Ratings: Ronaldo & Mata were the stars; Elanga & Varane impressive; Dalot needs to have an output

There were a few goodbyes - United will find their feet in another new era at Old Trafford

Manchester United beat Brentford 3-0 in the final Premier League match of the season at Old Trafford. Bruno Fernandes scored his tenth of the season. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty, his 24th goal of the season and Raphael Varane scored his first goal for United.

Brentford started well forcing Raphaël Varane to give them a corner, which almost resulted in an early goal but Rico Henry’s attempt was too high, causing United some problems but the shot taking all of that away. It would have been a good start for the away side.

United almost scored through Cristiano Ronaldo moments later but he slipped in the box and caused no problems for Brentford. In the ninth minute, Bruno Fernandes, assisted by Anthony Elanga opened the scoring, reaching 50 goals for United, 10 so far this season.

Christian Eriksen forced a save from David De Gea in the eleventh minute of the match and Bryan Mbeumo missed the target six minutes later. In the 20th minute Mbeumo tried a through ball to Ivan Toney, but he was flagged offside.

Two minutes later, Toney missed the target with a shot, which should have been so much better from him, having scored 12 goals in the Premier League alone this season. In the 23rd minute Elanga won a free-kick for United, but nothing came of the attack.

Ronaldo saw a shot saved in the 24th minute which was a shame as he really was trying to double United’s lead in a period where just he, Fred and Fernandes had scored in the last eight matches. He wanted a penalty soo after missing, but the referee was adamant and did not give it.

In the 32nd minute of the match, after Ronaldo burst forward with the ball, slotting it to Juan Mata, the Spanish midfielder launched his shot towards the goal, just missing the target. It would have been a fitting goal for the magician, who could leave the club this summer.

Mbeumo missed another chance in the 37th minute as Brentford tried to level following Fernandes’ opening goal of the match 28 minutes prior to this attempt. If Brentford continue playing like that, they will head away from Old Trafford with some frustration.

United won a corner a minute later, but it came to nothing with Brentford having the ball launched deep into United’s area with Brentford seeking an equaliser. However, that did not come either with five minutes plus stoppage time in the first half.

Ronaldo scored a great goal at the end of the half with Mata playing the ball into him, beating the keeper from close range. After a VAR review, Ronaldo was just offside and the goal was chalked off. United were not happy with that though.

With moments of the first half remaining, Diogo Dalot sent the ball towards Ronaldo in the Brentford box, but once again his effort to find a teammate was not good enough. It seems that he could be finding himself without a future at United, especially if a new right-back is sought.

Nemanja Matić received a booking in the 54th minute of the match, the first player to be booked in the match. Eriksen had an attempt saved by De Gea a minute later as Brentford looked to find that elusive equaliser. Eriksen then played a through ball into Pontus Jansson, who was offside.

Toney and Mads Bech Sørensen both had an attempt saved and blocked in the same minute, which showed Brentford’s luck in this match. Ronaldo was then fouled on the hour with United awarded a penalty, which Ronaldo took, scoring his 24th goal of the season – his ninth in the last eight matches.

However, Ronaldo has only played in six of those matches with only Fred and Fernandes scoring, other than him with United scoring eleven goals in eight matches. It seems like it will be a strong finish at Old Trafford this season, but what a dreadful season it has been.

In the 71st minute Brentford made a double substitution with Mathias Jensen and Josh Dasilva replacing Christian Nørgaard and Vitaly Janelt. Rangnick made his first substitution of the evening with Fred returning from injury, replacing Matić, who was given a standing ovation as he walked off.

The Serbian is leaving the club this summer so the supporters thanked him for what he has done for the club so far, with two matches left this season. United scored a third goal a minute later with Varane scoring his debut goal of the season, assisted by Alex Telles.

In the 75th minute, Rangnick made a double substitution with Edinson Cavani and Phil Jones replacing Elanga and Mata. United seemed to have this match in the bag with a convincing win at that. There should have been a few more goals though.

With he season almost over and many players expected to leave the club following the likes of Matić, Paul Pogba and Cavani, their appearances in the final home game of the season will be a way to say thanks to the Old Trafford faithful who have supported them throughout the season.

Brentford made their third substitution in the 76th minute with Yoane Wissa replacing Mbeumo. Eriksen then had an attempt blocked with Brentford aiming to take away De Gea’s clean sheet but Scott McTominay then had one saved with Fernandes having one blocked.

It would seem that this would be it for United, a 3-0 victory over Brentford, a clean sheet and a strong finish at the Theatre of Dreams in the last home match of the season. United will need to be at the top of their game against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday also.

Two minutes were added at the end of the second half. It was all over at Old Trafford and Brentford will be happy that this defeat will not cost them with their Premier League status confirmed for next season. After Brighton, United will have 13 days before the last one against Crystal Palace.

Player Ratings

David De Gea: Kept his eighth clean sheet of the season which was well deserved, especially after his performance against Chelsea last week. Put in the effort this evening as United overpowered Brentford, who had a better midfield but no Cristiano Ronaldo. ★★★★★★★

Diogo Dalot: Seems to offer a lot going forward but in terms of production, he needs to nail that. He’s only just ahead of Wan-Bissaka and it seems he could be out the door in the summer. Dalot has potential but he needs to start delivering. Ten Hag will want so much more. ★★★★★

Victor Lindelöf: Put in the effort to stop Eriksen, heading the ball with the Danish midfielder seeking to find the target. Brentford pressed United in spells but the defence overcame that. I think the Swede works well with Varane and could stick around next season. ★★★★★★★

Raphaël Varane: Scored his first goal for United striking from a Telles corner putting United 3-0 up on the night. He could have cost United a goal (Toney) at the very start of the match but this goal will more than scratch that off after a good evening for him and United. ★★★★★★★

Alex Telles: Got his fourth assist of the season setting up the Varane goal which put United 3-0 up against Brentford. Played as an attacking player with United pushing Brentford but did his defensive duty too. Still can’t see him as more than a squad player, if he stays. ★★★★★★

Scott McTominay: Never really excelled against Brentford but did play a part in the game. Brentford’s midfield seemed to be better than United’s, which is a problem for the next manager to solve. McTominay has had a positive season but needs to offer much more. ★★★★★

Nemanja Matić: Played a solid game against Brentford and did everything that he needed to do. He was calm and composed despite Brentford’s midfield having a bit more oomph that United’s. He will be pleased with his offering this season. Replaced by Fred to a standing ovation. ★★★★★★

Anthony Elanga: Got his second assist of the season for Fernandes’ goal. It was a great show of skill for the player, who was just on side as he was despatching the ball. There will be some interest in him this summer. Replaced by Cavani. ★★★★★★

Bruno Fernandes: Scored his tenth goal of the season, his 50th for United since signing for the club in January 2020. Needed to raise his game and was pleased with that goal. Seemed determined to push United, which is good to see. ★★★★★★

Juan Mata: Seemed to turn back the years on his fifth Premier League appearance of the season, his first start in the league. Played a great ball into Ronaldo for him to score but he was ruled offside by VAR. It’s sad to think he might be leaving this summer. ★★★★★★★★

Cristiano Ronaldo: Scored his 24th goal of the season, albeit from the penalty spot after seeing one ruled out for offside in the first half. He has scored nine goals in United’s last eight matches, playing just six of them. What a match for Ronaldo tonight’s MOTM. ★★★★★★★★

Substitutes

Fred: Replaced Matić 71′. Good to see him back with United’s midfield low on experienced players. Played his part as United scored their third goal a minute later. He’s had a positive season and despite the boos, he has offered a lot this season. ★★★★★★

Edinson Cavani: Replaced Elanga 75′. Fit for the final home match of the season. Got a cameo but did not finish off with a goal. He might seek to score in the final two matches of the season though. He got to say goodbye to the Old Trafford faithful, which will mean a lot. ★★★★★

Phil Jones: Replaced Mata 75′. Came on for a cameo in what could be his final Old Trafford appearance, and that was something he seemed thankful for. Did what he needed to do but the match was won before his introduction. ★★★★★★

Goals: Bruno Fernandes 9′, Cristiano Ronaldo 61′ penalty, Raphael Varane 72′

Assists: Anthony Elanga 9′, Alex Telles 72′

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelöf, Varane, Telles; McTominay, Matić (Fred 71′); Elanga (Cavani 75′), Fernandes, Mata (Jones 75′); Ronaldo

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Fernández; Lingard, Garnacho; Rashford

Bookings: Nemanja Matić 54′

Written by John Walker

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About John Walker 1822 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.