Man Utd recover from worst ever start to beat Forest

26 Aug 2023
Manchester United

Fernandes penalty claims victory from 2-0 down, while there is late drama for Fulham and Wolves

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Manchester United produced a superb comeback as they recovered from their worst ever start to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 at Old Trafford, while there was late drama at Emirates Stadium and Goodison Park in an enthralling afternoon of Premier League action.

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Forest were looking for a first league win at Old Trafford since 1994 and made an incredible start against Man Utd, scoring twice in the opening four minutes.

Taiwo Awoniyi gave Forest the lead after a counter-attack from Man Utd’s corner, scoring in a seventh consecutive Premier League match. The Nigerian became only the third African to achieve such a long streak, after Emmanuel Adebayor and Mohamed Salah.

Willy Boly doubled Forest’s lead two minutes later, heading in from a set-piece.

Those two goals came inside the opening three minutes and 47 seconds, making it the earliest time in which Man Utd had gone 2-0 down in a Premier League match. 

Man Utd responded well though and Christian Eriksen, in for the injured Mason Mount, halved the deficit, converting Marcus Rashford’s cross from close range in the 17th minute. 

A clever set-piece drew United level as Bruno Fernandes played the ball to Rashford on the edge of the area. He gave it back to his captain, who headed the ball across goal for Casemiro to finish.

It was now all United, and only a brilliant fingertip save from Matt Turner from Antony's curling shot kept Forest level.

The drama did not stop there though as Forest captain Joe Worrall was sent off for a foul on Fernandes that was deemed a denial of a clear goalscoring opportunity. 

Fernandes’s penalty after Rashford had been fouled by Danilo completed the turnaround for Erik ten Hag’s side as they won their 13th Premier League match when trailing by two goals or more, the most by any side in the competition.

Arsenal's perfect start ends

Fulham recovered from going a man down and being 2-1 down to claim a rare point at Arsenal thanks to Joao Palhinha’s late goal. 

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The Cottagers went 1-0 up inside the opening minute. Bukayo Saka’s misplaced backpass found Andreas Pereira, who beat the backpedalling Aaron Ramsdale. It was the third time Arsenal have conceded inside the opening minute of a home match in the last six months. 

Arsenal’s dominance of possession in search of an equaliser eventually counted as Saka converted from the spot on 70 minutes after substitute Fabio Vieira had been fouled by Kenny Tete.

Two minutes later, fellow substitute Eddie Nketiah completed the turnaround when he finished from close range after an excellent cross from Vieira.

The three points appeared to be heading Arsenal’s way, especially after Calvin Bassey was sent off for a second bookable offence on 83 minutes. But Palhinha, in his first start of the season, equalised by expertly steering the ball in from a corner with three minutes of normal time remaining.

Both sides almost won it in stoppage time. Fulham were denied a first league win at Arsenal after Ramsdale used his head to save Adama Traore’s close-range shot, before Bernd Leno tipped over Vieira’s shot at the other end.

Wolves win crucial six-pointer

Sasa Kalajdzic’s first goal for Wolverhampton Wanderers earned them a first win of the season and handed Everton their worst ever start to a season. 

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The Austrian striker, who missed nearly all of last season shortly after signing with a serious knee injury, glanced in a Pedro Neto cross from close range in the 87th minute, fewer than three minutes after coming on, to give Gary O’Neil his first points as Wolves head coach. 

Everton had had most of the first-half pressure and came close to the lead, but yet again their finishing let them down. Firstly Arnaut Danjuma hit a post when put through on goal, then James Tarkowski blasted a loose ball into the side-netting from close range with Jose Sa grounded. 

Wolves grew into the contest in the second half and had a glorious opportunity to take the lead through Fabio Silva, but the forward shot wide after being put through on goal.

Then Jordan Pickford produced an incredible reflex save from a loose ball shot from a set-piece through a crowd of players. But the Everton ‘keeper was rooted to his line as Kalajdzic headed in the winner to leave Everton bottom of the table with no points and no goals from their first three matches for the first time in their history.

Brentford and Palace draw again

Brentford and Crystal Palace drew for the fifth successive Premier League match as Joachim Andersen's desire prevented back-to-back derby defeats for the Eagles.

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Kevin Schade put Brentford in front with an incredible solo goal in the 18th minute.

The German, who moved to west London on a permanent deal in the summer, took the ball down the left, before cutting in and curling a brilliant shot into the far corner from inside the area for his first strike in the Premier League.

Palace were more of a threat in the second half and found an equaliser through Andersen, who capitalised on sliding in first to a loose ball to poke under Mark Flekken for his first goal in almost a year.


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