Marcus Rashford

Report: United 1 Brentford 0

Wednesday 05 April 2023 22:15

Manchester United are back to winning ways in the Premier League after beating Brentford 1-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.

A dominant first-half display was rewarded by our deserved lead at the break, courtesy of Marcus Rashford and his thumping finish to roun off a well-worked move that involved both Antony and Marcel Sabitzer. 

David De Gea made a massive save in the second half to deny Brentford a route back into the game; one that would be crucial come full-time with only a single goal in it. 

All three points sees Erik ten Hag's men move back into the top four, although Newcastle United won 5-1 at West Ham United to remain third. 

Marcus Rashford's first-half goal was the difference tonight.


Prior to kick-off, Ten Hag demanded a reaction from his players in the wake of Sunday’s defeat to Newcastle. Under the lights of Old Trafford, that is exactly what United looked to deliver. The Reds were electric from the off, surging forward and sustaining pressure inside Brentford’s own half. 

Despite some nice passages of play, our first clear sight of goal wouldn’t come until the 20-minute mark with the chance falling to Scott McTominay. Link up between Diogo Dalot and Antony saw the latter lift the ball into the direction of the Scotland international, but he could only watch on as his beautifully hit strike flew narrowly over the bar. A few moments later, Antony was involved again as he looked to open the scoring with his trademark shot, but it bounced just wide of the goal. 

In the approach to the 30-minute mark, Sabitzer drove forward with the ball and combined well with Luke Shaw, but his eventual effort was deflected behind for a corner. The Bees cleared the initial set-piece, but Antony picked up the loose ball and lofted it into Sabitzer. The Austrian cushioned his header towards Rashford, who made no mistake from close range and thumped his effort into the roof of the net. 

A goal up, we gathered momentum and upped the ante with some wonderful football. Our best chance following the breakthrough came just before the end of the half, with a quick raid from the back but Rashford’s venomous ball into the danger zone from a tight angle was gathered by David Raya as we headed into the interval a goal to the good.

Chasing the game, Brentford came out for the second half with real intent and came close to levelling the score almost instantly as a result of their high press. As we looked to play out from the back, De Gea’s intended pass was closed down quickly by Ivan Toney, with the Brentford centre-forward almost seeing his deflection go in, but it bounced wide in what was a let-off for us at the back. 

Just as we did multiple times on the night, the Reds played some slick football to progress up the field in search of our second goal. Sabitzer – who was influential in the middle of the park – was at the heart of another electric attack, though his resulting effort on goal was tame and allowed Raya to gather with ease. 

De Gea came up trumps for Ten Hag’s side after the hour mark with the best save of the night. With Brentford enjoying more of the ball in the second 45 minutes, a clever flick-on from Toney set substitute Kevin Schade clean through, but our no.1 made himself big to deny the Bees forward a certain goal, hurting himself in the process.
David De Gea made a huge save to deny Schade deep into the second half.

With plenty of attacking changes made by Bees boss Thomas Frank, we spent spells of the second half defending with great poise to keep the London club at bay. Lisandro Martinez, in particular, seemed to avoid putting a foot wrong all night with yet another assured performance at the back. Fred could have made the points safe but fired over, when teed up by Rashford, who had initially been released by a great pass from Fernandes.

Toney had Brentford’s last effort of the game, with an audacious chip from range, after Fernandes's clearance fell to him, but it sailed right over De Gea’s goal. With Frank’s men unable to have that clinical edge up top, Rashford’s first-half opener proved to be the difference between one and three points in front of the Old Trafford faithful. 

Ten Hag and the Reds will be back in action on Saturday afternoon, when we welcome Everton to the Theatre of Dreams for a lunchtime kick-off. 

Anthony Martial back in action at The Theatre of Dreams.

United: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw (Malacia 37); Sabitzer (Fred 71), McTominay; Antony (Lindelof 86), Fernandes, Sancho (Martial 71); Rashford. 

Unused substitutes: Butland, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Pellistri, Weghorst.

Goals: Rashford 28.

Bookings: Shaw 24; McTominay 42; Fernandes 59.

Brentford: Raya, Roerslev (Hickey 75), Mee, Pinnock, Jansson, Henry; Damsgaard (Dasilva 62), Jensen (Baptiste 62), Norgaard (Wissa 75); Mbeumo (Schade 62), Toney.

Unused substitutes: Strakosha, Jorgensen, Ghoddos, Stevens.

Bookings: Damsgaard 50; Norgaard 61.