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Winners & Losers

Man Utd's winners, losers and ratings as humiliating Brentford defeat throws Ten Hag tenure into crisis

22:04 GMT+3 13/08/2022
Ronaldo Fernandes Ten Hag Man Utd GFX
The Dutchman is under intense scrutiny after an embarrassing 4-0 loss left his team bottom of the Premier League

Manchester United were humiliated by Brentford on Saturday evening, losing 4-0 to throw Erik ten Hag's early reign into crisis. With Liverpool up next for the Dutchman, he faces the very realistic prospect of being pointless after three games in charge.

First-half goals from Josh Dasilva, Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo stunned United's star-studded side and left the home fans in raptures.

It would have been even worse for Ten Hag but for Brentford appearing to take their foot off the gas in the second half.

It is a disastrous start to the season for United's new manager, who is desperate to bring in new signings before the transfer window closes on September 1...

  • Manchester United Brentford fan sign 2022-23

    The Winners

    Michael Knighton:

    The former United director this week announced his plans to try to buy-out the Glazers. And he was quickly on social media to try to garner more support from fans in his bid to oust the hated American owners.

    It remains to be seen if Knighton can raise the necessary funds to even put a bid together, while the Glazers have repeatedly insisted they have no intention to sell.

    But the ongoing turmoil at Old Trafford gives Knighton more fuel to publicise his cause.

    Raphael Varane:

    The France international has been dignified despite losing his place in the starting line-up following Ten Hag's arrival.

    But a second successive game in which United have looked shambolic defensively should see him recalled by time the Liverpool game comes around a week on Monday.

    In just 45 minutes, he added much-needed assuredness to the centre of defence.

    Brentford fans:

    They booed Christian Eriksen from the very start – and taunted him throughout with chants of "You only went for the money" and "You should have stayed at a big club."

    Revenge is very sweet indeed.

  • David de Gea Manchester United Brentford 2022-23

    The Losers

    Erik ten Hag:

    Could afford to laugh off the "panic" surrounding last week's defeat to Brighton – but the joke is wearing thin.

    These are very early days but it is hard to describe United's situation as anything other than a crisis.

    Ten Hag is determined to bring his brand of football to the club and it was his vision that convinced United to choose him over Mauricio Pochettino. But he cannot afford many more games like this, with United humiliated before the half-time break.

    If the players he inherited cannot fit into his system, then he will have to change the system – even if only in the short term.

    Lisandro Martinez:

    Signed as one of the key players to implement Ten Hag’s brand of football, due to his ability to build from the back.

    But he has endured a chastening first two games in English football, which has already seen him targeted by opponents due to his height.

    He will take time to get accustomed to a new league and has not been helped by United’s shambolic performances so far. But the fact that Ten Hag felt the need to substitute him at half-time was a measure of Martinez’ struggles.

    Far too weak when beaten by Ben Mee for Brentford's third and it is hard to see him keeping his place for the Liverpool game.

    David de Gea:

    This was a horror show for the Spaniard.

    Made an absolute mess of Josh Dasilva’s tame effort from distance to allow the ball to squirm through his hands and into the back of the net and give Brentford the lead.

    Then, he put Eriksen under pressure for Mathias Jensen to double the home side's lead.

    In punishing heat, De Gea was facing the early evening sun – but even that cannot be used as an excuse for either goal.

    It was a game to forget for the goalkeeper, who had looked to have put such performances behind him after returning to his finest form last season.

    If Dean Henderson were still at the club, De Gea would almost certainly be dropped.

    Christian Eriksen:

    Returning to the stadium he lit up in the second half of last season, Eriksen was roundly booed by Brentford fans every time he touched the ball.

    And the home crowd rejoiced in seeing him commit the error that led to their second goal.

    Receiving the ball on the edge of the area after a short pass from De Gea, the Dane mis-controlled under pressure from Jensen, who seized possession and fired low into the corner.

    De Gea didn’t do him any favours – but he still should have done better in that situation.

  • Lisandro Martinez Manchester United Brentford 2022-23

    Ratings: Defence

    David de Gea (2/10):

    Culpable for Brentford's opening two goals, which left United with a mountain to climb. Allowed Dasilva's weak shot from distance to slip through his fingers – and then put Eriksen in trouble with a short pass on the edge of the box for Jensen to score from.

    Diogo Dalot (4/10):

    Left huge spaces behind him for Brentford to attack but at least provided an outlet going forward.

    Harry Maguire (3/10):

    The lack of understanding between him and Martinez was laid bare once again. It will take time for them to gel but it is a partnership that is benefiting no-one but opposing forwards at the moment.

    Lisandro Martinez (2/10):

    Worrying signs of opponents targeting the Argentine by hitting the ball long for a big man to dominate in the air. Humbled when Mee beat him for the third, despite falling backwards.

    Luke Shaw (3/10):

    Caught out for pace and strength by Mbueno for Brentford's fourth. Spared further humiliation when taken off at half-time.

  • Bruno Fernandes Manchester United 2022


    Christian Eriksen (4/10):

    Played in a deep holding role, he broke up the McFred partnership. But this was a miserable return to his former club: jeered throughout and culpable for Brentford's second.

    Fred (3/10):

    Picked ahead of McTominay but hardly repaid Ten Hag for his faith. Provided little in the way of a shield for a defence that was overrun.

    Bruno Fernandes (4/10):

    Starved of service but did little to change the course of the game. Largely anonymous.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 14082022


    Jadon Sancho (4/10):

    Another game that totally passed him by. United saw precious little of the ball in attacking areas but he did little with it when in possession.

    Cristiano Ronaldo (4/10):

    Started brightly with a shot from distance and a penalty shout - but was left to watch on as the horror unfolded behind him.

    Marcus Rashford (4/10):

    In the week when talk of a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain emerged, he did little justify their alleged interest.

  • Luke Shaw Manchester United Brentford 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Tyrell Malacia (Shaw 46) (5/10):

    Likely to keep his place after giving United more solidity on the left.

    Raphael Varane (Martinez 46) (6/10):

    Only Ten Hag knows why a four-time Champions League winner doesn't deserve to be starting every week. Improved United.

    Scott McTominay (Fred 46) (5/10):

    Dropped for Fred but that is unlikely to happen again any time soon. Added a bit of strength to a weak United midfield.

    Anthony Elanga (Sancho, 60) (4/10):

    Couldn't make any difference.

    Donny van de Beek (Eriksen, 87) (N/A):

    Erik ten Hag (3/10):

    Another nightmare for the Dutchman, who needs to quickly get a hold of the situation. Opponents are finding it far too easy to get at his team. That is on him, even if he has every right to feel let down by his players. At least managed to avoid an even bigger humiliation by taking the sting out of the game in the second half.