Manchester United have kickstarted their season with a madcap 3-2 comeback victory over Nottingham Forest.
Erik ten Hag’s side were under pressure going into the match, having produced a poor performance on the opening weekend followed by a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Tottenham last weekend. And things went from bad to worse for Manchester United as they conceded twice to Forest in the opening four minutes.
But United responded well and Christian Eriksen got them back into the contest before further goals from Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes completed the comeback in the second half.
“It wasn’t the perfect start for us but we kept control, kept the ball and started doing the right things. They defended well with a lot of players and it was difficult to get through, but we got the result and that’s the most important thing,” club captain Fernandes told the BBC in his post-match interview.
“I knew we had time to change the situation, but we kept calm. We started to keep the ball at the back and gain confidence, and after that the game was always on our side. We created a lot of shots in the first half. Overall, the performance was really good apart from those [first] four minutes.
“We know what it means to be a Manchester United player. We know this shirt demands a lot and we are ready for that. The team showed great spirit, passion and desire. We just need to be aware that we can’t concede so early.”
Ten Hag struck a similar chord after the match, praising his side for the way they responded to their terrible start:
“Horror start, but the character of the team was brilliant,” said the Manchester United manager.
“We stayed so calm and so composed. We stuck to our belief, stuck to our plan, played some good football and scored three good goals. It was a great comeback.”
Here are 9 stats from Manchester United’s crazy 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest:
– The hosts were two goals behind after just three minutes and 47 seconds. It’s the earliest they’ve trailed by two goals in Premier League history – via @OptaJoe.
– This was the 13th time that Manchester United have come from two or more goals behind to win a Premier League match. That’s the most of any club in Premier League history.
– They might have done it the hard way, but Manchester United are now unbeaten in their last 31 matches in all competitions at Old Trafford – a home run that stretches back almost a full calendar year (a 0-1 defeat to Real Sociedad on September 8th, 2022). This beats Ten Hag’s previous record of 30 home matches unbeaten in charge of Utrecht and Ajax (2017 to 2019).
– Fernandes has both scored and assisted for the 12th time in a Premier League match. No player has done so on more occasions since the Portuguese playmaker made his debut in the competition in February 2020.
Bruno Fernandes is the first player to create 10+ chances in the Premier League so far this season.
Creative Machine. ⚙️ pic.twitter.com/GMLDhzRvoQ
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 26, 2023
– Fernandes registered 101 touches, 24 final third passes, three key passes and created two big chances. He’s now registered more Premier League assists than Roy Keane.
– Back on the left, Marcus Rashford registered 19 final third passes, completed two of three attempted dribbles, and two key passes. He also won a penalty and notched an assist.
– United registered 2.98xG (expected goals) to Nottingham Forest’s 1.30xG, so the scoreline was broadly reflective of the balance of play.
– Ten Hag’s side notched 19 shots to Forest’s eight and nine on target to Forest four. They completed more than twice as many accurate (538 to 216) and 66.9% possession.
– Casemiro (73) completed more than three times as many passes as any opposition player. Morgan Gibbs-White completed the most passes for the visitors with 22.