Things we noticed against Brentford

Wednesday 05 April 2023 22:15

Manchester United returned to winning ways in the Premier League, recording an impressive 1-0 win over Brentford at Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford's first-half strike proved to be the difference between the two sides, as we climbed back into the top four in the process.

Battling hard and recording yet another clean sheet on home soil, it was the perfect response from Erik ten Hag's side, after our disappointing defeat against Newcastle United a few days ago.

Following an entertaining battle in M16, read the key talking points from a hard-fought victory for the Reds...

Report: United 1 Brentford 0


United are back to winning ways in the Premier League, thanks to Marcus Rashford's strike.


Pictured in the stands at Old Trafford this evening, midfielder Christian Eriksen watched on as the Reds faced off against familiar faces for the Dane. Having spent the second half of last season with the Bees, after his release from Internazionale, our no.14 swapped London for Manchester in the summer but has been out of action since January, after suffering a nasty injury during our FA Cup fourth-round victory over Reading. Hopefully, set to return to first-team action in the coming weeks, Eriksen's re-introduction will serve as a huge boost for Ten Hag and he himself will no doubt hope to end the season on a high.


Having failed to find the net in our previous three Premier League outings, there was certainly no lack of confidence on show, as the Reds swept home a stunning opening goal at the Theatre of Dreams. With the ball falling to Antony on the edge of the area, most inside Old Trafford would be forgiven for thinking that the Brazilian was about to unleash one of his signature left-footed curlers. Instead, our no.21 chipped the ball beautifully into Marcel Sabitzer, who had broken in behind the Bees backline, before the Austrian nodded the ball wonderfully into the path of Rashford, to take his tally for the season to an impressive 28 strikes.

Scoring more than any other player since the World Cup with 11 goals, Rashford continues to build on a superb season in front of goal for United. Only Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has netted more in the same period across Europe [12], the England international is going from strength to strength and his knack of being in the right place continues to be pivotal this term, as we chase down even more success under Ten Hag.


Expected to line up alongside Scott McTominay in one of our two deeper midfield roles, it became abundantly clear that Marcel occupied the no.10 role this evening and that Bruno Fernandes would sit a little deeper, and often wider. Marcel's neat one-touch passing and clever flick-ons helped the Reds to burst forward quickly and spring slick attacks, with Sabitzer a key part of our impetus going forward. Having played in a whole host of midfield roles for Bayern Munich across his career, it seems Erik is to experiment with Marcel's role during his spell here and our no.15 performed well once again, earning a deserved ovation from the Old Trafford faithful when replaced by Fred.
Man of the Match | Who gets your vote as United rediscover our winning ways?poll

Man of the Match | Who gets your vote as United rediscover our winning ways?


Despite Luke Shaw's withdrawal early in the first half, Ten Hag will be largely pleased with his backline, as we recorded yet another impressive shut-out on home soil. Tyrell Malacia was brought on to replace our no.23 and provided strong support for Jadon Sancho down the left flank, and, elsewhere, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane stood firm on an evening where their defensive acumen was tested to the max. Ivan Toney, Bryan Mbeumo and Josh Dasilva all impressed in their own respects and David De Gea's huge save to deny Kevin Schade proved pivotal, with the Spaniard taking his domestic clean sheet tally to 12 for the season. 


Having spent most of the season out of the side, it was once again nice to see Sancho impressing during his 71-minute cameo at Old Trafford against the Bees. Registering 54 touches and finishing with a superb 89 per cent pass completion rate, Sancho was a particular bright spark and linked up well with the likes of Shaw, Rashford and Sabitzer, as we attempted to break down Brentford's well-regimented defence time and time again. Having to track back and support our defence, much like Ten Hag expects of his wide players, Jadon's input will no doubt be called upon across a busy April schedule and he can hold his head high, after playing a huge part in our triumph this evening.

Jadon was as impressive as ever and linked up well with his fellow Reds throughout the encounter.


Rashford now has 121 goals for the Reds, which moves him level with Treble-winner Andy Cole. The former striker's name was chanted by the Stretford End during the first half and Marcus is now joint-18th on the overall list. The homegrown hero has taken 349 games to reach the mark, with Coley doing it in 275.


With Newcastle United also in action this evening in the Premier League, United look set for a tightly contested chase for a top-four spot and move into fourth position following Tottenham's 1-1 draw with Everton on Monday evening. The Magpies were 4-1 winners away at struggling West Ham United and despite our loss at St James' Park on Sunday afternoon, Ten Hag's side are hot on the heels of Newcastle. Level on points at present and separated by just goal difference, it is set to be a climatic finish and hard-fought victories like tonight only further improve our bid to hopefully return to the Champions League next season.