Man United suffer 4-0 thrashing at Brentford

man-united-suffer-4-0-thrashing-at-brentford

Manchester United slumped to the bottom of the early Premier League standings after a 4-0 thrashing at Brentford in what was Cristiano Ronaldo’s first start of the 2022-23 season on Saturday.

United’s calamitous afternoon began in typical fashion with David de Gea allowing Josh Dasilva’s tame, low effort through his hands and into the back of the net 10 minutes in.

Notebook: United told Ten Hag to lower expectations

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The lackadaisical United defence then had their deficit doubled eight minutes later. Ex-Brentford player Christian Eriksen, who was booed by the home fans earlier in the match, was harried out of possession by Mathias Jensen after a poor pass by De Gea and the midfielder dummied and sent the United player the wrong way to slot home.

On the half hour mark, Brentford had their third. More poor defending saw United’s defence at standstill when Ivan Toney headed a corner back across goal, and Ben Mee outbattled Lisandro Martinez to head in from close range.

Thomas Frank’s side continued the onslaught and scored their fourth goal five minutes later. In a perfectly-executed counter-attack, Ivan Toney slid the ball through to Brian Mbuemo, who shook off a challenge and fired past De Gea.

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“It was a horrible day,” De Gea said. “I should have saved the first shot and then the result may have been different.

“Other teams concede one goal and win 5-1. We have to react much better. It was a poor performance.”

It was the first time United had conceded four goals in the first half away from home in their Premier League history. Ten Hag’s side managed to stop the flow of conceded goals in the second half, but failed to convert their chances which would have restored some pride.

The demolition was Brentford’s first win over United in all competitions since a 2-0 victory in the FA Cup in February 1938. Former Ajax boss Ten Hag becomes the first United manager in over 100 years to lose his first two matches.

Brentford vs. Manchester United results, highlights and analysis as brilliant Bees humiliate Ten Hag’s Red Devils

A new era somehow managed to plumb new depths in its second game as Manchester United were ransacked 4-0 by Brentford.

All the goals came inside the first 35 minutes at the Gtech Community Stadium as Erik ten Hag’s dream job showed every indication of quickly descending into an unspeakable nightmare.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the starting XI, the only change in personnel from Sunday’s listless 2-1 defeat to Brighton, but a wretched error from David de Gea saw Josh Dasilva’s 10th-minute shot squirm into the bottom right corner.

Brentford were rampant from that point on, with United’s frailties brutally exposed time and again. Further goals from Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo left United bottom of the embryonic Premier League table.

Brentford vs. Manchester United final score
1H    2H    Final
Brentford         4        –       –
Man. United    0        –       –

Goals:

BRE — Josh Dasilva (Mathias Jensen) — 10th min.
BRE — Mathias Jensen — 18th min.
BRE — Ben Mee (Ivan Toney) — 30th min.
BRE — Bryan Mbeumo (Ivan Toney) — 35th min.

After sitting out United’s pre-season tour amid reports he wanted to leave the club, Ronaldo returned to lead the line, testing David Raya with an early shot. It was a routine save for the Brentford goalkeeeper, although his compatriot at the other end showed there is perhaps no such thing.

The hosts’ pressing left United dishevelled throughout the first half and Ronaldo crumpled under pressure from Christian Norgaard and Jensen, with the latter feeding Dasilva. Buoyed by scoring Brentford’s late equaliser at Leicester last weekend, the attacking midfielder’s shot was accurate but without any of the ferocity to excuse De Gea letting it squirm through his gloves.

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Ten Hag wants United to build their attacks from the back but it proved a catastrophic ploy in the 18th minute. De Gea and Lisandro Martinez dallied before the goalkeeper passed to Christian Eriksen. On his return to the ground where he thrilled on his football comeback last season, the Danish playmaker had his pocket picked by Je, who slotted in a cool finish.

Diminutive defender Martinez was substituted at halftime, with his afternoon having become an ordeal when Mee bullied him out of the way to convert from close range on his Brentford debut.

Number four brought the house down as Brentford tore forward on the break. Ivan Toney’s pass across the field was sublime and the brilliant Mbeumo found a finish to match.

Ronaldo came close from a couple of Diogo Dalot crosses early in the second half, but Brentford were happy to contain and manage the game at that point. They did not need to do any more. Mastery of such basics feels like a pipedream for Ten Hag’s rabble right now.

How Brentford dominated Manchester United
Every goal in this delirious corner of west London seemed to highlight what Brentford did brilliantly and United did badly. Over recent years, for every time De Gea has saved United from greater woes, he’s been complicit in some terrible losses. There was no excuse whatsoever for his part in the first goal and, although he should not shoulder all the blame, the sight of him being ponderous with the ball at his feet on Jensen’s goal will come as no surprise whatsoever to regular watchers.

But the pressing that undid first Ronaldo and then Eriksen was a hallmark of Brentford’s gameplan that married brains and brawn perfectly. Jensen read not only the pass to Eriksen but the fact he would try to find Harry Maguire, meaning the United man was blindsided as possession was stolen.

Brentford’s players covered almost 14 kilometres more than their opponents over the course of the contest and when they weren’t chewing up the ground in front of them they were dominating United in the air. The only surprise around Mee’s goal was that it had taken 30 minutes for the Bees’ set pieces to bear fruit. The fourth will be celebrated in these parts for decades to come and again showed Brentford operating at a level of ruthlessness and drive far above that of their opponents.

Erik ten Hag makes a bad Manchester United worse
United have now lost their past seven Premier League away games by an aggregate score of 21-2. It’s fair to say that Ten Hag is dealing with a rot that is set very deep. However, over the past two weekends, he has contrived to make a bad situation worse, tunnelling a little deeper down beneath the presumed rock bottom.

United’s recruitment this summer has been incredibly sub-optimal, with the club’s footballing operation behind the scenes showing little indication of emerging from shambles. However, the board have managed to bring in a few new players for their manager. Martinez was a talisman in his Ajax side but the 5ft 9in defender did not look up to the task against Toney.

It was a humiliation he could have been spared as multiple Champions League winner Raphael Varane waited on the bench to replace him at half-time. Eriksen was a more opportunistic signing but one who understands the Ajax way. That does not mean he should be asked to play as a false nine one week and a holding midfielder the next, remarkably bringing more instability to a team packed with players such as Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Maguire, who look utterly bereft.

What is Manchester United’s worst Premier League loss?
This did not rank among United’s top-five Premier League losses. The 6-1 defeat to Manchester City in October 2011 is still top of the tree, although United took the title race to the final day that season. When they lost 5-0 to Newcastle in 1996/97 and by the same scoreline to Chelsea in 1999/00, they went on to win the league on each occasion. They had Alex Ferguson to pick up a fine team and dust it down then; now United are rudderless.

They also lost 5-0 to Liverpool at Old Trafford last season and shipped a 4-0 loss at Anfield — one of six times in the past year they have let in four or more goals on the road, a Premier League high. United host Liverpool in nine days’ time. You really do dread to think.

Brentford vs. Manchester United live updates and highlights
Fulltime: McTominay commits a foul that could easily have seen him collect a second yellow card. But Stuart Attwell opts for mercy and calls fulltime. There’ll be plenty of picking over the smoldering wreckage of this latest United car crash, but let’s reserve the final thought of our live text for Brentford.

The Bees were relentless, intelligent and effervescently brilliant during the first half, tearing wounded prey to pieces. It’s their finest Premier League moment, a day that will be talked about at the London club for decades to come. Thomas Frank’s men are understandably lapping up every moment as United’s players trudge off forlornly in disgrace. Thanks for joining us!

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90th minute+4: If you’re playing humiliating Manchester United defeat bingo, Bruno Fernandes has just collected a petulant booking.

90th minute+1: McTominay turns, tuns again about 25 yards or so from goal. Then chips a square pass out for a throw. This lot are untenable.

89th minute: Rashford picks up the sort of forlorn booking that comes around when you’re 4-0 down and being attacked on the break in the 89th minute.

87th minute: Off goes Eriksen — much to the delight of Brentford fans, who are just harrumphing their way through things at this point. On comes Van de Beek, who must surely end up starting game by default quite soon.

85th minute: Last-ditch block from Maguire and a fairly stunning save from De Gea as United hang on to 4-0.

83rd minute: Sometimes substitutes struggle to get up to the pace of their team-mate but that from McTominay is as rubbish as anything anyone else in a United shirt has produced. Rank touch, pocket picked by Onyeka, horrible lunging challenge to try and rectify things. Booked.

81st minute: Eriksen, who has kept plugging away when he could have just buckled under the weight of thinking “Oh god, what have I done”, produces a lovely bit of technique to hook a bouncing ball just wide on the volley.

79th minute: Hickey – the sort of shrewd, unfussy transfer business United could learn a thing or two from – and Norgaard are the latest to make way to rapturous ovations.

73rd minute: The ball almost breaks to Elanga in the Brentford box but Jansson gets in to clear. Goalscorers Mbeumo and Jensen, who have both been sensational, are coming off. Brentford have declared and it’s fine.

69th minute: The players just stopped for drinks midway through the half. De Gea, looking in a righteous funk, stayed standing in his goal.

67th minute: Rashford does a thing! The United forward comes to life down the right channel and swivels to deliver a chipped cross. The delivery is lacking a touch of power and the on-rushing Eriksen heads into Raya’s arms.

66th minute: Since the substitutions, this has been played at a bit of a testimonial pace. Whether United were ever playing at greater intensity than that is a matter for debate.

62nd minute: Dasilva, who set all of this mayhem in motion in the 10th minute, makes way to a standing ovation. Janelt is on for Brentford.

60th minute: Important challenge from Malacia there to thwart Toney, who you really could not begrudge a goal. That’s another fairly woeful afternoon in a United shirt in the books for Sancho. On comes Elanga.

59th minute: Another great delivery from Jensen but United are on point this time. Malacia wallops it up the field for Sancho to chase, but Mbeumo gets all the way back to snuff out the danger. On Sky, Gary Neville has compared the efforts of Marcus Rashford very unfavourably to his Brentford counterpart.

57th minute: Roerslev, a wing-back by trade, gets on the overlap outside Hickey and forces another Brentford corner. The hosts have been electric down their right flank at times. Toney peels away to the back post but Eriksen spots the old training ground routine and clears behind for another.

54th minute: Ronaldo works the ball on to Malacia whose speculative drive is blocked. Dasilva hoofs clear. In a not particularly crowded field, you’d count this as United’s best spell of the match.

52nd minute: The same combination again for United. Dalot spots a typically bright Ronaldo run and he heads onto the roof of the net. Brentford need to nip that in the bud.

51st minute: Dalot spots Ronaldo’s run and sends in a searching early cross. The veteran forward gets in front of Roerslev and heads wide. A half-chance at best, maybe more for someone of his considerable calibre.

50th minute: United are struggling against Brentford corners so could do without Sancho absent-mindedly booting the ball over his own byline. McTominay misses the clearance and the ball finds its way to his international team-mate Hickey, who forces De Gea to save at the near post.

48th minute: Varane is right into the action with an important interception but United are sleeping from the throw-in. Henry has the freedom of the left flank and that leads to another long throw-in opportunity. United escape this time.

46th minute: Ten Hag has rolled the dice and made three changes. Varane, Malacia and McTominay are on for Martinez, Shaw and Fred.

Halftime: United at least manage to survive a corner in the last act of the half. But that was complete and utter humiliation. New regimes and new playing styles can have tricky bedding-in periods. Even with that in mind, and considering United’s myriad struggles of late, this feels like a shocking new low. And that’s not to damn Brentford with faint praise. Frank’s side have been relentlessly excellent. They need not have bothered being that good.

45th minute+2: Free-kick to United but Hickey thundering into Ronaldo and leaving him rolling on the floor shows everything about the respective levels of commitment to the task on show.

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44th minute: As well as scoring four more goals, Brentford have run almost five kilometres more than United in this first half, according to a graphic Sky Sports just put up. Suppose that means they might at least get tired?

44th minute: As well as scoring four more goals, Brentford have run almost five kilometres more than United in this first half, according to a graphic Sky Sports just put up. Suppose that means they might at least get tired?

38th minute: Raya comes out and clatters Rashford and the ball. The England forward is in a heap on the floor. In metaphorical terms, so are all his team-mates.

35th minute: GOOOOAAALLLLL!!!! Mbeumo!!!!!

Unbelievable. That’s a sensational counter-attacking goal from Brentford! Toney surges down the left, sizes up Martinez but pings a lovely ball across to Mbeumo, who coolly shrugs off Shaw and dispatches the finish.

30th minute: GOOOOAALLLLL!!!!! Mee!!!!

This is an absolute turkey shoot. Mbeumo hangs one to the back post, it’s nodded back across goal and Mee bullies Martinez to score on his home debut.

29th minute: Trial by set piece is not United’s route back into this match. Jensen, who’s having a rare old time out there, is troubling them with his delivery. Now a corner from the right from, and…

27th minute: De Gea stands over a goal kick. United ponder another short pass routine. The home fans goad them. De Gea waves his team up the pitch and boots it. Ten Hag looks relatively displeased. It’s all a bit embarrassing right now.

25th minute: We’re stopping for drinks, given the sapping heat. Brentford’s high pressing has ridden roughshod over whatever it is United are trying to do here. In these conditions, it’s questionable how long Frank’s men will be able to maintain their intensity. Of course, if they have to retreat into a defensive shell, they can do so with a 2-0 lead.

21st minute: The Gtech Community Stadium is not known as one of English football’s great crucibles but this is awfully uncomfortable for United. “Going down with the Fulham”, the home fans chortle, before Ten Hag gets told he’ll be out of work tomorrow.

18th minute: GOOOOAAALLL!!!! Jensen!!!!

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Ten Hag wants his team to play out from the back in the Barcelona/Ajax style but you can’t telegraph it like that. Maguire and Martinez fan wide and Eriksen drops in for the pass from De Gea. The only problem is Jensen has stayed on his tail all the way, nicks the ball and slots home.

17th minute: Jensen steps up and bashes it over from just inside the D. He’ll be disappointed not to have tested De Gea there.

16th minute: Goodness, United are all over the shop again. Maguire lunges in on the edge of the box. The home fans want him gone for thudding into James Toney but it’s a booking.

15th minute: Ten Hag is scribbling down notes on the bench, showing scant regard for the meme potential of his actions.

11th minute: United look for an instant response but Fernandes clatters over from the edge of the box and the home fans respond in the pantomime style.

10th minute: GOOAAALLLL!!! Dasilva!!!!

Brentford lead and it’s an absolute howler from De Gea! Ronaldo wants after being roughed out of possession by a combination of Norgaard and Jensen. There’s nothing wrong with the challenge, though, and Jensen emerges with the ball to feed Dasilva. The forward’s shot from 25 yards is aimed in decent fashion towards the bottom corner. De Gea should gather it easily but it slips through his grasp and in.

7th minute: United look to get back on the front foot but Shaw is late and a little rash into a challenge on Hickey and the hosts are able to take a breath.

6th minute: Jensen launches a long throw into the United box. Expect to see a lot of that today. The visitors do not deal with it convincingly and the ball is scrambled behind. Ten Hag’s men shape up better from the resulting corner and Henry wallops a bouncing ball way over from outside the box.

4th minute: Ronaldo gets his first shot off. It’s a speculative one from out on the right and Raya gets in behind a well-struck effort to catch it on the bounce.

2nd minute: Ronaldo goes down under an early challenge on the edge of the box after a smart turn and pass from Rashford. Nothing doing as far as referee Stuart Attwell is concerned.

5 mins to KO: ‘Hey Jude’ is ringing around the ground, as is customary at Brentford. United might find that all a bit ickily Etihad Stadium. Here come the teams, Brentford in their traditional red and white stripes and United in a kit brighter than the evening sun.

15 mins to KO: Frank has just confirmed on Sky Sports that Brentford will operate with a back three. He also expects conditions to play a part. It’s absolutely sweltering in west London.

On Ronaldo’s inclusion, Ten Hag said: “We have problems with numbers in the squad in the offensive part. He is always a threat to score goals. In the second half last week when he came on, it made a difference in the game. I expect the same today as well.”

On Ronaldo’s inclusion, Ten Hag said: “We have problems with numbers in the squad in the offensive part. He is always a threat to score goals. In the second half last week when he came on, it made a difference in the game. I expect the same today as well.”

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45 mins to KO: Ronaldo coming in for Scott McTominay is Ten Hag’s only alteration to last weekend’s XI in terms of personnel but it will mean a change in shape, probably to the 4-3-3 United played throughout pre-season. Fred will be the lone midfield pivot behind Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes, with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho flanking Ronaldo in attack.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has made two changes to the side that game from 2-0 down to claim a draw at Leciester on the opening weekend. Mads Roerslev is in for Vitaly Janelt and Josh Dasilva is rewarded for his late leveller with a place ahead of Yoane Wissa.

1hr 20 mins to KO: Are we about to see Cristiano Ronaldo’s first competitive start under Ten Hag? United improved after his introduction before the hour last weekend, although that probably said as much about the paucity of their play beforehand. Anthony Martial is sidelined and the manager again insisted on Friday that Ronaldo is part of his plans.

“He had a good training week. He’s had two half-games [against Rayo Vallecano in pre-season and Brighton] and for the starting XI we will see tomorrow,” Ten Hag said. “I have made the decision, I keep it.”

1 hr 40 mins to KO: There was a lot to unpack from United’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford last weekend, and not too much of it was very pleasant for the hosts. The scoreline flattered them and it became abundantly clear that leaving Ten Hag with the bulk of the team that shambled their way through last season is not a long-term plan. He’s a tactician, not a magician.

What time is Brentford vs. Manchester United?
Brentford play host to Manchester United at the Gtech Community Stadium in London, UK. It kicks off at 5.30 p.m. BST on Saturday, August 13.

Brentford vs. Manchester United TV channel, live stream
UK: Matches are carried across Sky Sports and BT Sport streaming and TV platforms, with select matches on Amazon Prime. This match will be shown on Sky Sports.

USA: Select matches are televised on USA Network (English) and Telemundo or Universo (Spanish), and all three channels can be streamed on fuboTV. The rest of the matches are streamed on NBC platform Peacock for subscribers. This match will be shown on USA Network/Universo and live streamed on fuboTV.

Canada: Every Premier League game streams live and on demand exclusively via fuboTV.

Australia: Fans in Australia can stream matches live and on demand on Optus Sport.

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