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Sunday, February 7, 1999 Published at 09:38 GMT

United romp to record win

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scores the first of his four goals

Nott'm Forest 1-8 Manchester United

Norwegian international Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four goals in the last 11 minutes as United emphasised the gulf in class between top and bottom.

Ian Brown reports (BBC Radio 5 Live)
The visitors were already cruising to victory with two goals apiece from smash and grab partners Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke when Solskjaer was sent on as a substitute.

His first was a simple tap-in and three more goals followed as Forest's defence fell apart.

Veteran 'keeper Dave Beasant made a series of good saves in the first half, but he was powerless as United registered the biggest away win since the Premiership's inception.

"I thought the finishing was magnificent. Solskjaer was amazing," said United manager Alex Ferguson.

"In the second half you couldn't say there was a weakness in any of the forwards and to have 92 goals by February is pleasing."

New face on United bench

Ferguson had new assistant boss Steve McClaren alongside him for the first time and they witnessed an astonishing start with three goals in the first seven minutes.

[ image: Yorke: A prolific scorer since joining United]
Yorke: A prolific scorer since joining United
The first was simplicity itself as Dwight Yorke tucked a side-foot volley through Beasant's legs after only 90 seconds for his 20th of the season following a cross by Paul Scholes.

Forest produced the perfect riposte with a sixth minute equaliser from Alan Rogers, who found the corner with a low shot after linking with Jean-Claude Darcheville.

But their celebrations were cut short as Andy Cole beat Beasant and Armstrong to a long ball and put United back in front from a narrow angle.

Pierre van Hooijdonk had an effort well saved by United 'keeper Peter Schmeichel but the home side's defence continued to look anything but secure.

A relieved Beasant grabbed the ball after Cole's shot on the turn was blocked on the line and the striker was only inches wide with another chance after an excellent ball from Beckham.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson: "I was delighted with te strikers"
The game continued to flow towards the Forest goal but Beasant kept them in the game again with a well-timed dive on the edge of the box as Cole ran clear of his marker.

Paul Alcock, the referee pushed over by Paolo di Canio last September, was in charge of his first league game for three months and handed out his first yellow card to Roy Keane after the United midfielder handled deliberately.

Mistakes cost Forest

The visitors finished the first half on the attack with Cole again denied by Beasant and went close soon after the re-start as Scholes struck the outside of the post with a 20-yard drive.

Forest manager Ron Atkinson: "We have to bounce back"
But defensive errors cost Forest dear in the 49th minute as Cole scored the goal which put the game out of reach.

Jan Olav Hjelde and Carlton Palmer botched a clearance by going for the same ball, enabling Dwight Yorke to fire in a shot which Beasant failed to hold and Cole calmly converted the rebound.

Dougie Freedman squandered a chance to reduce the deficit and Andy Johnson clipped the United bar from outside the box.

But Forest fell further behind in the 66th minute when Hjelde diverted Jesper Blomqvist's cut-back against his own post and the unmarked Yorke slotted the rebound into an empty net for his 21st of the season.

[ image: The rout is complete]
The rout is complete
It was then a question of whether he or Cole could complete a hat-trick, but Yorke was denied his chance when United opted to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a run-out.

The Norwegian international made an instant impact by making it five after Gary Neville's 80th minute break into the penalty area.

David Beckham's chip sent Solskjaer clear eight minutes later and although Beasant got a hand to his attempted chip, the striker kept his head and took the loose ball around the 'keeper before hammering it into the net.

There was no sign of a marker as Solskjaer completed a hat-trick and his fourth followed in similar fashion in injury time.

Nott'm Forest: Beasant, Harkes, Rogers, Armstrong, Palmer, Hjelde, Gemmill, Johnson, Stone, Van Hooijdonk, Darcheville. Subs: Crossley, Bart-Williams, Mattsson, Freedman, Porfirio.

Man Utd: Schmeichel, G. Neville, Johnsen, Stam, P. Neville, Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Blomqvist, Cole, Yorke. Subs: Van Der Gouw, Butt, May, Curtis, Solskjaer.

Referee: P Alcock (Halstead)

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