Ratings: Elanga and Pereira score against Brentford; Pellistri and Lingard also showed promise in Old Trafford draw

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Manchester United drew 2-2 with Brentford at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. Jesse Lingard nearly scored in the opening few minutes but it was Anthony Elanga who opened the scoring in the 12th minute of the match after Aaron Wan-Bissaka played in the cross from the right. Shandon Baptiste equalised in the 20th minute of the match, which was a stunning strike on goal. Andreas Pereira restored United with the lead in the 50th minute, similarly to Baptiste’s goal in the first half, which was great to see. United then fell foul of some poor defending in the 78th minute as Bryan Mbeumo found an equaliser. Preston North End is the next test for United this pre-season, playing away from home on Saturday afternoon.

United started well in their first pre-season match at Old Trafford. Jesse Lingard started in fine form too, just like he did against Queens Park Rangers at the weekend. The United academy graduate launched a shot on goal, which did not open the scoring but was very close. United eventually took the lead in the 12th minute of the match with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, on the day he was criticised by Charlie Austin as not being good enough for United, crossed the ball into the box for Anthony Elanga to find the back of the net to see United take the lead in this match. It was a great finish. It was short-lived though as Shandon Baptiste found an equaliser from a shot just outside the box eight minutes later.

It was a good first half for both teams with many players looking positive on the pitch. There was no breakthrough despite chances for both teams. Solskjaer will be happy with what he has seen but will be getting ready for a few changes at the start of the second half, with more around the 60 minute mark. Elanga, Wan-Bissaka and Lingard all played well and I would like to see more of them in the second half. For Brentford, Shandon Baptiste, Ivan Toney and Tariq Fosu were three of the names that I feel did well against this young United side. The trio could do very well in the Premier League next season, which would be good to see. United will need to do more in this match to get a win, otherwise the likes of Jonny will be moaning again, bless them.

At the start of the second half, after many thought there would be many changes for United, Solskjaer made just one change with Diogo Dalot replacing Brandon Williams, who received a knock in the first half. The last time he played at Old Trafford, he was playing for AC Milan in the UEFA Europa League. The match soon got going again with United on the attack. The ball was played into the box but Brentford cleared the danger by Andreas Pereira latched onto the ball just on the outside of the box, playing in a shot over the top, which hit the inside of the crossbar and hit the back of the net, similar to that of Baptiste from the first half of the match. United were back in front and seeking to get a win at Old Trafford this evening.

Solskjaer made a triple substitution in the 62nd minute of the match with James Garner, Daniel James and Facundo Pellistri replacing Pereira, Elanga and Juan Mata. United were doing well after the changes were made but did not seem to want to advance their score, not that it matters much in pre-season matches, unless you are Jonny! Solskjaer then made another triple substitution with Shola Shoretire, Hannibal Mejbri and Donny van de Beek replacing Lingard, Mason Greenwood and Nemanja Matic. Shortly after the change, Brentford equalised for the second time in the match with Bryan Mbeumo beating Dalot on the left flank, cutting in and beating Tom Heaton from an angle. It was a shame that other goal was conceded but it happens in pre-season.

It was not a win at the Theatre of Dreams but there was many positives from this match. Elanga looks like a player who has what it takes to succeed at this club. Lingard seems to be ready to give something, if he remains at the club this season. Pereira did what he has done during most pre-season campaigns – scored great goal. Pellistri looks like a great talent and in a year’s time, he could be some player. Heaton seems to be ready to give something, which could ruffle a few feathers. It was a good game and fitness was the aim of it. United will take on Preston North End on Saturday away from home, then Everton at Old Trafford the following week. Leeds United are on the horizon now and United are getting ready for that match.

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Goals: Anthony Elanga 12’, Andreas Pereira 50′; Shandon Baptiste 20’, Bryan Mbeumo 78′

Assists: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 12’; Ivan Toney 20’, Finley Stevens 78′

Manchester United: Heaton; Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Mengi, Williams (Dalot 46′); Matic (Van de Beek 76′), Andreas (Garner 62′); Lingard (Shoretire 76′), Mata (Pellistri 62′), Elanga (James 62′); Greenwood (Hannibal 76′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Kovar; Fish; Levitt, Galbraith; Hugill

Bookings: N/A

Written by John Walker

About John Walker 1580 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.