Report: Brentford 1 United 3
Manchester United earned a vital 3-1 win over Brentford at the Brentford Community Stadium in the Premier League on Wednesday evening.
The hosts edged the first half, with David De Gea being called into action on several occasions to keep the scores level.
But it was United who had the better of the second period, and goals from Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood and substitute Marcus Rashford sealed an important win for Ralf Rangnick’s side.
FIRST HALF - DE GEA ON TOP FORM
The hosts started the first half with great intensity, and almost took the lead two minutes in when Mathias Jensen dragged his attempt narrowly wide.
United responded to Brentford’s early pressure, with Elanga’s looping header causing confusion between Jonas Lossl and the Bees’ backline, before they were able to clear.
As the half progressed, the home side had the better of the chances. After 13 minutes, De Gea produced an impressive save to deny Jensen, before Vitaly Janelt’s follow-up on the edge of the box was blocked well by a staunch United defence.
Moments later, Alex Telles was on hand to deflect a Mads Bech Sorenson effort wide, before Christian Norgaard fired over the bar from inside the box.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between for Ralf Rangnick’s men during the first half and our best effort came after 25 minutes, when Diogo Dalot unleashed a dangerous strike which flew just past the post.
De Gea was called into action once more before the break, making another superb save to deny Jensen again and ensure United went in level at the break.
SECOND HALF - THREE GOALS, THREE POINTS
Both sides began the second period at a fast pace and there were two big chances within the first three minutes.
First, Cristiano Ronaldo saw his header back across goal hit the bar before a Brentford counterattack culminated in Jensen’s shot being repelled by De Gea for the third time in the match.
But it was United who broke the deadlock, on 55 minutes, when Fred’s incisive forward ball found Elanga, who controlled it brilliantly before guiding a header into the net.
Greenwood doubled the Reds’ lead just after the hour-mark, slotting home from Bruno Fernandes’ unselfish pass, after he was released in behind by a brilliant chest-pass from Ronaldo.
Despite United’s clinical finishing, Brentford continued to threaten. Mads Roerslev almost got a goal back but sliced his effort over the bar. And as the match entered the final stages, Rashford, who entered the fray on 71 minutes, made the hosts pay, blasted into the roof of the net after being fed by Fernandes.
Ivan Toney gave Brentford some late hope when he scrambled the ball home with five minutes remaining, but United controlled the closing stages to see out a vital win.
Brentford: Lossl; Sorensen, Janson, Pinnock; Roerslev, Janelt (Baptiste 64), Norgaard, Jensen (Wissa 67), Canos (Henry 64); Mbeumo, Toney.
Subs not used: Fernandez, Forss, Ghoddos, Ajer, Bidstrup, Stevens.
Goal: Toney 85
United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; Fred, McTominay (Matic 85); Greenwood (Rashford 71), Fernandes (c), Elanga; Ronaldo (Maguire 71).
Subs not used: Heaton, Henderson, Jones, van de Beek, Mata, Martial.
Goals: Elanga 55, Greenwood 62, Rashford 77