Morgan Gibbs-White scored an 82nd-minute winner as Nottingham Forest recorded their first Premier League victory over Manchester United in 29 years to bring 2023 to a miserable end for Erik ten Hag’s side.
It looked as if Marcus Rashford had rescued a point for the visitors when he capitalised on a blunder from Forest keeper Matt Turner 12 minutes from time and end his wait of more than six hours for a Premier League goal.
But after Turner had redeemed himself with a fine save to deny Christian Eriksen, Forest counter-attacked and Gibbs-White struck the decisive blow from a neat cut-back from former United forward Anthony Elanga.
After a tepid first-half, Nicolas Dominguez opened the scoring as new manager Nuno Espirito Santo steered Forest to back-to-back victories for only the second time since being promoted back to the top flight.
It was another desperate night for Ten Hag, and it was in front of Sir Dave Brailsford, who will have a significant say in United’s on-field operations following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% purchase of the club.
It was United’s 14th defeat of a dreadful campaign, their highest number of losses before the end of a year since 1930-31.
United have been beaten four times in December alone and could end this round of matches in ninth spot, just three points in front of Chelsea.