Nottingham Forest sent United crashing back down to earth by inflicting a 2-1 defeat on Saturday evening, which was the club’s first home win over the Red Devils since 1995.
Rasmus Hojlund was unable to carry the momentum from scoring his first league goal against Villa as he missed the trip to Nottingham through illness.
A mystery illness that has been impacting Anthony Martial for three weeks ensured that Ten Hag’s attacking options were entirely limited to Marcus Rashford through the middle on his own.
Nottingham Forest controlled the first-half
Despite the inclusion of Kobbie Mainoo in United’s starting XI, Forest controlled the ball for much of the first-half, having the best chances of the game to boot.
Raphael Varane almost gifted the hosts a lead when the World Cup winner attempted to divert a cross away from goal, yet his contact wasn’t smooth and the ball flicked off his leg and just over Andre Onana but, crucially, went wide of the goal.
If United were going to get anything out of the match it was to come from Alejandro Garnacho, who was a menace down the left side. However, the visitors simply didn’t attack down that side often enough.
Mainoo was withdrawn at half-time as United introduced Scott McTominay to combat the physical presence of Morgan Gibbs-White.
Diogo Dalot had United’s best chance of the game five minutes after the restart. He took a speculative shot from distance and it rattled against the post.
Forest strike first
However, Forest took the lead after 64 minutes as United faltered at the back. A counter-attack saw Forest break and Nicolas Dominguez converted a side-footed shot into the corner.
Marcus Rashford scored an equalizer in the 78th minute as Forest gifted away a goal. Matt Turner played a poor pass out of his own penalty area which was intercepted by Garnacho.
The Argentine played a perfect pass to Rashford who converted a first time shot into the corner.
Manchester caught out late
United would make an attempt to win the game, but ultimately it cost them a point as Forest scored the winner on the break.
McTominay drifted wide to try and stop the cross, yet Gibbs-White then had a free shot from the edge of the box which curled into the back of the net and secured all the points for the hosts.