Emirates FA Cup, Football

Nottingham Forest vs Man United: Casemiro’s late winner gives United crucial cup victory

Manchester United defeated Nottingham Forest 1-0 at the City Ground thanks to a thrilling header from Casemiro in the 89th minute, which also relieved some of Erik ten Hag’s pressure. This victory advanced United to the FA Cup quarterfinals.

The Brazilian scored his first goal since the end of September by bending down to meet Bruno Fernandes’ tease of a free kick. This earned him a quarterfinal matchup against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Both teams missed numerous chances in the gritty, low-quality match at City Ground. Due to the outcome, United advances to the FA Cup quarterfinals for the 48th time in history on a night when Ten Hag could not afford to lose.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag said: “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.”

Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo said: “[Disappointing] for all of us, for our fans, for us as a team. We played good. We had good situations and were 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.”

Forest host Liverpool next on Saturday while Man United travel to neighbours Man City for the Manchester Derby on Saturday.


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