Casemiro’s late winner kept Manchester United in with a chance of ending a disappointing season with silverware as Erik ten Hag’s men edged past Nottingham Forest to set up an FA Cup quarter-final clash with Liverpool.

Ten Hag won the Carabao Cup during a promising first campaign but has come under increasing pressure during a troubled second season that threatened to unravel if they lost at the City Ground.

But last year’s FA Cup finalists dug deep and Casemiro turned home Bruno Fernandes’ free-kick at the death to secure a 1-0 win against Forest and set-up a mouth-watering quarter-final at Old Trafford.

The 89th-minute winner, which took several minutes to clear by the VAR, keeps United’s season alive having been dumped out of Europe in December and long since played themselves out of the Premier League title race.

Victory provides a welcome shot in the arm for injury-hit United, who not only bounced back from the home loss to Fulham but avoided extra-time exertions before this weekend’s derby clash with Manchester City.

Ten Hag’s troops had the best chances in the first half, albeit Forest had 14 opportunities after Antony – one of three alterations from Saturday’s crushing defeat – hit the crossbar just four minutes in with a first-time shot from Fernandes’ low cross.

Diogo Dalot’s fine cross was met by a close-range header from Scott McTominay but it was straight at Matt Turner.

The visitors wanted to unsettle the out-of-sorts Forest back-up, whose goal Marcus Rashford drove over as Ten Hag’s men looked for a morale-boosting opener.

But Forest had now settled after a cumbersome start, with former Liverpool striker Divock Origi and target man Taiwo Awoniyi posing problems.

Makeshift left-back Sofyan Amrabat was struggling and United’s midfield continued to leave gaps that Forest failed to punish as opportunities did not translate into clear-cut chances.

In fact, Nuno Espirito Santo’s hosts would have gone into the break behind was it not for a smart save from Turner at his near post after Dalot spun brilliantly away from danger to get in a cross for McTominay.

Both teams returned from the break unchanged and Forest began the brighter.

United academy graduate Elanga battled and played in Awoniyi to force a save out of Onana, who was soon punching away a rasping Origi effort.

Ten Hag’s side eventually regained composure and began to impose themselves, with Rashford seeing penalty appeals rejected after being sandwiched by two Forest defenders.

Fernandes bent wide with the outside of his right boot and saw a low effort turned just wide by McTominay as United dominated possession and the second half shot count.

Amad Diallo replaced the ineffective Antony and could not make clean connection on a blocked Alejandro Garnacho effort, with Rashford lasering off target as they continued to knock on the door.

Forest offered little response and Casemiro tried his luck as the clock wound down, with United sticking to their task and getting their reward from an 89th-minute set piece.

Fernandes swung a free-kick from the left flank to the near post, where Casemiro’s slight headed touch took it past Turner, sparking wild celebrations.

Forest looked fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men in stoppage time after Felipe grabbed Fernandes’ throat.

Erik ten Hag dismissed any talk of Manchester United’s season being in crisis as he stressed “we are going in the right direction” following the 2-1 win over Chelsea.

United went into the contest at Old Trafford on the back of Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Newcastle, their 10th defeat in all competitions this term.

After Bruno Fernandes saw an early penalty saved by Robert Sanchez, a Scott McTominay brace, either side of Cole Palmer’s equaliser, secured United a victory that took them up to sixth in the Premier League table, three points behind fourth-placed defending champions Manchester City.

When asked at his post-match press conference what that said to him about a season that has felt like it has been in crisis, United boss Ten Hag said: “Crisis? Not for us.

“We keep calm, look at the process where we know where we have to build. We are going in the right direction.

“We don’t get distracted (by) criticism around us, but we are very critical on ourselves. We are not quickly satisfied and happy, we always want to do better. We have to improve a lot if we want to be successful – but this team is capable of being successful.”

There had been some reports ahead of the game that Ten Hag had lost the confidence of some of his players.

That led to United banning four media outlets for Tuesday’s pre-match press conference, with the club saying the action was taken for not “contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.”

Ten Hag added: “Last week we played three games (a 3-0 win at Everton, 3-3 draw at Galatasaray and the Newcastle match). Two times we played good, and then one bad performance.

“But you see this team is in a good direction. I know sometimes you have a bad performance, but then still, you can get a result. That is the next step we have to make.

“But you see how we play, the style, so dominating the opponent, in and out of possession. That is the way I want to play. I was very pleased, it was very enjoyable how the team played.”

Scott McTominay’s brace sealed a much-needed victory for Manchester United and their under-fire manager Erik ten Hag against Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea.

Wednesday’s Old Trafford encounter pitted together a pair of Premier League giants going through growing pains as they seek to become contenders again.

United were under extra pressure heading into the match following reports of player unhappiness with Ten Hag, whose side reacted with a spirited 2-1 victory.

McTominay was the hero as the Dutchman’s side deservedly overcame the Blues, whose manager Pochettino was considered his main rival for the United post when he was appointed.

The homegrown midfielder’s first goal came midway through a first half that began with Robert Sanchez saving a Bruno Fernandes penalty and ended with a fine leveller from former Manchester City midfielder Cole Palmer.

McTominay put the hosts back ahead with a powerful header and Chelsea substitute Armando Broja saw a late header hit the post as United bounced back from Saturday’s lifeless loss at Newcastle.

Ten Hag made four alterations from St James’ Park – with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial among those dropping to the bench – and was rewarded with a strong start.

Chelsea goalkeeper Sanchez did well to stop Rasmus Hojlund’s low early effort and produced another big save in the ninth minute.

Antony was caught by Enzo Fernandez when prodding the ball on, leading VAR David Coote to advise Chris Kavanagh to check the pitchside monitor.

The referee pointed to the spot after reviewing the incident, only for Fernandes to follow a stuttering run-up with a poor strike that Sanchez met with a strong hand down to his right.

Soon after Sofyan Amrabat was breathing a sigh of relief after Mykhailo Mudryk hit the foot of the post after his lax pass was cut out as play began to swing from end to end.

United’s defence was looking susceptible, but they were better than Chelsea in possession.

Sanchez denied Alejandro Garnacho and Antony before a close-range attempt from the latter was blocked, with the opening goal of this helter-skelter encounter arriving in the 19th minute.

Garnacho cut back for Harry Maguire to get away a shot that Marc Cucurella blocked, with McTominay controlling the loose ball and fizzing through skipper Levi Colwill’s legs and past Sanchez.

The Scotland international should have had a second in the 32nd minute, with Sanchez denying his six-yard header from Fernandes’ fine cross before stopping his follow-up.

But it was not all one-way traffic. Andre Onana spread himself well to stop Nicolas Jackson on the break, before the United goalkeeper watched Mudryk guide a low shot narrowly wide.

The Ukraine international should have done better there but helped the Blues equalise in the 45th minute, albeit Palmer deserves the credit instead of the man with the assist.

Palmer stretched to reach the ball, drove across the edge of the box under pressure from Victor Lindelof and made space to send a smart, low shot trickling back across into the far corner.

It was a gut punch nearly followed up moments into the second half after Mudryk’s corner was flicked on, with Jackson beating Diogo Dalot to head just over.

Garnacho bent just off target as United returned to the attack, with Antony’s effort taking a deflection wide for a corner that saw appeals for handball fall on deaf ears. The incident was reviewed by the VAR.

The hosts were in the ascendancy and Garnacho hooked a cross to the far post, where McTominay beat his man to head past Sanchez.

Colwill laid on the deck claiming a push that was checked by VAR but the goal was given the green light upon review.

United pushed for a quickfire third and McTominay mishit when presented with the chance for a hat-trick after Antony cut out a Sanchez ball.

Substitute Reece James got back to block Garnacho’s attempt from Onana’s long ball forwards, with the Argentina international going agonisingly close from turning in replacement Sergio Reguilon’s pass.

Chelsea made the home side sweat in the closing stages. There was a collective intake of breath when James went close to finding Fernandez and another when Broja’s header came back off the far post.

Manchester United’s Champions League hopes are hanging by a thread after Erik ten Hag’s men imploded in a chaotic, thrill-a-minute 3-3 draw on an ear-splitting night at Galatasaray.

Having lost three of their four Group A fixtures, the Red Devils knew defeat in Istanbul would extinguish their hopes of reaching the knockout phase with a game to spare.

United avoided a loss but blew a two-goal lead on in an incredible night in Istanbul, meaning their knockout hopes will be over if Copenhagen beat Bayern Munich in Wednesday’s late fixtures.

This was a wild, helter-skelter encounter befitting of a Champions League campaign punctuated by goals, madness and mistakes.

A rocking Rams Park witnessed a dream United start to a breathless match, with Alejandro Garnacho completing a fine team move before Bruno Fernandes rocketed the visitors further ahead in the 18th minute.

Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick all too easily beat Andre Onana to give Galatasaray hope, which Scott McTominay appeared to extinguish when scoring in the 55th minute.

But United, not for the first time in Group A, unravelled as Onana’s howler allowed Ziyech to score another free-kick before substitute Kerem Akturkoglu levelled with a scorcher.

Fernandes hit the post from distance and Facundo Pellistri somehow failed to score as the visitors laid siege to Galatasaray’s goal, with the draw leaving them bottom of Group A and facing an early Champions League exit.

Scotland drew 2-2 with Georgia in Tbilisi in the penultimate match of their successful European Championship qualifying campaign.

Scott McTominay and substitute Lawrence Shankland both hit equalisers after Napoli attacker Khvicha Kvaratskhelia struck twice for the hosts.

Here are five things we learned from the encounter in the Boris Paichadze Stadium ahead of Scotland’s final Group A game against Norway on Sunday.

Substitutes are key again

Kenny McLean scored a late winner off the bench in Oslo in June and the substitute made a more sustained if less spectacular impact on Thursday night. The Norwich midfielder set up McTominay to level and generally helped improve Scotland’s possession after a slack first half with fellow half-time replacement Lewis Ferguson also contributing. Shankland then headed home in stoppage time from fellow sub Stuart Armstrong’s cross with Anthony Ralston also showing up well in a brief cameo. Manager Steve Clarke has not always been quick to make changes but it appears that the bench is becoming more and more important to Scotland in the five-subs era.

Shankland stakes his claim

The Hearts striker dropped out of the squad last month but earned a late call-up on the back of five goals in his last five club games when Che Adams pulled out. The 28-year-old seized his chance when he rose well to head home. “We needed a goal and you know Lawrence has always got a chance of getting a goal,” said Clarke as he explained why he had used him. Scotland will undoubtedly need a goal at some stage in Germany next summer and an in-form Shankland is arguably the most natural goalscorer Scotland have.

Pot two still in reach

Spain’s late goal in Seville last month wiped out Scotland’s head-to-head advantage and any realistic chance of Clarke’s side topping the group. Scotland would need to beat Norway on Sunday while Georgia win in Spain for that to happen. There is a better chance of Scotland finishing as the best runners-up and sealing a place in pot two for next month’s draw. That looks likely to be Austria, assuming Belgium beat Azerbaijan, but a two-goal win or a high-scoring one-goal victory could put the Scots among the second seeds. However, that could theoretically hand Scotland a tougher draw given the likes of Netherlands, Denmark, Italy or Ukraine are headed for pot three.

Zander Clark shows his mettle

The Hearts goalkeeper was beaten at his near post for Kvaratskhelia’s opener but there were bigger factors in the lead-up to the goal which left the former St Johnstone man exposed on his competitive debut. Clark went on to make three assured saves including one in the dying seconds.

Back four experiment has mixed success

With Kieran Tierney, Andy Robertson and Aaron Hickey joining long-term absentee Grant Hanley on the sidelines in recent weeks, Clarke went with a back four featuring Nathan Patterson, Ryan Porteous, Scott McKenna and Greg Taylor. Scotland seemed more open as a result, especially in the first half, although they dominated the final half hour. Tierney’s return to fitness looks key to Scotland’s Euro 2024 prospects given his influence in the back three.

Lawrence Shankland headed a stoppage-time equaliser as Scotland averted more torment in Tbilisi with a 2-2 draw against Georgia.

The Hearts striker was a late call-up for the injured Che Adams and seized his chance when he headed home fellow substitute Stuart Armstrong’s cross two minutes into added time.

Scott McTominay earlier took his Euro 2024 qualifying campaign tally to seven goals when he cancelled out the first of two strikes from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

The Napoli winger proved a threat all night, but Scotland contributed to their own problems with a slack first 45 minutes.

McTominay drilled home from 20 yards four minutes after the restart and, after quickly falling behind again, Scotland finished strongly to prevent a fourth consecutive defeat in Clarke’s 50th game in charge.

Scotland had lost on their two previous visits to the Boris Paichadze stadium, defeats which proved very costly in otherwise promising attempts to qualify for the European Championships of 2008 and 2016.

And, while Clarke’s side had booked their trip to Germany with two games to spare, they were looking to boost their chances of sealing a place among the pot two seeds for next month’s draw.

Georgia, who had only lost four of their previous 20 games, also had plenty to play for given they will be in the play-offs in March courtesy of their Nations League performances, and a crowd of 44,595 plus some needle on the pitch gave the game a competitive edge.

With Angus Gunn injured, Hearts goalkeeper Zander Clark got the nod to start ahead of Motherwell’s Liam Kelly for his competitive international debut.

Scotland started with a back four amid the absence of Kieran Tierney, while the likes of Andy Robertson, Aaron Hickey and Grant Hanley were also missing.

There were early signs that Scotland were not quite at it, from the moment Scott McKenna launched the ball out of play from the kick-off.

Ryan Christie then scuppered a promising break by delaying and then over-hitting a pass outside to Callum McGregor.

Billy Gilmour set up McTominay with a clever low corner, but the Manchester United midfielder fired over first time.

Clark made his first save 13 minutes in when he gathered Giorgi Chakvetadze’s long-range drive but he was beaten two minutes later.

Greg Taylor failed to cut out a cross-field pass and wing-back Otar Kakabadze delivered a low first-time cross which Kvaratskhelia swept inside the near post after sliding in just ahead of Ryan Porteous.

Clark soon rescued Scotland with a good parry from Levan Shengelia after a poor pass from Lyndon Dykes, who atoned by blocking the subsequent shot.

Dykes headed off target from Gilmour’s free-kick as Scotland failed to trouble the home goalkeeper in the first half.

Too many passes were going astray and Scotland struggled to produce a telling delivery from several corners and crosses from the right flank.

Half-time changes seemed inevitable and Lewis Ferguson and Kenny McLean came on for Gilmour and Christie.

McLean was soon involved in the first equaliser. The Norwich midfielder collected Taylor’s pass and set up McTominay, whose strike seemed to wrongfoot the home keeper at his near post.

Clark made another good stop to deny Shengelia, this time from a free-kick.

But Georgia kept up the pressure and Kvaratskhelia restored their lead in the 57th minute when he cut inside Nathan Patterson and drilled into the far corner.

Dykes soon thought he had levelled with a near-post header from Patterson’s corner, but Giorgi Mamardashvili produced a brilliant diving save on the line.

Scotland continued to press, although most of their efforts were coming from long range.

Ferguson saw a header saved before Shankland rose to head into the top corner.

Clark put the seal on a satisfying night when he made a near-post stop in the dying seconds.

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay is “100 per cent sure” manager Erik ten Hag can turn the club’s fortunes around.

Former Ajax boss Ten Hag has come under increasing pressure as United bid to put their worst start to a season since 1962-63 behind them.

McTominay insisted all the hard work by the players and coaching staff behind the scenes will soon start to pay off.

The Scotland international told the club’s official website: “There’s more that goes into it when you’re not playing well and you’re not doing so well.

“I know the fans don’t want to hear that, they want to see results and performances and I think they want to see the players smiling and happy.

“It’s not quite happening at the moment, but I’m 100 per cent sure that the manager can put that into practice and it can come off. I’m sure of that.”

After successive 3-0 home defeats to Manchester City and Newcastle, United play at Fulham on Saturday and face Champions League group rivals Copenhagen in Denmark next Wednesday.

“We have to win, that’s always the thought process,” McTominay said. “Obviously my thoughts are with the fans at the minute because we’re not playing well and it’s difficult for them.

“They pay their hard-earned money every week to come and watch us and the least we can do is play well and win football matches.

“It’s not quite happening at the moment, sometimes that’s football, but I feel like for us in that dressing room we have to stay tight and keep a clear head, and we can’t get too emotional with everything that surrounds us. We’ve got to block it all out.”

Ten Hag has urged his players to “stand up” and work “shoulder by shoulder” and McTominay agreed a united dressing room is key to halting their slide.

“Everyone knows that we’re not in our best period at the minute. We have to stick together, that’s the most important thing,” he said.

“Obviously the fans will hear the generic response of ‘we’ve got to stick together’, but it’s true.

“Everyone wants this football club to succeed and we have to pull together and try to be as good with each other as possible in the dressing room to get those results going our way.

“I feel like we’ve got more than enough talent in the changing room to do that and whenever you look at the boys who are playing, but obviously something isn’t quite clicking.

“That’s up to the manager and the players to fix that and I’m 100 per cent confident that we will.”

Erik ten Hag admitted Manchester United’s first-half performance in their 2-1 win at Sheffield United was not a fitting way to remember Sir Bobby Charlton.

United are mourning one of their greatest ever players following Charlton’s death aged 86 on Saturday morning and goals from Scott McTominay and Diogo Dalot ensured they remembered him with victory.

But Ten Hag’s side could not be much further away from the one that Charlton famously led to European Cup glory in 1968 as they were lacklustre against a team who have picked up just one point this season.

Defender Dalot was the unlikely hero as he saved their blushes with a 20-yard curler 13 minutes from time after Oli McBurnie’s first-half penalty had cancelled out McTominay’s opener.

Ten Hag said: “We are happy we did that, we have to pay attention and do it in a good way and first half I think it wasn’t the standard for Sir Bobby Charlton and the second half was a bit better.

“But of course the news arrived and we are very sad and our thoughts are with his family and especially his wife Lady Norma, his children and his grandchildren.

“I heard some players got some inspiration from it and they wanted a win to mark it. It was an extra motivation, absolutely.

“But the first half was not a good game. We can talk long or we can talk short, it was a poor game from our side and you see it often after internationals, especially us with so many changes, the routines are not there. In the first half we allowed them to make it their game.

“We were too direct, no good organisation, second half we made some changes and you saw we got better, we were more composed and kept the ball.

“We controlled the game and created the chances and then finally we deserved the win and it was a beautiful goal.”

Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom began his playing career at Old Trafford as a teenager and remembers Charlton fondly.

“He was there the day I signed as a 14-year-old,” he said. “He is a man that represented everything that United wanted to be, certainly in terms of developing youth players and getting youth players into the first team.

“It is not only Manchester United that will miss him, English football and I think he was a football icon across the world as well, so there will be a lot of people remembering him, stories they have heard, games they have seen.”

The Blades may feel they deserved something out of the game, especially on the back of a lively first-half performance, but they slipped to an eighth defeat from nine games and a long winter looks on the cards.

But Heckingbottom took the positives.

“In most games we have shown more than enough that we can compete,” he added. “Lots of things that please me in that.

“We have suffered horrendously with injuries in the last 10 days, captain, vice-captain and a couple of other players. We are not going to sulk about it, it is an opportunity for others.

“We looked more of a threat tonight. There are lots of things tonight that we have to build on. It was close. What we had today was more of an all-round threat.”

Manchester United paid tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton with a 2-1 Premier League victory at Sheffield United.

United are mourning one of their greatest ever players following Charlton’s death aged 86 on Saturday morning and goals from Scott McTominay and Diogo Dalot ensured they remembered him with victory.

But Erik ten Hag’s side could not be much further away from the one that Charlton famously led to European Cup glory in 1968 as they were lacklustre against a team who have picked up just one point this season.

Defender Dalot was the unlikely hero as he saved their blushes with a 20-yard curler 13 minutes from time after Oli McBurnie’s first-half penalty had cancelled out McTominay’s opener.

It was not a vintage performance, certainly not one fitting of Charlton, but United did at least register back-to-back league victories for the first time this season and Ten Hag will hope this can be a springboard.

The Blades may feel they deserved something out of the game, especially on the back of a lively first-half performance, but they slipped to an eighth defeat from nine games and a long winter looks on the cards.

United captain Bruno Fernandes laid a wreath on the centre circle before kick-off and there was a minute’s applause for the World Cup winner, while the away end gave a rousing rendition of ‘There’s only one Bobby Charlton’.

As emotional as it was for United, they still had a job to do and they had to weather an early storm from the hosts.

The Blades started well and should have led inside the opening three minutes as Gus Hamer’s shot deflected into the path of McBurnie, but with time and space 14 yards out he shot straight at Andre Onana, who gratefully clung on.

The visitors were up against it and Ten Hag used an injury break to gather his players and bark instructions.

It did not immediately make much difference as Onana, much maligned for handling errors this season, produced a strong arm to keep out Cameron Archer’s 20-yard drive.

For all their bluster, the Blades had come away from a strong opening 25 minutes without reward and they were punished as the visitors went ahead against the run of the play in the 28th minute.

McTominay, who rescued his side with two injury-time goals against Brentford before the international break, received the ball from Fernandes and his scuffed effort found its way into the bottom corner.

Things quickly turned sour for for McTominay, though, as just five minutes later he gave away a penalty when he handled James McAtee’s cross.

The incident survived a VAR check and McBurnie stepped up and stroked the spot-kick home for his first goal of the season.

McBurnie almost turned provider in the 41st minute when he slipped in Archer, but Onana bravely stopped with his face.

For all the home pressure, it was Ten Hag’s men who nearly took a lead into the half-time break as they had two late chances.

First Fernandes clipped the crossbar with a dipping free-kick before Rasmus Hojlund was denied by a fine save from Wes Foderingham, who rushed out and deflected the ball wide.

The Blades were on the front foot after the restart and Onana made another impressive stop, palming away Rhian Brewster’s effort after being wrong-footed.

United finally upped their game and created a raft of chances to go back in front.

Foderingham saved from Hojlund when the Dane should have scored, Marcus Rashford rolled wide at the far post and Sofyan Amrabat thundered a fierce 20-yard effort against the crossbar.

The breakthrough eventually came in the 77th minute when Dalot was afforded too much time on the edge of the area and he curled a shot into the top corner, though Foderingham got a hand to it and should have kept it out.

That proved enough as United remembered Charlton with victory which will not live long in the memory.

Angus Gunn insists Scotland still have eyes on topping their group after the 2-0 defeat by Spain on Thursday night delayed Euro 2024 qualification.

After winning their first five qualifiers, including a 2-0 win over the Spanish at Hampden Park in March, the Scots came up short in Seville after a controversial VAR call ruled out Scott McTominay’s terrific free-kick just before the hour mark.

Dutch referee Serdar Gozubuyuk was sent to check his pitchside monitor and he ruled an infringement by Scotland defender Jack Hendry, with some confusion as to whether it was for a foul on goalkeeper Unai Simon or offside.

Alvaro Morata headed in after 73 minutes and substitute Oihan Sancet, making his debut, added a second with four minutes or normal time remaining to leave Steve Clarke’s men three points ahead of La Roja at the top of Group A having played a game more.

Scotland face France in a friendly in Lille next Tuesday while Spain take on third-placed Norway in Oslo two days earlier and if the Norwegians drop points, Scotland’s place in Germany next summer will be secured before games away at Georgia and home to Norway in November.

Norwich keeper Gunn, 27, remains confident and he said: “We have put ourselves in an unbelievable position.

“From our point of view we have done a lot of the hard work early on in the group and we want to finish it off in the right way.

“We want to top the group as well so we have two more games and it might happen on Sunday but even if it does, we go away to Georgia and still try to win this group.

“I will probably watch it on Sunday. If it happens, it happens but we still have two more games.

“We have put ourselves in a good position and if it does happen on Sunday we deserve it.”

The Scots had put up a sturdy defensive display against this summer’s Nations League winners and it looked like they might be on their way to a smash-and-grab win when McTominay’s free-kick from near the byline flew into the net.

Gunn believes the decision to rule it out lifted the Spanish fans and gave the home side the boost to go on and clinch the three points.

He said: “We thought we went ahead and that was an unbelievable feeling at the time and it was gutting when it got chalked off.

“I thought we dealt with it quite well but I think it gave them more of a boost.

“Their crowd celebrated it like a goal and I think they got their tails up a little but which we had to deal with.

“I think we kept our emotions quite well even though there wasn’t much clarity around the decision, that was the most disappointing thing.

“But they are a top team and they went up the other end and scored and after that the momentum was with them.

“We are disappointed with the result.

“But I said, we put ourselves in the position where we are still top of the group, still looking strong and hopefully still able to qualify soon.”

Super sub Scott McTominay’s stunning stoppage-time double secured Manchester United a remarkable last-gasp 2-1 comeback victory against Brentford.

Premier League losses at home to Brighton and Crystal Palace led to intense scrutiny and pressure that had increased further after Tuesday’s chastening Champions League defeat to Galatasaray.

Erik ten Hag’s men needed to go into the international break on a high but floundered for the most part on Saturday afternoon, with a catalogue of errors resulting in Mathias Jensen’s opener.

United offered precious little in response as Brentford headed into second-half stoppage time on course for a famous first win at Old Trafford since 1937.

But McTominay, brought on as a final roll of the dice in the 87th minute, had other ideas.

First the homegrown midfielder fired home a 93rd-minute equaliser and four minutes later headed home a scarcely believable winner to spark wild Old Trafford celebrations.

It was an incredible end to a day that began in poignant fashion as Old Trafford paid tribute to Lady Cathy Ferguson following the death of Sir Alex Ferguson’s wife.

Players wore black armband and flags flew at half-mast on a day that both teams began with intent that they struggled to turn into clear-cut chances.

Aaron Hickey twice tried his luck from distance as the Bees attempted to sting a makeshift United backline.

With five defenders injured and the defence unbalanced, Victor Lindelof was deployed at left-back and Harry Maguire made his first league start of the campaign alongside Jonny Evans.

United lacked the Bees’ coherence and discipline and, shortly after mightily impressive Ethan Pinnock’s sliding block denied Mason Mount, their ongoing issues cost them.

Slack Casemiro gave away possession around the centre circle and failed to win it back, with Lindelof then failing to effectively deal with Yoane Wissa’s low ball into the box.

That botched clearance ricocheted off the Brentford forward into the path of Jensen to sweep home a low, first-time strike that Andre Onana could not get down to stop.

It was an all too familiar gut punch for United, who failed to muster a shot on target until Marcus Rashford wriggled free to test Premier League debutant Thomas Strakosha in the 37th minute.

Bryan Mbeumo sent a curling effort skipping just wide when Brentford returned to the attack, with United creating precious beyond a hopeful looping Casemiro header back across goal.

Boos greeted the half-time whistle and Ten Hag replaced underperforming Casemiro with former Brentford midfielder Christian Eriksen at the break.

The introduction’s hopeful, long-range piledriver forced Strakosha into action in the 53rd minute, with Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund trying to eke out an equaliser.

Diogo Dalot hacked clear after a long Brentford throw-in was flicked on, but play was now nearly entirely focused at the other end.

The right-back flashed an effort over and Hojlund struck into the side netting, with Strakosha palming away a Bruno Fernandes effort.

Lindelof went straight down the tunnel after being replaced by Anthony Martial, perhaps suggesting another injury for a United side struggling for luck or cohesion.

The France forward saw penalty appeals overlooked in between fellow introduction Alejandro Garnacho whipping over and Fernandes missing the target.

Onana impressively clawed away substitute Neal Maupay’s audacious 20-yard attempt but a few frustrated fans had begun heading towards the exit.

Anyone that left early missed a box office conclusion.

United thought they had equalised in the 89th minute, only to realise Martial had strayed offside when flicking a cross that deflected into the Brentford goal.

That setback made the stoppage-time turnaround all the sweeter for the Old Trafford faithful.

Three minutes into stoppage time Garnacho hooked back for Dalot to get a shot that Strakosha parried, with McTominay eventually controlling a clearance and drilling home.

Martial got a low shot on goal during a melee as United sought a winner that arrived in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Fernandes’ floated free-kick from around the halfway line was headed on by Maguire and McTominay battled to head home to secure a jaw-dropping late victory.

What the papers say

Potential ins and outs at Manchester United continue to attract plenty of attention with Scott Mctominay again linked with a move away from Old Trafford. The Daily Mirror reports the Scotland midfielder, 26, is a potential alternative for Bayern Munich if they are unable to lure Joao Palhinha, 28, from Fulham in the January transfer window.

Israel youngster Oscar Gloukh is being linked with a move to Old Trafford, according to The Sun. Arsenal and Liverpool are also believed to be tracking the 19-year-old attacking midfielder from Red Bull Salzburg.

Brighton are poised to swoop for Boca Juniors teenage left-back Valentina Barco, reports The Sun. The Seagulls are expected to make a fresh move for the 19-year-old Argentine before the transfer window opens.

Nottingham Forest have reignited their interest in 17-year-old winger Tom Watson from Sunderland, according to The Sun.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Nico Williams: Aston Villa have joined Liverpool and Barcelona in monitoring the 21-year-old Spain winger at Athletic Bilbao.

Hugo Ekitike: The 21-year-old Paris St-Germain striker is interesting West Ham and Crystal Palace.

Scott McTominay scored his first Premier League goal of the season as Manchester United stayed on course for a top-four finish by beating Everton 2-0.

United dominated the first half at Old Trafford on Saturday, with the outstanding Jordan Pickford making a string of saves before McTominay found the back of the net.

Relegation-threatened Everton made more of a game of it in the second half, but Anthony Martial came off the bench to double United's lead as the visitors were consigned to a first defeat in five matches.

Victory for Erik ten Hag's side moved them above Newcastle United into third place ahead of the Magpies' trip to Brentford later in the day, but a late groin injury sustained by Marcus Rashford will be a cause for concern.

United started strongly and Rashford shot straight at Pickford after racing clear of a static Everton defence.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka inexplicably failed to hit the target with the goal gaping when the ball rebounded to him after Antony struck the post, before Ellis Simms missed a great chance to put Everton in front against the run of play, scuffing his shot wide.

Pickford thwarted Antony, who was also denied by a great last-ditch tackle from Ben Godfrey as the Red Devils continued to get in behind far too easily.

The busy Pickford prevented Rashford from opening the scoring yet again, but McTominay drilled in with his right foot from just outside the six-yard box nine minutes before the break after Jadon Sancho picked him out.

Pickford palmed a measured strike from Antony around the post late in a one-sided first half that somehow ended with United only one goal up.

United had breathing space in the 71st minute, though, Martial drilling home with his right foot after Rashford pounced on a mistake from Seamus Coleman to set his fellow forward up.

Christian Eriksen returned from injury with a substitute appearance, but the sight of leading scorer Rashford limping off late on will be a worry for Ten Hag.

Manchester United have enough goalscorers alongside star man Marcus Rashford, according to manager Erik ten Hag.

Rashford has scored 27 of United's 88 goals this season in all competitions, with Bruno Fernandes their next-highest scorer with just 10.

Anthony Martial's time on the pitch has been limited by injuries, while January acquisition Wout Weghorst has failed to prove prolific, having scored just twice since arriving at Old Trafford.

Yet, the Red Devils ended their six-year trophy drought by beating Newcastle United in the EFL Cup final in February and look on course to finish in the Premier League's top four and achieve Champions League qualification for next season.

Despite Rashford's superior contribution in the goals department in relation to his team-mates, Ten Hag feels his side carry enough of a threat to support the 25-year-old, though he did not rule out bringing in more attacking talent ahead of next season.

"I think we have players like Bruno, like Jadon Sancho, like Anthony Martial, like Scott McTominay, like Antony," Ten Hag said. "We have enough players with the capabilities to score goals, definitely.

"I work in the back [behind the scenes] on next season. But we're working now on this season, so first of all make sure everyone is available and keep improving the way of play and that's the best chance of scoring more goals."

McTominay enjoyed a brilliant international break with Scotland, scoring four goals as his national team beat Cyprus 3-0 before stunning giants Spain 2-0 at Hampden Park on Tuesday.

Considering his great form in front of goal and the fact he played as a striker for United's youth teams, McTominay could be a potential option to start up front for the Red Devils with Weghorst failing to fire since joining on loan from Burnley.

But Ten Hag feels the 26-year-old is better playing as a midfielder, while he defended Weghorst's overall impact on United.

"Scott can play in many roles," Ten Hag said.

"It's clear he has scoring capabilities for Scotland but also this season for us. He's a really good finisher, but I see him as a midfielder.

"I think I'm happy with what Wout is doing because when Wout is in the team, the team is performing better."

As his team prepare to face top-four rivals Newcastle United at St James' Park on Sunday, Ten Hag looks set to be boosted by the return of Martial after his recent injury problems.

"He's training for two weeks now," Ten Hag said. "I think he can be in the squad."

Scott McTominay predicted Scotland's fans will talk about Tuesday's win over Spain in 30 years' time after his brace helped the Tartan Army maintain their perfect start to Euro 2024 qualifying. 

Having also scored twice in Saturday's 3-0 win over Cyprus, McTominay netted in both halves as Scotland handed Luis de la Fuente his first defeat as Spain boss, triumphing 2-0 at a buoyant Hampden Park.

Scotland have now won their first two games of a World Cup/Euros qualification campaign for the first time since September 2006, putting them three points clear of Spain at the Group A summit.

Manchester United midfielder McTominay, meanwhile, has four goals in his last two international appearances after netting just once in his first 37.

Speaking after the full-time whistle, McTominay was aware of the significance of his second brace in three days, telling ViaPlay: "Look at this place. I've never seen anything like it, it's incredible!

"The manager said in his talk before we went out, 'This is your chance to make your own legacies as Scotland players'.

"These are the nights that in 20 or 30 years, people will remember, and they'll watch the game back and say, 'I was there'.

"That's what the game is about. These fans are amazing every time we come to Hampden and we can't thank them enough."

While the result provided a huge boost to Steve Clarke's hopes of leading Scotland to successive European Championships, the head coach is keen to ensure his players do not get carried away.  

Asked if Tuesday's victory was the best of his managerial career, Clarke said: "I've not had time to think about it or digest it yet, I'm just trying to get my voice back, to be honest!

"If you can produce a big result against one of the top teams in Europe, then people speak about it in years to come.

"The players were absolutely outstanding from the first minute to the last minute. It's a big night, it feels like a big step forward in what we're trying to do as a nation.

"But it's only six points, you don't qualify with six points. One bad game can always set you back, so we'll stay focused and keep our feet on the ground."

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