Manchester United bounce back with win over Brentford
Manchester United were head and shoulders on top of Brentford as they ground out a misleadingly narrow 1-0 victory at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
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The victory sends Manchester United (53 points) into 4th place in the Premier League table, now three points above and holding a game in hand on 5th-place Tottenham. Erik ten Hag’s side also remains level with 3rd-place Newcastle (+26 to +5 goal difference). Brentford (43 points), meanwhile, remain 9th and on track to top last season’s PL debut points table (46).
Man United had the first 11 shots of the game, and it was their seventh one with which Marcus Rashford found the back of the net. After the Red Devils’ corner kick was initially cleared, Antony lofted the ball back into the box to be headed down by Marcel Sabitzer near the penalty spot. Sabitzer headed it straight to Rashford, who put the inside of his right foot through the ball and powered it past David Raya for the opening goal.
After going on a post-World Cup tear (10 goals in 10 PL games), Wednesday’s goal was Rashford’s first league goal since Feb. 19, when the aforementioned run abruptly ended.
Manchester United finding a way without Casemiro
Casemiro is not three-quarters of the way through his four-game domestic ban (for his second straight red card
of the season in a month’s time), and Manchester United managed to bounce back from the disappointing display against Newcastle last weekend. With Everton up next before Casemiro returns to face Nottingham Forest, the finish line (top-four) is coming into sight quickly.
Stars of the show
Manchester United vs Brentford reaction
Erik ten Hag, on the “massive” win…
Marcus Rashford, on Manchester United’s patience…
Manchester United will continue their quest for 3rd place on Saturday (7:30 am ET), when relegation-threatened Everton (27 points - 16th place) turn up at Old Trafford. Brentford can potentially do Man United a favor when they host — you guessed it — Newcastle in west London.
How to watch Manchester United vs Brentford live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 3pm ET, WednesdayTV Channel: PeacockOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
Erik ten Hag was far from happy with the energy, desire and cohesiveness of his side as they were battered from start to finish at Newcastle. That was yet another wake up call and they haven’t won any of their three PL games since they won the League Cup on Feb. 26. They are missing Casemiro massively in midfield, while the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Raphael Varane all look sluggish and have had dips in form. United need to sort this out fast because Newcastle and Tottenham are ahead of them in the table as the top four scrap will go down to the wire.
Brentford continue to defy the odds as they are hanging around the European spots and Thomas Frank has done an incredible job. Ivan Toney continues to cause problems, and score goals, although the Bees have only won one of their last four games as they’ve had a bit of a wobble at a pivotal stage of the season. Whatever happens between now and the end of the campaign, this season will go down as one of the most memorable in club history.
Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Donny van de Beek (knee), Casemiro (suspension), Alejandro Garnacho (ankle), Mason Greenwood (other), Tom Heaton (ankle). DOUBT: Christian Eriksen (ankle)
Brentford team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Keane Lewis-Potter (knee), Vitaly Janelt (knee), Kristoffer Ajer (calf)