Marcus Rashford goal secures the points for Manchester United
Manchester United secured their first Premier League victory in six weeks thanks to Marcus Rashford’s goal, which helped Erik ten Hag’s side overcome Brentford 1-0 and move back into the top four of the league table.
Although the Carabao Cup win in February demonstrated progress made by the Dutchman this season, the Red Devil’s inability to win any of their three league matches since then has raised concerns. Following a lackluster defeat to Newcastle on Sunday, Ten Hag once again questioned his players’ motivation.
However, United demonstrated resilience on Wednesday to defeat Brentford, who have been a surprise package this season, at Old Trafford.
Rashford, who is in excellent form, scored the game’s only goal in the first half from Marcel Sabitzer’s impressive knockdown, putting United on track for just their fourth Premier League win in their last ten top-flight matches.
Although The Bees improved in the second half, United dropped off, and Thomas Frank’s men were unable to find an equalizer on Wednesday.
David De Gea made a crucial save, spreading himself to block Kevin Schade’s attempt, as United gained some revenge for their 4-0 loss to Brentford in August, which was Ten Hag’s second match in charge.
That defeat was one of several alarming performances that have caused United to revert to what the former Ajax boss, Ten Hag, refers to as “old habits.”
Follwoing last month’s himiliating loss to Liverpool, Ten Hag chose to stick with an unchanged team and made only one change from their previous match against Newcastle. As a result, Wout Weghorst was dropped to the bench for the first time since joining on loan in January.
United struggled to break down Brentford’s five-man backline, and their lack of creativity and movement resulted in a frustrating start to the game. However, the Red Devils started to show some signs of life midway through the first half. McTominay came close to scoring when Antony caught Brentford off guard with a cutback, and the Scottish midfielder’s shot fizzed just over the bar.
Antony played a key role in United’s goal in the 27th minute. After collecting a cleared corner, he lifted the ball back into the box, and Sabitzer expertly cushioned a header into Rashford’s path, the English forward made no mistake and fired home from six yards.
Luke Shaw, who was making his 250th United appearance, was forced to leave the field after just 37 minutes due to injury, and Tyrell Malacia replaced him.
Antony once again had a chance to score but volleyed wide shortly after Shaw’s exit. He had two further shots before the break, while Rashford also attempted to increase the lead with two shots of his own.
The Bees were surprisingly passive, but De Gea nearly gave them a chance to equalize shortly after the break as Ivan Toney blocked his kick, and the ball went just wide.
Jadon Sancho and Antony both had attempts on goal, and Sabitzer was denied as the Red Devils continued to search for a second goal, but Brenford began to grow in confidence. Shandon Baptiste, who came on as a substitute, had a shot deflected wide, and De Gea had to make a brave save to block Schade’s attempt.
The collision between Schade and De Gea left the Spanish keeper needing treatment as both managers made changes in an attempt to alter the game’s dynamic.
Brentford’s initial uptick in threat petered out as United held firm. Fred fired a shot into the Stetford End, causing a collective grown from the home crowd.
The Bees offered little in response, with Aaron Hickey missing from distance and Ivan Toney chipping the ball over the bar in stoppage time.