Manchester United slumped to the bottom of the early Premier League standings after a 4-0 thrashing at Brentford in what was Cristiano Ronaldo’s first start of the 2022-23 season on Saturday.
United’s calamitous afternoon began in typical fashion with David de Gea allowing Josh Dasilva’s tame, low effort through his hands and into the back of the net 10 minutes in.
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The lackadaisical United defence then had their deficit doubled eight minutes later. Ex-Brentford player Christian Eriksen, who was booed by the home fans earlier in the match, was harried out of possession by Mathias Jensen after a poor pass by De Gea and the midfielder dummied and sent the United player the wrong way to slot home.
On the half hour mark, Brentford had their third. More poor defending saw United’s defence at standstill when Ivan Toney headed a corner back across goal, and Ben Mee outbattled Lisandro Martinez to head in from close range.
Thomas Frank’s side continued the onslaught and scored their fourth goal five minutes later. In a perfectly-executed counter-attack, Ivan Toney slid the ball through to Brian Mbuemo, who shook off a challenge and fired past De Gea.
“It was a horrible day,” De Gea said. “I should have saved the first shot and then the result may have been different.
“Other teams concede one goal and win 5-1. We have to react much better. It was a poor performance.”
It was the first time United had conceded four goals in the first half away from home in their Premier League history. Ten Hag’s side managed to stop the flow of conceded goals in the second half, but failed to convert their chances which would have restored some pride.
The demolition was Brentford’s first win over United in all competitions since a 2-0 victory in the FA Cup in February 1938. Former Ajax boss Ten Hag becomes the first United manager in over 100 years to lose his first two matches.
Brentford vs. Manchester United results, highlights and analysis as brilliant Bees humiliate Ten Hag’s Red Devils
A new era somehow managed to plumb new depths in its second game as Manchester United were ransacked 4-0 by Brentford.
All the goals came inside the first 35 minutes at the Gtech Community Stadium as Erik ten Hag’s dream job showed every indication of quickly descending into an unspeakable nightmare.
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the starting XI, the only change in personnel from Sunday’s listless 2-1 defeat to Brighton, but a wretched error from David de Gea saw Josh Dasilva’s 10th-minute shot squirm into the bottom right corner.
Brentford were rampant from that point on, with United’s frailties brutally exposed time and again. Further goals from Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo left United bottom of the embryonic Premier League table.
Brentford vs. Manchester United final score
After sitting out United’s pre-season tour amid reports he wanted to leave the club, Ronaldo returned to lead the line, testing David Raya with an early shot. It was a routine save for the Brentford goalkeeeper, although his compatriot at the other end showed there is perhaps no such thing.
The hosts’ pressing left United dishevelled throughout the first half and Ronaldo crumpled under pressure from Christian Norgaard and Jensen, with the latter feeding Dasilva. Buoyed by scoring Brentford’s late equaliser at Leicester last weekend, the attacking midfielder’s shot was accurate but without any of the ferocity to excuse De Gea letting it squirm through his gloves.