“We Score When We Want, We Score When We Waaaant, MANCHESTER UNITED, WE SCORE WHEN WE WANT.”
On a day honouring Sir Alex Ferguson’s unthinkable personal loss, his team kept his name’s hope soaring high with Scott McTominay coming in with two Fergie time goals to secure what was a 0-1 loss at 90 minutes to a thumping 2-1 victory at full-time.
1. Substitutions Questioned
Erik ten Hag has not been making the best of substitutions of late. He was booed quite heavily by the Old Trafford faithful in recent weeks, especially when promising attacking players were brought off for defensive substitutes when the team was trailing on goals.
Thus, when the side was down 0-1 courtesy of a goal from Mathias Jensen, few could understand why Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount, two players with some semblance of creative input, were being subbed off.
A similar anger brewed when Sofyan Amrabat, playing for the first time as a proper midfielder at Man United, was brought off in place of Scott McTominay in the 87th minute. However, few minutes later the Theatre of Dreams trembled at the sheer majesty of McTominay’s performance and Ten Hag’s genius was on full display.
2. Redemption for Maguire
Harry Maguire’s well-timed assist ensured that McTominay’s magical header went in with seconds left on the clock. Injury to Raphael Varane late on meant that the starting lineup featured both Jonny Evans and Maguire, two players who probably thought they would see the bench for different reasons.
However, the duo had a decent game and what the English centre-back could not do with his defending he did ever so brilliantly with his presence at added time. Moreover, this game, especially the second half, showed many glimmers of the ball-carrying defender that Maguire was first slated to excel at when he signed for the club at the then world-record fee paid for a defender.
3. Tough Luck for Brentford
While the Red Devils triumphed at a game that they did not deserve to win if overall performances are to be counted, Brentford sure lost the points for the taking. They absorbed pressure with textbook perfection in the first half and the overall 21 attempted shots by the home side illustrated just how splendid a defending display Thomas Frank’s boys put up.
This certainly is a game where defenders Ethan Pinnock and Nathan Collins put themselves on the radar. Overall, the side has all the qualities to be regular giant killers.