Manchester United have finally won a football match. After a long wait and painful defeats in recent weeks, the Red Devils have managed to get back to their winning ways, breezing past Brentford in a 3-0 victory.
It was United’s first win since the match against Norwich midway through April, as Ralf Rangnick’s side is trying to finish the campaign on a more positive note. The goalscoring started early on, with Bruno Fernandes getting a goal nine minutes in, following Anthony Elanga’s assist. It was Cristiano Ronaldo who doubled the lead at the hour mark from the penalty spot, before Raphael Varane scored his first goal for Man United some 10 minutes later, to make it 3-0. Here is what we learned from this match.
An Unusually Comfortable Win For Man United
This was United’s only 16th win in 36 Premier League matches this season. And if we take a closer look at all of them, not many of them came in such a comfortable fashion as this one. The story this season has been that United often struggling even more than they need to when they are winning matches. The last win against Norwich is a point in case, with the season opener against Leeds being the exception. Against Brentford, United played well and kept a clean sheet for once, which is a good thing after already conceding 52 times. This win will not change much in the grand scheme of things – United will still not play Champions League football. But it was at least a nice way for the last game at Old Trafford this season to end on such a note.
Elanga Offers Excitement
It seems that Anthony Elanga really likes playing against Brentford. This was yet another fine performance from the Swede, starting on the right wing. In pre-season, Elanga scored against the Bees, then he repeated the feat in the first meeting between the two teams this season, before now adding an assist to his name.
It was his assist for Fernandes that brought United an early lead. His pace was what stood out on the day, giving trouble to a five-man defence of Brentford’s. Elanga remains one of the few, if not the only player, which drastically improved this season and he could become a really useful asset once Erik ten Hag arrives in the summer.
Quartet’s Farewell To Old Trafford
The last match at Old Trafford this season was a good time to say some goodbyes. And this match had several Man United players playing possibly for their last time at this stadium, in the famous red shirt. Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata are certainly two of them, as the Serbian and the Spaniard both started the match, before coming off after the 70th minute. But it was not just them.
Edinson Caani came on for the last 15 minutes, the same as Phil Jones. The Uruguayan striker will certainly leave the club at the end of the season, same as Mata and Matic, since his contract will expire. But Phil Jones could be in the same bracket, considering that United are actively looking for clubs where they could offload Jones, an unlucky player who had many serious injuries through the years. This summer feels like a perfect to for a ‘restart’ at Manchester United, but let’s see whether Ten Hag will be able to pull off such a thing.