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Brentford 1-3 Man Utd: Marcus Rashford gives visitors comfortable win

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Brentford Community Stadium
Marcus Rashford scores against Brentford
Marcus Rashford is just the third Manchester United player to score 10 Premier League goals as a substitute

Manchester United recovered after being rescued by the heroics of goalkeeper David de Gea to run out comfortable winners at Brentford.

Ralf Rangnick's side survived a torrid opening 45 minutes, when their performance was laced heavily with mediocrity - as De Gea made key saves from Mathias Jensen and the home side missed other big chances.

It was a different story after the break as United, no doubt fired up by a few well-chosen words from Rangnick, turned up the intensity and the quality to punish Brentford for their profligacy.

Teenager Anthony Elanga headed his first goal of the season from Fred's pass 10 minutes after the break before Cristiano Ronaldo's superb chest pass helped Bruno Fernandes set up the second unselfishly for Mason Greenwood.

Ronaldo produced a ridiculous show of petulance with a slow stroll off, some very obvious muttering and a burst of anger on the bench after he was substituted with 20 minutes left.

But Rangnick's change was fully justified as substitute Marcus Rashford scored with a smooth near-post finish after 77 minutes, with Fernandes the creator again.

Ivan Toney pulled one back in a scramble late on but the damage was done for Brentford when they failed to cash in after carving United open in the first half.

De Gea the difference as Man Utd come good

Brentford 1-3 Man Utd: Red Devils boss pleased his side showed "attitude" in second half

Manchester United were leaning on a familiar pillar during a shocking first half when Brentford's pace, energy and direct running threatened on a regular basis.

De Gea was the key figure as United creaked, twice thwarting Jensen when his legs when it looked certain the Bees would take the lead.

It was the only positive in a dismal first 45 minutes from United when they lacked urgency, aggression and any shred of creativity, as they lost challenges and were constantly forced on to the back foot.

United boss Rangnick will have been relieved to get United in at the interval on level terms and no doubt a strong message, and not a complimentary one, was delivered.

To United's credit, they responded with real vigour and once Elanga put them in front they were always in control, with further goals from Greenwood and Rashford putting the gloss on a much-improved second half.

The sight of Rashford finishing with such efficiency, and Fernandes back in his role of creator, will have lifted Rangnick as United kept on the heels of the top four. They are in seventh place but are only two points behind West Ham in fourth with a game in hand.

Brentford's big regrets

Brentford 1-3 Manchester United: Bees 'destroyed' Man Utd in first half - Thomas Frank

Brentford will know they only have themselves to blame for a defeat that could have been a victory had they shown a cutting edge in the first half.

Thomas Frank's side sensed United were vulnerable in the first half and reduced the visitors' defence to a state of panic at various stages.

Sadly for Brentford, Jensen could not take those opportunities and Brentford's finishing was wayward on other occasions when they looked like capitalising on their superiority.

As they went in level at half-time, the big fear was that wastefulness would come back to haunt them and so it proved.

There was almost a sense of inevitability that United would punish them and once Elanga broke the deadlock, the hosts could not get back into the game.

Brentford, however, once again looked competitive and comfortable at this level. Their attitude and application could not be faulted. It was only the final product that was missing and they are still in a position in the Premier League they would have gladly settled for at the start of the season.

Ronaldo's petulance an unnecessary sideshow

Manchester United were well in control when Rangnick decided to remove Ronaldo with 20 minutes left and send on Rashford.

It was hardly controversial but we were treated to the full range of Ronaldo complaints as he walked off at snail's pace, shaking his head and muttering before having a rather comical struggle with his coat in the dugout.

All in all, this was not a happy Ronaldo as his ego provided a completely unnecessary sideshow to United's win, which was pretty much sealed by the time he was taken off.

Rangnick was completely unmoved as Ronaldo fumed but was then completely justified in his decision as Rashford finished Brentford off with a lovely near post finish that gave goalkeeper Jonas Lossl no chance.

United's interim manager leaned over to give the pouting Portuguese what was presumably an explanation for his decision, not that he needed to. Rashford's goal was explanation enough.

It was a needless exhibition by Ronaldo who, for all his brilliance, still gives off the air of a player and personality who almost thinks he is bigger than Manchester United.

Ronaldo does himself no good with such antics - especially when his manager's change worked so successfully.

Player of the match

de GeaDavid de Gea

with an average of 6.80


  1. Squad number17Player nameToney
    Average rating


  2. Squad number19Player nameMbeumo
    Average rating


  3. Squad number6Player nameNørgaard
    Average rating


  4. Squad number8Player nameJensen
    Average rating


  5. Squad number30Player nameRoerslev
    Average rating


  6. Squad number7Player nameCanós
    Average rating


  7. Squad number29Player nameBech Sørensen
    Average rating


  8. Squad number18Player nameJansson
    Average rating


  9. Squad number27Player nameJanelt
    Average rating


  10. Squad number5Player namePinnock
    Average rating


  11. Squad number49Player nameLössl
    Average rating


  12. Squad number3Player nameHenry
    Average rating


  13. Squad number26Player nameBaptiste
    Average rating


  14. Squad number11Player nameWissa
    Average rating


Manchester United

  1. Squad number1Player namede Gea
    Average rating


  2. Squad number10Player nameRashford
    Average rating


  3. Squad number36Player nameElanga
    Average rating


  4. Squad number39Player nameMcTominay
    Average rating


  5. Squad number18Player nameBruno Fernandes
    Average rating


  6. Squad number11Player nameGreenwood
    Average rating


  7. Squad number19Player nameVarane
    Average rating


  8. Squad number7Player nameCristiano Ronaldo
    Average rating


  9. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Dalot
    Average rating


  10. Squad number31Player nameMatic
    Average rating


  11. Squad number27Player nameAlex Telles
    Average rating


  12. Squad number2Player nameLindelöf
    Average rating


  13. Squad number17Player nameFred
    Average rating


  14. Squad number5Player nameMaguire
    Average rating




Formation 3-5-2

  • 49Lössl
  • 5Pinnock
  • 18Jansson
  • 29Bech Sørensen
  • 30Roerslev
  • 8JensenSubstituted forWissaat 67'minutes
  • 6Nørgaard
  • 27JaneltSubstituted forBaptisteat 64'minutes
  • 7CanósSubstituted forHenryat 64'minutes
  • 19Mbeumo
  • 17Toney


  • 3Henry
  • 9Forss
  • 11Wissa
  • 14Ghoddos
  • 20Ajer
  • 26Baptiste
  • 28Bidstrup
  • 36Stevens
  • 40Fernández

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 20Dalot
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 19Varane
  • 27Alex Telles
  • 17Fred
  • 39McTominaySubstituted forMaticat 84'minutes
  • 11GreenwoodSubstituted forRashfordat 71'minutes
  • 18Bruno Fernandes
  • 36Elanga
  • 7Cristiano RonaldoSubstituted forMaguireat 71'minutes


  • 4Jones
  • 5Maguire
  • 8Mata
  • 9Martial
  • 10Rashford
  • 22Heaton
  • 26Henderson
  • 31Matic
  • 34van de Beek
Andre Marriner

Match Stats

Home TeamBrentfordAway TeamMan Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Brentford 1, Manchester United 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Brentford 1, Manchester United 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fred with a through ball.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United).

  5. Post update

    Ivan Toney (Brentford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ethan Pinnock (Brentford) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Bryan Mbeumo with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Diogo Dalot.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Nemanja Matic (Manchester United).

  9. Post update

    Yoane Wissa (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Mads Bech Sørensen.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Brentford 1, Manchester United 3. Ivan Toney (Brentford) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Christian Nørgaard.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ethan Pinnock (Brentford) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Nemanja Matic replaces Scott McTominay because of an injury.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Alex Telles.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Brentford 0, Manchester United 3. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Bruno Fernandes.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mads Roerslev (Brentford) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Mads Bech Sørensen with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ivan Toney (Brentford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Shandon Baptiste.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ivan Toney (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  20. Post update

    Hand ball by Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

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