Man United falter again in 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest

Manchester United suffered a 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest on Saturday as the home side piled more misery on their beleaguered visitors with goals from Nicolas Dominguez and Morgan Gibbs-White securing the points at a rocking City Ground.

Erik ten Hag's United team are struggling in seventh on 31 points after their 14th defeat this season in all competitions. It was Forest's first Premier League win over United since 1994.

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The visitors were coming off an uplifting 3-2 victory at home to Aston Villa on Boxing Day that saw them recover from two goals down, but their inconsistency struck again and they were terrible at times on Saturday both in attack and defence.

Dominguez broke the deadlock in what had been a drab game after 64 minutes with a shot from the centre of the box.

Marcus Rashford equalised in the 78th when Alejandro Garnacho pounced on a poor clearance from United States goalkeeper Matt Turner and sent a precise pass across the edge of the 18-yard box to Rashford who fired into the bottom right corner.

The defeat was Man United's ninth league loss of the season.
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

United's celebrations were short-lived however as Gibbs-White curled a superb shot into the corner on the counter-attack after Turner had made a great save at the other end.

Ten Hag conceded his side needs to find consistency after they failed to back up their come from behind win over Villa. 

"We know that. We have to make our performances consistent and have to do better. A game is 90 minutes and we have to invest from the first minute on," Ten Hag told BBC Sport. 

"First half performance was OK. We invested to do less in the final third. I think we should have created more.

"The second half we had moments when we conceded goals. Then we come back in the game and I think the game was ours and we went for 2-1 and then we conceded. We had our moments but it was not good enough to win here.

"We are hopeful that many players will be back in the new year and they will strengthen the team and the squad.

"We know the reasons why it is not working. No team can deal with so many issues and injuries we have gad. We should still have done better and we have depth in the squad. When you have so many injuries, the depth is not enough."

The victory means Nuno Espírito Santo's Forest, who won back-to-back games for the first time this season, are 15th on 20 points after 20 matches, five points clear of the drop zone.

"Let's celebrate. Enjoy the moment because it's well deserved," Espírito Santo said on Sky Sport.

"I think it was a good performance. We started well, we controlled well and defended compact. We had good spells in possession. In the second half we went for it and created some combinations. The first goal is very nice. Knowing to achieve that space you have to combine. The composure of the finish too, it was a beautiful goal.

"I didn't do anything, honestly. What we are trying to do is to create an idea. The talent is there so it's the confidence to play. It's our responsibility in how we defend. But they have to believe in the idea. The spaces was there and it's a credit to the players because we are only here for 11 days and they are the ones really working very hard.

"The first game was hard to take but the players reacted at St James' Park and today again. We know it's a long way. Enjoy it but then recover. We have the FA Cup to prepare for and then after that we have to keep in going. We cannot relax.

"We know each other and it's a process, not just in the training session but in the meetings. The players are showing they can do it, I am just here to help.

"It's a bad pass [from Matt Turner] because I think the situation is controlled but that's what we want - to believe in the idea to try to play. The only way you can find space is to play, to combine and have the confidence to play the ball. That is the only way we will create.

"We had Morgan Gibbs-White when he was 16 but now he is a different man and the credit must go to Steve [Cooper] because I find a different player. He is mature. What we want from him is to be this guy we can rely on and to give him the ball because he is so talented."