Manchester United survived a major scare at home to Nottingham Forest today as they came from behind to eventually win the game by three goals to two.
Goals from Christian Eriksen, Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes spared United’s blushes, who were 2-0 down in no time at Old Trafford.
Here are the five things we learned from a pulsating afternoon at the Theatre of Dreams.
1. United slow out of the traps
It goes without saying that conceding two goals in the opening four minutes of any game represents a shocking start but the manner of the goals was especially poor.
Forest striker Thomas Awoniyi was inexplicably allowed the freedom of Manchester from a United corner to race clear for the opener before conceding from a set piece two minutes later. Ten Hag must have rocked to his very core.
Memories of the FA Cup final came flooding back. Ilkay Gundogan’s 15 second strike left United behind the eight-ball at Wembley and the same happened today.
It wasn’t just the first half either, Forest created a very presentable chance less than two minutes after the break which would have restored Steve Cooper’s sides two goal lead.
2. Rashford from the left
It needed little confirmation but Marcus Rashford simply has to operate from the left-flank for United.
Involved in all three goals; his burst past Willy Boly for Christian Eriksen’s strike was vintage Rashford. He then did similar to Danilo who took the bait and allowed Bruno Fernandes to smash home from the spot, completing the comeback.
His excellent role in the equaliser was notable too but his best work, as ever, came from the left.
3. Captain Bruno
Question marks have been raised over the last week or so about Bruno Fernandes capabilities as United’s captain. Not today – the Portuguese midfielder dragged his side to all three points this afternoon.
Constantly encouraging, especially at two nil down, mixed with his creative ability played a huge role in ensuring Ten Hag’s side managed to secure back-to-back home wins at the start of the season.
His role in the equaliser was special and his never-say-die attitude clear for all to see, once more.
4. United have spirit
Horrendous start aside, United did eventually go on to show the spirit and fight the club has been built on.
At two goals down it would have been easy to throw the towel in but Ten Hag’s men, as they have done in the past, dug in to turn the game around.
The players are still firmly behind the manager, who would have face serious questions from the waiting press had the game not been salvaged.
5. Old Trafford crowd provides the 12th man
After seeing United struggle to get past Wolves at Old Trafford in the opening fixture, followed by the limp defeat away to Tottenham, the home faithful could have been forgiven for fearing the worst after the disastrous start.
However, the Old Trafford crowd roared United on from the minute Forest scored their second and no doubt played a part in the turnaround.