Man Utd 2-1 Brentford
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McTominay Saves Ten Hag
Scott McTominay was the hero of the day, scoring twice in stoppage time to lead Manchester United to a stunning Premier League victory against Brentford at Old Trafford, despite falling behind earlier.
United found themselves in a precarious position, facing the prospect of a third consecutive home league defeat for the first time since 1977 after Mathias Jensen’s first-half goal for Brentford.
Manager Erik ten Hag made a last-minute substitution, bringing on McTominay with just three minutes left in a desperate search for salvation. The Scottish midfielder did not disappoint.
In the first instance, McTominay exhibited superb control and composure, capitalizing on a mistake by Kristoffer Ajer, who scuffed a clearance inside his own box. McTominay fired the ball home to level the score.
Then, following a low shot by Anthony Martial that was saved by Thomas Strakosha, McTominay pounced on a Harry Maguire flick-on and sealed the victory with a crucial finish.
The jubilant home fans continued celebrating long after the final whistle as the team completed a lap of honor—a scene perhaps a bit excessive, but entirely understandable given the circumstances.
This dramatic win, thanks to McTominay’s late heroics, could provide a significant boost to United’s morale during the international break. Interestingly, both McTominay and Maguire were rumored to leave Old Trafford in the summer, making their contributions even more ironic in salvaging what seemed like a dire situation for Ten Hag.
Avoiding the 1977 statistic and, more importantly, preventing three consecutive home defeats against opposition that most would expect United to handle comfortably, offers a respite from a suffocating situation.
However, once the euphoria subsides, Ten Hag will be well aware of the work that remains to mold United into the cohesive unit they were last season.
One player emblematic of United’s struggles is Marcus Rashford. While he enjoyed a surge in form after the World Cup last season, scoring 30 goals, this season has been different, with only one goal to his name since early September. His body language and performance have been lackluster, and his impact has diminished significantly.
Rashford’s inability to use his pace to trouble defenses has been apparent, and his substitution in the game was inevitable as Ten Hag tried to change the course of the match.
In the end, United had to wait for McTominay’s late heroics to secure the win.
As for Brentford, despite taking the lead through Jensen’s goal, they had a history of dropping points from winning positions. Until the chaotic ending, they looked more likely to extend their lead than concede an equalizer.
Both Neal Maupay and Christian Norgaard had opportunities to score, with United goalkeeper Andre Onana making crucial saves.
The Brentford goal itself came from a series of defensive errors by United, starting with Casemiro giving away possession deep in his own half. Lindelof’s attempted clearance went straight to a Brentford player, allowing Jensen to score, despite Onana’s efforts.
For most of the match, it seemed like Brentford might secure their first win at Old Trafford since 1937, but McTominay had other plans.