Man Utd’s history with Nottingham Forest


Across the following decade-and-a-half, until Clough’s
departure and Forest’s demotion in 1992/93, games between
Forest and United were eye-watering clashes. Clough, the
East Midlands Ferguson, was master of all he surveyed. Only
Arsene Wenger (60 games) led his side out against United
more regularly – Clough’s Forest met United 38 times across
18 years.
Though no-one can be said to have had the sign over Sir
Alex, few came closer. Of their 13 league games, the victory
count was split at 5-5, with three draws. United finished
second to Forest’s third in Liverpool’s wake in 1987/88; the
following campaign, while United finished 11th, Forest were
third again.
There were a further three Cup games. Garry Parker’s
tap-in at Old Trafford knocked United out of the 1989 FA Cup
in the sixth round before their grim destiny with Liverpool
at Hillsborough. United returned the favour the following
season in the fabled 1-0 success, Mark Robins’s goal sparking
the run to Ferguson’s first trophy (Forest, meanwhile, won the
League Cup).
There was Wembley victory over Forest too, in the 1992
League – sorry, Rumbelows – Cup final, won by Brian
McClair’s 100th United goal, a game in which Forest’s Roy
Keane, just 20, impressed, and future Red Teddy Sheringham
also played.
These weren’t the only players with shared connections.
The 1980s brought us Garry Birtles, Peter Davenport and Neil
Webb; the 1970s, Ian Storey-Moore and Tommy Jackson,
albeit with varying success. Viv Anderson, then of Arsenal
– and such a stalwart of Clough’s vintage ‘70s team – was
one of Ferguson’s first purchases. And, bringing us right up to
date, the goal that got Forest here via play-off victory over
Huddersfield Town in May was engineered in M16 – courtesy of
an assist from James Garner, on loan from United before joining Everton last summer. After a 3-0 win on 27 December at Old Trafford, we quickly meet again under a month later. With Forest enjoying a long run in the Carabao Cup, the two teams will be vying to reach Wembley and party like it’s 1999…

This article first appeared in United Review, the official matchday programme.

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