Brentford vs Manchester United final score: De Gea star until attack finds feet

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Your classic tale of two halves saw Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea keep the Red Devils in the game long enough for his attackers to find their legs in a 3-1 win over Brentford at Brentford Community Stadium on Wednesday.

Bruno Fernandes had two assists as Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood, and substitute Marcus Rashford all scored second-half goals before Ivan Toney pulled one back for the host Bees in a big win for United.

WATCH BRENTFORD vs MANCHESTER UNITED FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM

United pulls into seventh place, level with sixth-place Arsenal’s 35 points while holding a match-in-hand.

Brentford will be ruing the presence of seven-save De Gea after a bright first half dissipated to leave their 23 points only good enough for 14th.

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Brentford vs Manchester United final score, stats

Brentford 1, Manchester United 3

Scorers: Brentford — Toney 85′; Man Utd — Elanga 55′, Greenwood 62′, Rashford 77′

Shot attempts: Brentford 18, Manchester United 13

Shots on goal: Brentford 8, Manchester United 5

Possession: Brentford 44, Manchester United 57


Three things we learned from Brentford vs Manchester United

1. United’s wingers go missing in bland first half: For as much grief as Cristiano Ronaldo gets for his on-and-off interest in pressing, true or not, there’s a manner of work that can be detrimental to a side. Mason Greenwood and Anthony Elanga were on either side of Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes, and it was all a bit too much to produce anything in a first 45 minutes that saw the Red Devils muster just four shots, none of which went on goal.

2. …Not in the second half, however: Whatever Ralf Rangnick advised at the break, well, it might’ve done the trick because Elanga snapped to life and powered toward his own rebound after Fred sent the Swede through on goal. The industry Elanga was joined on the board by Fernandes, who lapped up a Cristiano Ronaldo chest-trapped through ball and squared for the onrushing Greenwood to smash home. Ronaldo did almost nothing on the night but the class on that pass was phenomenal.

3. Bruno Fernandes is a double-edged sword: Choosing to deploy Bruno Fernandes above Fred and Scott McTominay (or Nemanja Matic) often means playing with a two-man midfield but Fernandes was a hot knife through better as United surged in front, assisting the second and third goals. He finished with four key passes, perhaps none more important than the set-up of Rashford to get the United star back amongst the goals.

Man of the Match: David De Gea

Seven saves on the day, six from inside the box, and United could’ve been behind 3-0 at the break if Ivan Toney had a bit more luck or De Gea a bit less presence. The Spaniard has more saves than any other Premier League keeper this season.

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Dave saves (and saves and saves)

Where would Manchester United be without their standout goalkeeper this season?

David De Gea was the reason this match got to halftime at 0-0, as United had very little cooking in attack and did even less to thwart Brentford’s ideas going forward.

Man United heats up after half

Away, they went…