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Manchester United 2-0 Nottingham Forest: Match report, player ratings, expert analysis, fan reaction and more

All the action and reaction from the Carabao Cup semi final

Manchester United booked their place in the Carabao Cup final and set up a Wembley date against Newcastle United with a drab

Forest, coming into the game as massive outsiders thanks to their 3-0 home defeat a week ago, offered an improved first half performance and came close to taking the lead in the first half, with Emmanuel Dennis and Brennan Johnson both seeing efforts blocked.

United’s, and the half’s, best chance came at the end of the first half, however, when a header from Wout Weghorst rebounded off the post, and kept Forest in the tie.

The second half saw the Red Devils take control, and after seeing a strong appeal for a penalty turned down, the introduction of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and the long-absent Jadon Sancho on the hour mark injected some much needed quality into the game.

Sancho in particular looked sharp operating in a more central position, and though there was more than an element of fortune about their opener, it was no less than Erik Ten Hag’s side deserved.

Casemiro’s pass was missed by Wily Boly, and though Martial fluffed his initial pass, the block deflected back into the path of the Frenchman, who found the bottom corner.

The handsome victory sets up the Carabao Cup final, where they will face high-flying Newcastle United on February 26th.

Player ratings

Manchester United

  • GK: Tom Heaton (6) – Had very little to do but was solid when called upon.
  • RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6) – Another solid outing for the English defender.
  • CB: Rafael Varane (7) – Continues to ooze class at the heart of the Manchester United defence.
  • CB: Lisandro Martinez (6) – Was never really threatened.
  • LB: Luke Shaw (7) – Won most of his duels and offered plenty going forwards too.
  • CM: Bruno Fernandes (7) – Produced an excellent cross for the second goal and was solid throughout. Continuing to impress for the Red Devils.
  • CM: Casemiro (8) – Stood out as a beacon of quality in a game devoid of any.
  • CM: Fred (6) – Got his goal and looks comfortable alongside Casemiro, but is certainly a step down on the injured Eriksen.
  • RW: Antony (5) – Flattered to deceive once more, and continues to look far from a 100m euro addition.
  • ST: Wout Weghorst (6) – Hardly saw the ball but was tidy with his link-up play and hit the post in the first half. Will feel as though he should have had a penalty before being taken off on the hour.
  • LW: Alejandro Garnacho (5) – Still lacking any sort of end product despite his obvious talent


  • Jadon Sancho (7) – Got a great reception when he came on after an hour.
  • Marcus Rashford (7) – Injected some pace into the Manchester United attack and some fear into the Forest defence. Excellent awareness to square the ball for the second.
  • Anthony Martial (6) – Grabbed the opening goal but only after he had misplaced a simple pass for Marcus Rashford in the same move.
  • Victor Lindelof (5) – Trialled in central midfield and looked a little lost when he came on for the final ten minutes.
  • Harry Maguire (6) – Didn’t really put a foot wrong.

Nottingham Forest

  • GK: Wayne Hennessey (5) – Didn’t inspire confidence, but did well enough in the Forest goal.
  • RB: Neco Williams (6) – Was excellent against Alejandro Garnacho but struggled when switched to the left flank on the hour.
  • CB: Scott McKenna (4) – Lucky to get away with not conceding a penalty, and did nothing to suggest he should be an option for Cooper in the Premier League
  • CB: Wily Boly (5) – Looked solid for the most part but failed to cut out a simple through ball in the build up to Manchester United’s opener.
  • LB: Renan Lodi (5) – Kept Antony quiet until both were substituted. Defence began to deteriorate afterwards.
  • CM: Remo Frueler (6) – Was solid in central midfield without seeing much of the ball. Taken off on the hour mark.
  • CM: Orel Mangala (5) – Tidy without having any real impact.
  • CM: Gustavo Scarpa (5) – Couldn’t have as much of an impact as he threatened to a week ago. Faded as the game went on.
  • RW: Brennan Johnson (5) – Far less threatening than he was in the first leg, and was taken off on the hour.
  • ST: Sam Surridge (5) – A poor second leg after an equally disappointing first. Missed a glorious opportunity, albeit for a consolation, late in the piece.
  • LW: Emmanuel Dennis (5) – A late replacement for Jesse Lingard and was exciting in the first half, before drastically fading in the second.


  • Alex Mighten (5) – Injected energy but little quality for Forest.
  • Danilo (6) – Forced one good save from Tom Heaton but was otherwise quiet.
  • Serge Aurier (5) – Couldn’t have any effect in on the game.
  • Oliver Hammond (N/A)- Came on for the final five minutes.
  • Detlef Ossong (N/A) – Came on late for his Forest debut

Expert analysis

Fan reaction


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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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