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Brentford 1-1 Man United: Five things noticed, including issue that NEEDS fixing



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Five things were noticed as Manchester United drew Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

Erik ten Hag opted to field an unchanged side from the team that defeated Liverpool two weeks ago as Manchester United prepared themselves to face Brentford in the Premier League.

Although United started well in the opening 10 minutes, Brentford quickly imposed themselves on the tie, having a total of 14 shots and getting themselves into threatening positions on multiple occasions. Thankfully for Ten Hag, the half ended with no goals from either side.

Read More: Player Ratings: Brentford vs Manchester United (Premier League)

The second 45 minutes started off very much the same as the first, with Brentford continuing to hound André Onana’s goal – and one good effort from Rasmus Højlund was about it for United with 60 minutes on the clock.

Despite changes from Ten Hag, the Red men in white and green for the evening once again failed to live up to expectations. Yes, Mason Mount scored in the 90+6th minute, but it’s hard to say United deserved to win, and Brentford certainly deserved their 90+9th minute equaliser.

#1 – Stick, not twist

Erik ten Hag decided to stick with those who performed well against Liverpool, rewarding them for their impressive first-half performance at Old Trafford two weeks ago.

However, the first half against Brentford told a very different story, with the Reds firmly the second-best team. Brentford had more touches in United’s box (34) than in any other first half since they were promoted to the Premier League.

The second half was much the same, with United failing to win most of the second balls. This meant they were completely unable to create any sort of momentum or keep the ball in Brentford’s half.

#2 – Failing to connect to Højlund

In the opening 45 minutes, Rasmus Højlund had just 14 touches, and United had a total xG of 0.09 – the midfielders and wingers were unable to connect with him throughout the opening minutes.

In the second half, he was afforded a chance that was well saved by Mark Flekken with 10 minutes gone, but that was his only significant showing throughout the 90 minutes on his return to the Premier League.

It is an issue United really need to fix…

#3 – Varane shows his worth

Aside from the result, Raphaël Varane really showed his worth in a United shirt today, further proving that the club should be doing what they can to secure the Frenchman on a contract for next season.

There were multiple clear instances where he made game-changing decisions in the first half to keep United’s clean sheet intact as the teams went into half-time.

It is a little worrying that he had to come off at half-time after the player went down with an ankle issue, and we can only pray that he is okay.

#4 – No way through

For the majority of the fixture, United failed to find a way to progress the ball between each third of the field despite eight of the side’s supposed best XI starting on Saturday evening.

It felt as if the centre-backs were not able to stay in sync with Kobbie Mainoo or Scott McTominay, and the two midfielders left so much space for Brentford to flow through.

With little service to Højlund, the attacking line was further unable to connect to the rest of those on the pitch, leaving United with little chance to create meaningful efforts.

#5 – Champions League points dropped

With both Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur winning earlier on Saturday, it was imperative that United grabbed all three points at the Gtech Community Stadium.

A draw is not a point gained, it’s two points dropped. On paper, it should have been an easy win for United, with Brentford having lost 14 of their 18 games since mid-December prior to kick-off, but it was not to be.

United are completely at fault for this. They were second-best all night, and even though they scored in the final minutes of the game, they did not deserve the three points.