Manchester United 1-0 Brentford: Three Players That Impressed

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their first goal.

REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester United returned to the top four with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Brentford.

Following their triumphs over Barcelona and Newcastle in the League Cup, Erik ten Hag’s men were given a decent chance of challenging for the title by many. However, the Red Devils appeared to lose their way in the league after the 7-0 hammering at Anfield early in March and headed into Thursday night’s game off the back of a three-game winless run.

But against Brentford, United, backed by the loud Old Trafford crowd, were up for the contest from the very first whistle and showed both – attacking brilliance and defensive resilience – to earn all three points. In particular, three stars caught the eye.


Marcus Rashford

The Englishman converted United’s early dominance into a goal – their first in the league since mid-February. He was at the heart of everything the hosts did well going forward, and when Antony found Marcel Sabitzer in front of the goal, Rashford was in the right position to put the ball past David Raya following the Austrian’s smart header.

No player has scored more Premier League goals than the United talisman this year. The 25-year-old was at his creative best as well, playing four key passes on the night.

Scott McTominay

The Scotland international was among United’s most disappointing performers at St James’ Park. But against Brentford, he played the Casemiro role aplomb and made a number of interceptions and clearances to keep Brentford at bay, showing just why he’s so highly rated by Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.

Fans came close to seeing McTominay’s Scotland version: a prolific forward when his volley went just over the bar in the first half.

Bruno Fernandes

Ten Hag described his skipper as “the big engine” in his post-match interview, and rightly so.

The Portuguese dropped deep all game to help his teammates beat the Brentford press and was also ever-present in the final third to unlock the visitor’s rigid defence.

Most notable, and uncharacteristic, was the way he retained possession (114 touches and 87% pass accuracy), which helped United control the game from start to finish. Getting the hang of playing as a deep-lying playmaker role under the Dutch coach.