Manchester United closed out 2023 in losing fashion, losing 2-1 away to Nottingham Forest. It's now been over a month since United were able to win consecutive Premier League matches.
Forest broke the deadlock through a Nicolas Dominguez goal, after United failed to defend the cutback for what feels like the 100th time this season.
United were able to equalise after capitalising on a Matt Turner mistake, with Garnacho finding Marcus Rashford in the box and the Englishman slotted it home. However, four minutes later Forest would take back the lead for good through a Morgan Gibbs-White goal on the counter attack.
This result kept Manchester United in seventh place but allows Newcastle and Brighton to jump them in the standings if they win their respective games. United are now nine points off the UCL spots with Arsenal also having a game in hand.
Next up for the Red Devils is a trip to Wigan for the FA Cup on January 8th, and their next Premier League fixture is Tottenham at home on January 14th.
Here are the player ratings:
Andre Onana: 5/10
Onana did not have any saves to make as he conceded the only two shots on target. Not much he could do for the first goal, but the second one it appears he dived a little late to MGW's strike. Perhaps he could have saved it. His distribution was on point today.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 5/10
The fullback had United's only shot in the first half which wound up getting blocked. Didn't have much to do defensively all game as Forest attacked down the other flank more, but Bissaka's offensive contributions left much to be desired.
Raphael Varane: 6/10
The Frenchman had a decent performance as he was solid on the defensive end and was ok on the ball. Nothing special but nothing terrible. Did have a couple passive moments where he could have stuck his foot in more.
Jonny Evans: 7/10
The veteran centre-half was the better CB of the two as he had more defending to do and handled it well for the most part. Also saw more of the ball in build up but was not progressive enough, which is a testament to how much Utd miss Lisandro Martinez at LCB.
Diogo Dalot: 6/10
The Portuguese fullback had an alright performance as he was ok defensively, and had a shot that struck the post in the second half. He had a good battle against ex United player Anthony Elanga and both got the best of each other at times.
Kobbie Mainoo: 5/10
The youngster had an average first half before getting hooked for Scott Mctominay for "tactical" reasons according to Erik Ten Hag. The young midfielder did well defending the large gaps and had many clearances to make. Those same gaps are what United struggled to cover in the second half with Mainoo off the pitch.
Christian Eriksen: 4/10
The Danish midfielder had a horrid first half as it felt like his weight of pass was far too strong. Had a better second half in terms of on the ball but still looked lethargic out of possession, and Forest capitalised on that.
Bruno Fernandes: 3/10
The captain had a underwhelming performance, especially in the first half as he struggled to influence the game. His connection with Antony was rough to watch, and in the second half he launched the ball on far too many occasions.
Alejandro Garnacho: 4/10
The young winger had an overall poor game, but did well assisting Marcus Rashford for the goal with a nice cutback pass across the box. Other than that brilliant moment, Garnacho was getting bullied and making too many mistakes off the left.
Nothing. That was Antony's contribution to today's match. The winger struggled for all 54 minutes he was on the pitch before coming off for Amad Diallo. His passing was weak, kept getting dispossesed and had no impact whatsoever on the game.
Marcus Rashford: 7/10
Back to back games now for Rashford with a goal contribution as he looks to build some form and confidence, which was tough to do today. Rashford fell victim to the graveyard shift which has been given to any player who has played up front for United this season. Rashford was able to score on his first touch inside Forest's penalty box. Rashford did force some things outside the box throughout the game though, especially that one backheel pass.
Amad Diallo: 6/10
The young Ivorian winger showed more promise than Antony did within just three minutes of getting on the pitch. He showed good combination play, which some of his teammates were not on the same wavelength. Also showed good separation but shot the ball near post instead of far post. Hopefully gets a start in the FA Cup match in nine days.
Scott McTominay: 2/10
The midfielder was thrown in at the DM spot and struggled as he failed to cover the space for the cutback on two separate occassions which led to Forest goals.
Sergio Reguilon: N/A
Played only stoppage time.
Erik Ten Hag: 0/10
The writing has to be on the wall for the Dutch coach. The substitution at halftime taking Mainoo off for Mctominay arguably changed the game for the worse and cost United points today. The general play from the team was terrible as they struggled to build out from the back and once again looked like 11 lost individuals. INEOS have some tough choices to make.