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Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United. The FA Cup Fifth Round.

The City GroundAttendance28,665.

Nottingham Forest 0

    Manchester United 1

    • Casemiro (89th minute)

    Nottingham Forest 0-1 Manchester United: Casemiro winner sends Erik ten Hag's side into FA Cup quarter-final against Liverpool

    Report as Casemiro scores 89th-minute winner for Manchester United away to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup fifth round; Erik ten Hag's side face home tie against Liverpool in the last eight

    Image: Casemiro scored an 89th-minute winner for Manchester United against Nottingham Forest

    Casemiro's late winner kept Manchester United in with a chance of ending a disappointing season with silverware as Erik ten Hag's men edged past Nottingham Forest to set up an FA Cup quarter-final clash with Liverpool.

    Ten Hag won the Carabao Cup during a promising first campaign but has come under increasing pressure during a troubled second season that threatened to unravel if they lost at the City Ground.

    But last year's FA Cup finalists dug deep and Casemiro turned home Bruno Fernandes' free-kick at the death to secure a 1-0 victory against Forest and set-up a mouth-watering quarter-final at Old Trafford.

    The 89th-minute winner, which took several minutes to clear by the VAR, keeps United's season alive having been dumped out of Europe in December and long since played themselves out of the Premier League title race. The FA Cup quarter-final ties are to be played across the weekend of March 16-17.

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    Sky Sports' Danyal Khan examines whether Manchester United's narrow victory at Nottingham Forest can prove to be a catalyst for better things to come

    Ten Hag's Mark Robins moment

    United were on the right end this time of a late winner
    Image: United were on the right end this time of a late winner

    The history of United and English football could have turned out very differently if Mark Robins had not scored for the club against Nottingham Forest back in January 1990. Sir Alex Ferguson was on the brink of being sacked when Robins struck the winner in an FA Cup third-round tie.

    It prevented a fourth straight trophy-less season for Ferguson and the rest, as they say, is history. This dramatic victory - witnessed by Sir Alex in the stands - provides a welcome shot in the arm for Ten Hag.

    His injury-hit United not only bounced back from the home loss to Fulham but avoided extra-time exertions before this weekend's derby clash with Manchester City.

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    Ten Hag's troops had the best chances in the first half, albeit Forest had 14 opportunities after Antony - one of three alterations from Saturday's crushing defeat - hit the crossbar just four minutes in with a first-time shot from Fernandes' low cross.

    Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands at the City Ground
    Image: Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands at the City Ground

    Diogo Dalot's fine cross was met by a close-range header from Scott McTominay but it was straight at Matt Turner.

    The visitors wanted to unsettle the out-of-sorts Forest back-up, whose goal Marcus Rashford drove over as Ten Hag's men looked for a morale-boosting opener.

    But Forest had now settled after a cumbersome start, with former Liverpool striker Divock Origi and target man Taiwo Awoniyi posing problems.

    Alejandro Garnacho in action against Felipe
    Image: Alejandro Garnacho in action against Felipe

    Makeshift left-back Sofyan Amrabat was struggling and United's midfield continued to leave gaps that Forest failed to punish as opportunities did not translate into clear-cut chances.

    In fact, Nuno Espirito Santo's hosts would have gone into the break behind was it not for a smart save from Turner at his near post after Dalot spun brilliantly away from danger to get in a cross for McTominay.

    Both teams returned from the break unchanged and Forest began the brighter.

    United academy graduate Anthony Elanga battled and played in Awoniyi to force a save out of Andre Onana, who was soon punching away a rasping Origi effort.

    Ten Hag's side eventually regained composure and began to impose themselves, with Rashford seeing penalty appeals rejected after being sandwiched by two Forest defenders.

    Fernandes bent wide with the outside of his right boot and saw a low effort turned just wide by McTominay as United dominated possession and the second-half shot count.

    Amad Diallo replaced the ineffective Antony and could not make clean connection on a blocked Alejandro Garnacho effort, with Rashford lasering off target as they continued to knock on the door.

    Forest offered little in response and Casemiro tried his luck as the clock wound down, with United sticking to their task and getting their reward from an 89th-minute set-piece.

    Fernandes swung a free-kick from the left flank to the near post, where Casemiro's slight headed touch took it past Turner, sparking wild celebrations.

    Forest looked fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men in stoppage time after Felipe grabbed Fernandes' throat.

    Ten Hag: It's the best time to score

    Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag told BBC One: "It's the best time to score at the end. On Saturday, we felt a defeat in stoppage time [against Fulham].

    "We scored in the right moment. In the second half after five or six minutes, we found the game. Then we were continually in their half and took control of the game. Before that, we had to make some changes. The routines fell away.

    "We had chances but we allowed them to create some chances. We should avoid that. Every win is important. We take it 24 hours and then we move on.

    "We have fantastic games coming up. This team, what they showed today, that's great. They have to show it every game. I've seen it the last couple of months, not on Saturday.

    "We found the way to win. We were consistent. We lost one time in 2024. We are consistent. It's not so easy when you have the whole backline and we have to shuffle and play players in different positions. I'm very proud we did it."

    Nuno: Now is not the moment for regrets

    Nuno Espirito Santo greets Ten Hag on Wednesday
    Image: Nuno Espirito Santo greets Ten Hag on Wednesday

    Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo told BBC One: "[Disappointing] for all of us, for our fans, for us as a team. We played good. We had good situations and we're disappointed to lose at the end.

    "Not too many differences. Both teams had chances, both teams were organised. It was a good game.

    "This was a competition we had expectations. Now is not the moment to regret it. The boys gave everything and they played good football.

    "They were checking a possible offside from the block. It's over. We had so many situations with Brentford and VAR. Let's forget about it and focus on what we can control.

    "We have to keep on going. We have to improve a lot of things. We played good today. We defended well. We were organised. We fought. Something that didn't happen before. We have to be more clinical in front of goal.

    "I'm disappointed for the fans. We all had the dream for the FA Cup. Now it's over. We'll try again next time."

    On potential points deductions in the relegation battle: "We are aware that things outside [are happening]. We're still waiting for a decision. We can't do anything about it. We have to work and put our energy into the next game against Liverpool."

    Broad: Fair result but 'moan' United won't beat Liverpool

    Casemiro stoops to head in his winning goal
    Image: Casemiro stoops to head in his winning goal

    Stuart Broad on Soccer Special:

    "Ultimately, I don't think any Forest fan can have any complaints about the result. Manchester United had the extra quality and probably just about deserved it.

    "Onana had to make five saves and they were all straight at him. If Forest had found the corner with one of them, they'd have gone ahead. United won it late on with a bit of controversy over a potential offside but the block wasn't interfering so it was the right call.

    Confirmed FA Cup quarter-final line-up

    • Wolves vs Coventry
    • Manchester United vs Liverpool
    • Chelsea vs Leicester
    • Manchester City vs Newcastle

    "It was poor defending to allow the free-kick to come in at the near post and for Casemiro to get to the ball first. I'm gutted, but I'm sure 99 per cent of the football world will be happy we've got Man Utd vs Liverpool in the quarter-finals.

    "I thought United were pretty average. They're a weird watch as I grew up watching the team under Sir Alex Ferguson. It's quite tiring watching Fernandes. He has his arms up for almost every decision and that feeds into the rest of the team.

    "There's a moany culture out there on the field of play that they need to try and shake as they've got natural quality there. It would be a surprise for me if they were to beat Liverpool in the next round. There's something missing with United and the players lack that same intensity."

    Rooney: Ten Hag will get time

    Erik ten Hag watches his side in FA Cup action
    Image: Erik ten Hag watches his side in FA Cup action

    Former Man Utd forward Wayne Rooney told BBC: "It is a massive victory, and not the best of games. Both sides missed good chances but that's a big win for Manchester United.

    "You want big players to have big moments and Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro combined at the end. A lot is made about Erik ten Hag's position but he has been doing OK. We are starting to see more consistency and I think he will get time."

    On Marcus Rashford's form: "You need the team to create chances for you if you are playing as a number nine. Marcus Rashford needs to be more ruthless and be patient and stay in the middle of the goal. You just want to see more from him.

    "Confidence is the main factor, he hasn't been scoring regularly this season and he maybe needs to simplify his game to get back in the groove.

    "He's not the most vocal lad. His body language doesn't look great at times but he's not like that. The senior players need to get more out of him and get him fired up."

    What's next?

    Nottingham Forest host Premier League leaders Liverpool at the City Ground on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

    Man Utd travel to the Etihad Stadium to face cross-town neighbours Man City on Sky Sports Premier League from 3pm, kick-off 3.30pm.

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