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Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United. Premier League.

The City GroundAttendance29,435.

Nottingham Forest 0

    Manchester United 2

    • A dos Santos (32nd minute)
    • D Dalot (76th minute)

    Nottingham Forest 0-2 Man Utd: Antony scores one and sets up the other as Erik ten Hag's side go third in Premier League

    Match report and highlights as Antony scores opener and then assists Diogo Dalot in comfortable Man Utd win at City Ground; Forest had first-half penalty shout for handball by Harry Maguire rejected by VAR and remain in relegation zone on goal difference

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s win against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League

    Manchester United moved up to third in the Premier League with a routine 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest, strengthening their grip on a Champions League qualifying spot.

    Erik ten Hag's side were kicking themselves on Thursday night after blowing a two-goal lead at home to Sevilla in their Europa League quarter-final first leg but after domestic results went their way on Saturday they didn't make the same mistake here, capitalising at the City Ground to boost their chances of a top-four finish.

    Antony scored the opener from close range (32) and then rolled in Diogo Dalot (76) for the second after the impressive Bruno Fernandes had seen a shot pushed onto the bar, with the dominant win moving United six points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand and just eight fixtures remaining.

    Forest have now lost 10 times in a row to Man Utd across all competitions, including four times this season - but it could have been different had a VAR call gone in their favour in the first half. They will feel hard done by for not being awarded a penalty with the scores at 0-0 when the ball struck an arm of the nervy Harry Maguire in the box.

    There were good chances in the opening 45 for Taiwo Awoniyi, too, with one shot cleared off the line and another blazed over the bar, before Scott McKenna forced the ball onto a post. Felipe then headed over from two yards in the second half just before Dalot's clincher.

    But Forest are now without a win in 10 and remain third-bottom. They are in the relegation zone instead of Everton because of goal difference.

    Player ratings

    Nottingham Forest: Navas (8), Felipe (6), McKenna (6), Niakhate (6), Williams (6), Freuler (6), Danilo (6), Lodi (6), Gibbs-White (6), Awoniyi (6), Johnson (6).

    Subs: Mangala (6), Surridge (6), Bonaventure (6), Lingard (N/A)

    Man Utd: De Gea (6), Wan-Bissaka (6), Maguire (5), Lindelof (6), Dalot (7), Casemiro (7), Eriksen (8), Sancho (6), Fernandes (8), Antony (8), Martial (7).

    Subs: Weghorst (6), Fred (6)

    Man of the Match: Antony (Man Utd)

    How Man Utd made it 10 wins in a row vs Forest...

    Man Utd won 8-1 on their last league visit to the City Ground in February 1999 and it looked like struggling Forest could be on the end of another heavy defeat when Felipe had to block a Jadon Sancho shot near his own goal-line inside a minute.

    Also See:

    Team news

    • Nottingham Forest made four changes to the team which lost to Aston Villa, with Renan Lodi, Scott McKenna, Remo Freuler and Taiwo Awoniyi back. Joe Worrall, Jonjo Shelvey and Harry Toffolo dropped to the bench with the injured Cheikhou Kouyate out. Jesse Lingard began on the bench against his former club.
    • Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof started at centre-back for Man Utd in place of the injured Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, while Diogo Dalot began at left-back with Tyrell Malacia not in the squad. Christian Eriksen replaced Marcel Sabitzer in the starting XI after the Austrian was injured in the warm-up.

    However, Forest responded well and Awoniyi saw his own goal-bound effort blocked by Aaron Wan-Bissaka just a few minutes later. They should have had a penalty on 19 minutes, too, when a corner came down on Maguire's arm inside the six-yard box - but VAR found in the visitors' favour.

    Harry Maguire escaped handball calls in the first half
    Image: Harry Maguire survived handball appeals against him in the first half
    Harry Maguire escaped handball appeals in the first half

    It would have capped a miserable start to the game for Maguire, who had been booked for hauling down Awoniyi and sent a pass straight of play, and he was involved again when Forest hit the post from another corner. The ball flicked off the United captain and then McKenna's arm and onto the frame of the goal - although it would most likely have been ruled out had it gone in.

    For all their positive forward play, Forest fell behind just after the half-hour when Anthony Martial won the ball high up the pitch, combined with the excellent Fernandes and then Antony turned in the Frenchman's parried shot. It was the Brazilian's fourth league goal of the season and a familiar feeling for a Forest side with the second-worst defensive record in the division.

    Awoniyi and Fernandes - playing in an advanced role after Marcel Sabitzer was injured in the warm-up - both blew good chances to get on the scoresheet themselves late on in what had been an open first-half.

    The action continued after the break with, Keylor Navas pushing a fierce Fernandes effort onto the bar before saving a drive from the Portuguese low to his right.

    United were camped around the Forest box for long periods and would finish the game with 22 shots to their hosts' six. But with the advantage at just one, Forest were still in the contest and should have levelled when Felipe nodded a corner over from close range.

    Dalot came up with the game-ending second soon after, marking his 100th appearance for United with a tidy finish for his first Premier League goal after Antony's dribble and through ball.

    Cooper: A bad error from VAR on Maguire handball decision

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    Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper says it was a 'bad error' from the referee for not giving them a penalty in the game against Manchester United.

    Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper: "I think it was a penalty [against Maguire], it's a really poor error. The referee should see it but I understand why he hasn't because of the angle and the number of players. Why VAR hasn't is not right?

    "It's another moment that will put big scrutiny on VAR. There's been a lot of negative decisions over the last few weeks and that's another one. I'm not going to stand here and say it's the reason we didn't win the game, although it could be a second yellow and a red for Maguire, and we could have scored the penalty and gone 1-0 up.

    "It has a big impact, I'm really biting my tongue because I don't want to use it as an excuse for why we lost the game or why we're in the league position we are in, it's not. But it's a bad error. How [VAR] Andy Madley hasn't seen needs real looking at."

    Ten Hag: It should have been 3-0 or 4-0

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    Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag believes his team will need to battle for every point if they want to qualify for the Champions League this season

    Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag: "A solid performance. A well deserved win. The only criticism I could say, it had to be higher, the score. It had to be 3-0 or 4-0. We missed a lot of chances there.

    "You want to score and finish and kill the game in the early moments. That's always important. In big games you don't create so many chances, so you have to score them.

    "We need more goal scorers and I'm happy with Antony. He scored a goal, gave an assist. His start in the game wasn't that good. I think twice he had to make another choice to bring the ball to Eriksen in a cutback. But after he came into the game and he was continually a threat for the opponent.

    "He's definitely making progress. Against Everton he created many chances and misses and so I'm happy for him today he scored. He had another one, if Aaron Wan-Bissaka was not blocking the shot!"

    Keane: Forest can still have a brilliant season

    Sky Sports pundit and former Nottingham Forest player Roy Keane: "When you look at Forest's situation, as poor as they were today, they're still on the verge of having a brilliant season.

    "If they can finish fourth from bottom, survival for Forest would be amazing considering what they've been through, what's going on in the background, the amount of players that have come into the club, the poor run they're on now, the momentum has gone against them.

    "They have to have that belief. It's all well and good saying it in an interview, the players still have to believe they can get out of trouble. They're not adrift, it's only goal difference - although they aren't scoring many and conceding lots, and that's a problem, but they have to stick at it.

    "We were all writing Bournemouth off a few months ago and look where they are now. If you can string things together, a little bit of belief and a few results, Forest have to believe it can happen to them. They are still in with a fighting chance but it's going to be very difficult."

    Opta stats - Man Utd's dominance over Forest in numbers

    • Manchester United have won each of their last seven league matches against Nottingham Forest, scoring 29 goals while conceding only twice. They have never lost at the City Ground in the Premier League (W4 D2).
    • Nottingham Forest are winless (D3 L7) and without a clean sheet in their last 10 Premier League games. In fact, Forest are winless in all 24 league games in which they've conceded this season (D8 L16), with all six of their victories being to nil.
    • Manchester United have beaten Nottingham Forest four times in all competitions this season, their most wins against an opponent in a single season since 2010-11 when they defeated Chelsea four times.
    • Nottingham Forest have lost two of their last three home games in the Premier League (D1), having gone nine such games without defeat at the City Ground prior (W4 D5).
    • Manchester United have won 15 and lost none of the 17 matches in which Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, and Bruno Fernandes have all started together in all competitions (D2), a win rate of 88 per cent.

    What's next?

    Nottingham Forest face a trip to Liverpool on Saturday April 22; kick-off 3pm.

    Meanwhile, Man Utd are back in action on Thursday when they face a trip to Sevilla in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final; kick-off 8pm.

    After that, United have an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley to look forward to. They face Brighton on Sunday April 23; kick-off 4.30pm.

    Their next Premier League game is against Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday April 27; kick-off 8.15pm.

    Nottingham Forest's remaining fixtures

    April 22: Liverpool (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    April 26: Brighton (H) - Premier League, kick-off 7.30pm

    April 29: Brentford (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 8: Southampton (H) - Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports

    May 13: Chelsea (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 20: Arsenal (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 28: Crystal Palace (A) - Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm

    Man Utd's remaining fixtures

    April 20: Sevilla (A) - Europa League, kick-off 8pm

    April 22: Brighton (N) - FA Cup semi-final, kick-off 3pm

    April 27: Tottenham (A) - Premier League, kick-off 8:15pm

    April 30: Aston Villa (H) - Premier League, kick-off 2pm

    May 4: Brighton (A) - Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports

    May 7: West Ham (A) - Premier League, kick-off 7pm

    May 13: Wolves (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 20: Bournemouth (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 28: Fulham (H) - Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm

    TBA: Chelsea (H) - Premier League

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