Nottingham Forest beat Manchester United for the first time since 1992 with a 2-1 victory; Man Utd equalised through Marcus Rashford after Matt Turner's mistake to cancel out Nicolas Dominguez's opener but Morgan Gibbs-White sealed win; Utd seventh, nine points off top four
Sunday 31 December 2023 17:11, UK
Gary Neville says Manchester United are back to being "inconsistent and awful" following their 2-1 defeat against Nottingham Forest.
Morgan Gibbs-White struck a late winner to earn Forest victory over United for the first time since 1992 and leave Erik ten Hag's side nine points adrift of the top four.
United have won just once in their last five league games and are languishing in seventh with Sky Sports' Neville scathing of their performance at the City Ground.
"Manchester United are back to what they are - inconsistent and awful," he said. "They walk off the pitch a defeated bunch. United fans behind the goal will go off so disappointed.
"But let's not forget about Nottingham Forest who have been absolutely wonderful. They were the better team all game. They've lost their manager recently who has been brilliant for them the last two years, but they've made an immediate response with two huge victories.
"But Manchester United are back to their worst."
Nicolas Dominguez gave Forest the lead during the second half which appeared to spur United into life and led to Marcus Rashford equalising after Matt Turner's mistake.
"They're a weird team this Man Utd one," said Neville. "It's almost as if at 0-0, they think they can play at a snail's pace and then when they concede a goal - 'oh we better get going here, let get's a move on'. They don't anticipate danger at all.
"At half-time, the lads were talking about the belief. Nottingham Forest can half work out how bad this Manchester United team are. It's so poor from United, especially considering how good they were at Villa, it was exhilarating. They're a yo-yo team.
"They weren't keen on talking about it as a turning point because they don't trust themselves.
"All the talk the other night was how much these players are playing for Erik ten Hag. What does this prove after we've seen so far in 50 minutes? That they're not playing for him?
"This almost has nothing to do with Erik ten Hag. From 45 minutes to 45 minutes, they've gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. And now it's the ridiculous."
"I'm not really sure what this Manchester United team is. It's a very difficult watch. I think everyone accepted that Erik ten Hag did a very good job in his first season.
"With the new ownership, Sir Dave Brailsford's going to be on a watching brief, week in, week out now. We're going to see him appear there in the directors' box.
"He's going to look at what this club is, on and off the pitch. What he's seeing at this moment in time he isn't going to like, along with all the fans behind the goal who travelled to Nottingham today.
"Ten Hag needs his players back - [Lisandro] Martinez, [Harry] Maguire, Casemiro, [Rasmus] Hojlund, Luke Shaw... and he needs to somehow finish the season strongly.
"But it's been a really up-and-down season. It's more down than up. Some of these performances are really, really poor. Well below anything that should be required at this level.
"Erik ten Hag will be under pressure, there's no doubt about that. They're obviously going to appoint those three roles - CEO, sporting director and head of recruitment - they'll all come in and the rest of them will go.
"The coach is the one that will be their biggest deliberation, it always is in a football club, because you don't sack a coach easily."
"They're out of Europe and they're out of the Carabao Cup. They need to get their players fit and somehow try to push towards Champions League football and see where it takes them.
"But at the moment, they look well off it and there are six or seven teams that are in far better shape than them. It seems a million miles away."
Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp:
"It's a massive win for Forest but, to be honest, coming here today I didn't think it would be anything other than a Forest win.
"Manchester United are so inconsistent. They are horrible to watch. They have no real appetite, desire, it looks like they are playing under duress. There's not enough ambition or desire."