Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson watched on as Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

The last time United played at the stadium, Fergie was in charge. This was the memorable 8-1 victory in 1999, which saw Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole score twice each, before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came off the bench to score a hat-trick.

This game was not as a high-scoring, but was a very satisfactory result for Manchester United.

United won 3-0, winning the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, with Marcus Rashford, Wout Weghorst, and Bruno Fernandes on the scoresheet.

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Nottingham Forest v Manchester United - Carabao Cup Semi Final 1st Leg
Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Sir Alex Ferguson was seen in the directors’ box with chief executive Richard Arnold, watching United chalk up a dominant victory.

Ferguson retired in 2013 and goes to watch as many United games as his health allows, recently at The Emirates for United’s 3-2 defeat to Arsenal at the weekend.

Most of Fergie’s time watching United has been unhappy, with the club struggling badly since his 2013 retirement. He flew out to Gdansk in 2021 for the Europa League final, and saw the team lose on penalties.

Another final looks to be on the horizon, with United taking a healthy lead into the second leg. A place at Wembley beckons, a stadium where Fergie experienced joy, and the odd disappointment too.

It will be Erik ten Hag’s first final, in his first season. Ferguson was appointed in 1986 and took until 1990 to win his first trophy, before the floodgates opened.

There is still the formality of a second leg to play, and lots of game time in between, however, it feels like United finally have a worthy successor to Ferguson with Ten Hag in charge.

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