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Nottingham Forest 2-1 Manchester United: Second half changes sink Reds at City Ground

Erik gets it wrong again as United pile record breaking number of losses...

Nottingham Forest v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester United 2023/24- Most league defeats before Christmas since the 1930s, and now most December defeats since the 1930s.

A thrilling Boxing Day comeback win feels pretty meaningless just four days later after an abysmal 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. Erik ten Hag’s changes after a dull first half proved disastrous, and surely questions will be asked again of the manager as he continues to fail when action is needed.

With no Rasmus Hojlund, Antony returned to the starting XI, much to the dismay of fans. It went about as expected, serving as a black hole for United’s possession in the first half. Fortunately though, United didn’t concede anything too dangerous for the first 45, thanks in part to the good form of Kobbie Mainoo.

Mainoo was then removed at halftime for god knows what reason, and suddenly United’s midfield was swiss cheese. Scott McTominay came on in Mainoo’s place and did a very poor job guarding the middle of the pitch, where midfielders generally play. In the end his poor marking would help Forest score two goals. The first from Nicolas Dominguez, who arrived unmarked at the top of the box to fire past Onana, and the second from Morgan Gibbs-White, who arrived unmarked at the top of the box to fire past Onana.

Sandwiched between the goals was United’s only positive moment from the match. A high press from Garnacho to win a ball off a lazy pass from Matt Turner. The Argentine winger then had the composure to find Marcus Rashford in space, who hit a lethal shot first time into the bottom right corner of the goal. It was a timely equalizer, but there would be no follow up.

Flat and directionless, we’ve seen it before against a Nuno Espirito Santo team, but this calamity is not unique this season. Manchester United are one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to taking over a game and scoring goals and every intervention made by the manager to address that today made things worse.

At some point something has to give.