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Manchester United v Brentford Live Commentary, 03/05/2022

FT
3 - 0
MUN
BRE
Bruno Fernandes (9)
Cristiano Ronaldo (61 pen)
R. Varane (72)
Old Trafford

Commentary

That's all from Old Trafford today, so thank you for joining us and goodbye!
United will face Brighton and Hove Albion, then Crystal Palace in their final two matches of the season, and they can finish on a maximum of 64 points by winning both - only enough to match their lowest-ever Premier League total. Brentford, meanwhile, have already acheived their objectives and will finish the campaign with matches against Southampton, Everton and Leeds United.
A merited three points are the reward for Manchester United's three goals today, as they produced a much-improved display to end their Old Trafford campaign on a better note. Though a divisive figure amid testing times at the club, Ronaldo was to the fore as the hosts brushed past an off-colour Brentford side, who spurned several half-chances and were too passive in the first half. Now a number of departing players signal their appreciation to the fans, with a new era soon to begin at the 'Theatre of Dreams'.
90' + 3' FULL-TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 3-0 BRENTFORD
90' + 2' Toney takes out Fred with an over-zealous challenge inside the Manchester United half, perhaps ending the last chance of Brentford at least scoring a late goal.
90' After a move involving Cavani and Ronaldo, a rushed 20-yard shot by Fernandes is skied high into the stand behind Raya's goal.
88' Jensen fires into a thicket of red Man United shirts from outside the box, with the ball being blocked on its route towards goal.
86' The game is clearly winding down, with both sides dropping the tempo somewhat. Even if Brentford can score now, it would surely just be a consolation goal.
84' Brentford have an eighth corner of the match, but are again unable to create anything substantial from the set-piece situation. Meanwhile, United have taken two corners and scored from one.
82' Fernandes has a speculative strike from 25 yards deflected wide for a corner via Sorensen's head. Jones then nearly makes contact with the cross, but Brentford ultimately manage to clear their lines.
80' McTominay sees a shot from the centre of the area saved comfortably in the bottom-left corner by Raya.
78' United counter-attack following a Brentford corner, but there is a distinct lack of urgency about the break, and they appear happy to cycle the ball around in midfield with the three points secured.
Y. Wissa
B. Mbeumo
Brentford
76' With the game lost, Brentford take off Mbeumo, and Wissa will come on for the final stages.
E. Cavani
A. Elanga
Manchester United
75' Rangnick also withdraws Elanga for Cavani to make his return from a long injury layoff.
P. Jones
Mata
Manchester United
75' Having made his last Manchester United appearance at Old Trafford, Mata takes a warm round of applause; Jones is his replacement.
Alex Telles
Assist
Manchester United
72' Telles whipped in a corner to pick out Varane in the six-yard box.
R. Varane
Goal
Manchester United
72' UNITED GO THREE UP! Latching onto Telles' inswinging corner from the right, Varane beats several yellow Brentford shirts to the ball inside the six-yard box and steers the ball into the back of the net! That's his first goal for the club: 3-0 to Manchester United!
J. Dasilva
V. Janelt
Brentford
71' Frank's second substitution sees Janelt taken off; Dasilva comes on.
M. Jensen
C. Nørgaard
Brentford
71' Brentford make a double change. First, Norgaard is replaced by Jensen.
Fred
N. Matić
Manchester United
71' Making way in midfield, Matic is replaced by Fred.
69' After Henry's cross, Roerslev gets his head on the ball and it then strikes the arm of Telles. Brentford's players claim for handball inside the area, but no penalty is awarded and play continues.
67' Eriksen crosses into the box from a corner, but play is stopped as United clear the ball away, when Ronaldo is brought down; holding his head after a bump from Norgaard's hip in an aerial challenge. He's soon fine to play on, though.
65' Clearly roused by his success from the spot, Ronaldo sprints away down the left, surging into the area before going down inside the area. The crowd claim another penalty, but he had just overrun the ball. Play goes on.
63' Manchester United's top scorer, Ronaldo has now netted his 18th goal of the season; successfully converting his ninth successive penalty in the Premier League. He last failed from the spot in the English top flight back in December 2007.
Cristiano Ronaldo
Penalty Goal
Manchester United
61' RONALDO SCORES THE SECOND! From the penalty, which he earned through his own endeavour and guile, Ronaldo slams the ball emphatically past Raya and into the bottom-left corner of the net! United are 2-0 up and on course for victory!
60' PENALTY FOR MAN UNITED! Having been brushed off by Ronaldo outside the box, Henry chases back to attempt to retrieve the ball; crudely bundling the record-breaking forward down inside the area. Penalty! Guess who'll take it?
58' SAVE! Once again, De Gea is called upon to make a save, this time from a low, driven effort by Toney from 15 yards out, after Eriksen's corner.
57' Lindelof manages to turn the ball behind for a Brentford corner after a deep Mbeumo cross into the box from the right.
55' From the free-kick - centrally placed, 25 yards from goal - Eriksen drives a flat shot at straight at De Gea who beats the ball away to safety.
N. Matić
Yellow Card
Manchester United
54' With Eriksen evading his attentions, Matic opts to haul the Danish playmaker back with a shirt-pull and is subsequently shown the game's first yellow card.
52' CLOSE! Under no pressure in midfield, Matic lofts a delicate throughball into the path of Fernandes, who takes a touch and fires narrowly wide of the left-hand post from the edge of the area. He perhaps should have done better from that position.
50' After playing a give-and-go with Ronaldo, who is later judged just offside, Dalot charges into the box and forces Raya into a save which sees the ball loop up onto the crossbar and out of danger. Another smart move by United, who have looked more coherent today.
48' A wild volley by Toney at the back post flies into the stands, after Eriksen picks him out with a free-kick from the left flank. Dalot and Varane had switched off there.
47' A goal down today, Brentford have won one, drawn one and lost 12 times when trailing at half-time in the Premier League this season.
46' We are back under way in Manchester!
As a measure of Brentford's task after the break, Manchester United have gone unbeaten in their last 116 Premier League matches when leading at half-time, dating back to September 2014. They also boast a record of seven wins and four draws from 11 games when ahead at the interval this term.
An energetic and purposeful display by Manchester United sees them deservedly lead at the interval, as they attempt to sign off a bleak season in front of their fans with a flourish. By contrast, Brentford have been a little off the pace so far, and could well have trailed by two - being saved by an offside ruling on Ronaldo just before half-time. Yet, the visitors have offered a threat, with Eriksen's delivery proving a frequent source of opportunities. They are certainly not out of this yet.
45' + 2' HALF-TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 1-0 BRENTFORD
45' NO GOAL! Ronaldo's frustration is clear, as the VAR finds that he was narrowly offside as he controlled Mata's pass and then went on to find the net. It stays 1-0 to United!
44' GOAL FOR RONALDO? Having slipped through the centre to fire under Raya and apparently score Man United's second goal, Ronaldo's celebrations are stopped in their tracks - the VAR will assess whether he was offside when receiving Mata's throughball.
43' Already heavily involved today, since his first Premier League start of the season in March, no player has created more chances for Brentford than Eriksen. In fact, the Bees are unbeaten in all six games in which the Denmark international has started so far - winning five.
41' After Eriksen takes the corner short, he chops back inside from the return pass and thumps a wayward shot well over from a tight angle on the left.
40' Another set-piece delivery from Eriksen, this time out on the right, sees McTominay intervene with a defensive header deep inside his own area. Brentford have a corner.
38' From a United corner, Toney heads powerfully away near the penalty spot, and the return ball into the area is overhit; drifting behind for a goal-kick to the visitors.
36' Mbeumo strikes the side-netting with a low drive from the right side of the area, having slipped away from Fernandes, who is back covering on the edge of the box.
33' Manchester United have been particularly fluent in the final third today, with Mata's sudden re-appearance apparently bringing about a more joyous aspect to their attacking play; yet Brentford have still offered a threat on the break.
31' After Ronaldo exchanges the ball with Mata and then sets his team-mate up inside the box with an elaborate back-flick, the Spanish midfielder skews his shot wide of the right post with his weaker foot. It was a lovely move, though.
29' Eriksen opts for a ball to the back post from a free-kick out on the left, but Mbeumo has to stretch to keep the ball in play with his head, and United then manage to get the ball clear.
27' Elanga goes down in a heap following a challenge by Norgaard in midfield, and United have a free-kick which disrupts Brentford's attacking rhythm.
25' Following an earlier claim by Elanga for a free-kick just outside the area, now Ronaldo has a penalty appeal rejected by the referee.
23' After an elaborate build-up, Ronaldo fires in a low free-kick from around 30 yards out on the left, which Raya saves at the second attempt near the bottom-right corner of his goal.
21' JUST OVER! Evading Varane with a precision cross from the left, Eriksen finds the head of Toney, who is only able to turn the ball over the bar with his effort from near the penalty spot.
19' Indicating how brightly they have started - certainly by comparison with recent performances - United have had 69 per cent of the ball so far, and are moving it around at a good pace.
17' Under pressure from Dalot, Mbeumo can only steer his header from a Roerslev cross well wide of the left-hand post, from just inside the box.
15' Having worked his way into a good position out wide, Henry slings a cross into the area, but it zips narrowly past everyone and behind for a goal-kick.
13' While Elanga has now scored one and assisted one in his two Premier League games against Brentford, Fernandes' goal was his first in nine top-flight appearances since February.
11' SAVE! The ball breaks to Eriksen on the edge of the box, and a player of his prowess needs no invitation to shoot - he puts his laces through a powerful effort towards the centre of the goal, but De Gea is well placed and saves it quite comfortably.
A. Elanga
Assist
Manchester United
9' The pace and determination of Elanga were matched by his pass back from the brink of going out of play, which teed up Fernandes to score.
Bruno Fernandes
Goal
Manchester United
9' UNITED LEAD! A rapid run down the right flank allows Elanga to keep the ball in on the right byline, and his cutback to the centre of the six-yard box picks out Fernandes, who is unmarked. The Portuguese midfielder calmly steers the ball into the back of the net, and Manchester United go 1-0 in front!
7' Claims for a Man United penalty are disregarded by the referee, after Sorensen eases Elanga off the ball inside the box, and the game goes on.
5' With the ball threatening to drop under his crossbar from an overhit Ajer cross, De Gea tips the ball behind for another Brentford corner at full stretch.
3' A slip in the area from Ronaldo, after he had chested down a high throughball from Dalot, denies the United striker a chance to get a shot off at goal from no more than 10 yards out.
2' From the corner, Eriksen swings the ball into the area, but Ronaldo heads it away. From the loose ball, Henry then powers a shot well over the bar.
1' Straight from a direct ball into the box by Eriksen, Telles is forced to cover frantically and clear the ball away from the lurking Mbeumo; conceding an early corner.
1' We are under way at Old Trafford!
The players are out on the pitch, under the floodlights in gloomy Manchester, with kick-off now just moments away!
Brentford opt for a couple of changes from the team that started last time out against Tottenham, as Norgaard and Ajer replace Jensen and the injured Saman Ghoddos. Ethan Pinnock, Sergi Canos, Frank Onyeka and Mathias Jorgensen are all absent from Thomas Frank's squad, while Toney and Mbeumo are once again paired up front.
Ralf Rangnick makes only a single change for his final home match as Manchester United's interim manager, as Mata comes in to the XI which started against Chelsea, with Rashford relegated to the bench. Cavani is among the substitutes and is set to feature for the first time since March; Fred is back from a hip problem too. Meanwhile, absent trio Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire are joined on the sidelines by Jadon Sancho.
SUBS: Alvaro Fernandez, Julian Jeanvier, Finley Stevens, Josh Da Silva, Mathias Jensen, Shandon Baptiste, Yoane Wissa, Tarique Fosu-Henry, Nathan Young-Coombes.
BRENTFORD (5-3-2): David Raya; Mads Roerslev, Mads Bech Sorensen, Pontus Jansson, Kristoffer Ajer, Rico Henry; Christian Norgaard, Christian Eriksen, Vitaly Janelt; Ivan Toney, Bryan Mbeumo.
SUBS: Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Alvaro Fernandez, Fred, Jesse Lingard, Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani.
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles; Nemanja Matic, Scot McTominay; Anthony Elanga, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Elanga; Cristiano Ronaldo.
Just six places below their more illustrious opponents in the table, Brentford are nearing the end of their first top-flight campaign for over 70 years, having accrued 10 points from their last four Premier League matches. In a run featuring wins over Chelsea, West Ham and Watford, they held most recently held Tottenham to a goalless draw. Indeed, the Bees have won five of their last seven in the league - suffering just one defeat in the process - and any relegation fears have long since subsided.
Manchester United's final match at Old Trafford this season follows a 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Thursday evening, when they came from behind to salvage a point. Nonetheless, all hope of a top four finish has since ended, and having lost three of their last five matches, the Red Devils sit sixth in the Premier League table - eight points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who still have games in hand. Instead aiming for a Europa League spot, United are only three points ahead of West Ham United, who occupy seventh.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of today's Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Brentford at Old Trafford!