik ten Hag pointed out Antony had since scored four goals in cup competitions and there was nothing to worry about.

It was good to see him back on the scoresheet here, breaking the deadlock to put Manchester United 1-0 up.

choose noted he had taken 38 efforts at goal in the league between his last league strike away at Everton. Persistence pays off.

Martial’s work rate deserves credit

Anthony Martial had a big hand in Manchester United’s opening goal to launch the move. His desire to win the ball back saw him rob a Forest defender on possession, playing the ball to Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes set up Martial for a chance and his shot was saved, into the path of Antony who scored.

Martial’s big problem this season has been staying fit. In previous years his work rate had been questioned. But that doesn’t seem to be an issue under Erik ten Hag.

He did not last the full 90 minutes, 70 this time. This was 10 more than against Sevilla. He’s getting there. The last time Martial completed 90 for United was in September 2021, and January 2021 in the Premier League.

Diogo Dalot fills in at left-back superbly

Diogo Dalot has played at left-back before for booth Manchester United and AC Milan. But it is not his preferred role, and not one he features in very frequently.

Given the injury situation, there is going to be a lot of this, players having to fill in for the good of the team. Dalot performed well, getting forward to help out Jadon Sancho in attack.

With Luke Shaw and now Tyrell Malacia battling injuries, this was a useful reminder of Dalot’s versatility, with United’s backline keeping a clean sheet.

Dalot topped off his performance with a goal, his second of the season, from an Antony assist.

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