Manchester United beat Brentford 3-1 at the Brentford Community Stadium in the Premier League. The first half was poor, even by United’s standards. Ten minutes into the second half Anthony Elanga opened the scoring with Fred assisting – which is his fourth of the season. Mason Greenwood doubled United’s lead with Marcus Rashford also finding a goal with Bruno Fernandes assisting both of them. It could have been a clean sheet for United but Ivan Toney scored a consolation in the 85th minute of the match. It was three points in the bag for United and now they must face West Ham United on Saturday at Old Trafford.
United seemed to be back to their uninspiring selves against Brentford. The Premier League new boys got the better of the Old Trafford club from the very start of the match. Without David De Gea in the squad this evening would have seen United losing – which is not a good position to be in. There are many problems to solve at United and they don’t seem to be getting any better. Against a team like Brentford, United should be inspired on the pitch and that does not seem to be happening. Something has to give for United this season and it does not seem to be happening. This team is lacking everything.
Rangnick’s instructions but either be ignored or none are being given with the interim manager on the sidelines with little or no emotion. This team has no drive, determination or anything about them. It was Brentford who were doing all the work in this half, which would need to be changed by United at some point or it will just be another case of points being dropped. United need to be doing a lot better. Having just four shots in the first half, none of those on target was not the best but I guess that is what happens. It was certainly going to be a touch second half for United and it would need to be with them needing a win in this match.
At the start of the second half there were no substitutions for either team. United seemed to be a bit better form the start of the second half but there was still improvement to be Gaines. Just ten minutes in, United took the lead through Anthony Elanga, who was played the ball by Fred, a player who tends to be criticised for not doing much but of late, he has provided some good assists this season – this one being his fourth. Elanga was given a great reception by the United faithful as he scored his first goal of the season. United needed to build on this goal to get the win, knowing what happened against Villa in their recent 2-2 draw.
Just seven minutes after opening the scoring, United doubled their lead which was important with Bruno Fernandes playing the assist to Mason Greenwood, who needed this goal after the bad patch he has endured through over the past few weeks. It was good to see United score a second goal, which should lead to more as they look to right some wrongs from the season. Just nine minutes after the second goal, Rangnick made a double substitution with Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire replacing Greenwood and Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his return from two matches on the sidelines this evening.
Six minutes after the double substitution, United scored a third goal with Fernandes getting his second assist of the evening – his eleventh of the season, seeing Marcus Rashford score his fourth goal of the season, which would have been welcome for him after the period of poor form he has been struggling with. It was much better for United but the writing was on the wall with United needing to change their ways. If Tottenham Hotspur did not beat Leicester City 3-2 this evening, which was left until the last few minutes of added time, United would have risen to sixth in the Premier League, but instead, if they still win, it will keep them in seventh.
In the 84th minute, after a few minutes of pain for Scott McTominay, his night was over as he seemed to be injured, which will be a shame for United as they seem to be a much better team with him on the pitch – even if he does receive a lot of criticism from the so-called supporters of the club. Nemanja Matic replaced the Scotland international. Just a minute lated, Brentford got a consolation with Ivan Toney putting the ball past De Gea, who will be annoyed that he was unable to keep a clean sheet. Christian Norgaard provided the assist for the home side. Rangnick will be happy with the result, not necessarily the performance.
There were four minutes added on at the end of the match and in the third minute, Fernandes had a good chance to score United’s fourth goal, which would have been his first of the match but he did not get anywhere near to scoring the goal. It won’t cost United as it stands but it was a big miss to make. United will face West Ham United at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, which is an important match for United and they will of course need to win as the Hammers are above them in the league. Three points were in the bag this evening, which is all that matters at the end of the day – hopefully this is something to build on.
Goals: Ivan Toney 85; Anthony Elanga 55′, Mason Greenwood 62′, Marcus Rashford 77′
Assists: Christian Norgaard 85′; Fred 55′, Bruno Fernandes 62′, 77′
Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; McTominay (Matic 84′), Fred; Greenwood (Rashford 71′), Fernandes, Elanga; Ronaldo (Maguire 71′)
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton, Henderson; Jones; Mata, Van de Beek; Martial
Written by John Walker