Manchester United hosted Brentford at Old Trafford as they aimed to get back to winning ways following their midweek loss in the Champions League against Galatasaray.
Erik ten Hag started Andre Onana in goal. Victor Lindelof played in the right-back role alongside a centre-back partnership of Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans. Diogo Dalot was tasked to play left-back.
The midfield trio consisted of Casemiro, Sofyan Amrabat and Mason Mount.
Rasmus Hojlund led the line with Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes on either wing. Here are three things we learned from Manchester United’s 2-1 win against Brentford.
Pressure mounting on Onana
In yet another high-stakes game, Onana committed a massive error in goal.
The Cameroonian has recently come under increasing pressure for his poor start to life at United.
Especially in the Champions League, Onana has made high-profile errors that have cost his side dearly. Against Bayern Munich and more recently vs. Galatasaray, he was heavily criticised for his roles in some of the goals the Red Devils conceded.
He found himself under criticism again, this time for Brentford’s opener.
United looked in control during the early stages of the first half. However, the Bees moved high up the pitch when Casemiro recklessly ceded possession.
A defensive blunder from Lindelof, who could not clear the ball, saw Jensen fire a relatively weak shot at United’s goal.
Onana got a hand to it but he let it slip and roll into the back of the net. Seemingly aware of his calamitous howler, the 27-year-old cut a sorry figure with his hands squarely on his head.
Beyond failing to make an easy save, his distribution was poor. Onana’s ability with the ball at his feet is perhaps his best attribute but he appears to have lost confidence completely.
It won’t be long until there are calls for his replacement between the sticks, with supporters advocating for the likes of Altay Bayindir and Tom Heaton to be given starting opportunities.
Casemiro poor yet again
This term there have been concerns about Casemiro and just how poorly he has started – a far cry from the incredible form he displayed last campaign.
The Brazilian has been accused of constantly giving the ball away when United are in possession, needlessly diving in during transition moments and abandoning his position to go forward in search of goalscoring opportunities.
For Jensen’s goal, he gave the ball away and threw himself into a dive that saw him taken out of the game completely when he was easily evaded.
It was no surprise that he was taken off at the interval and Christian Eriksen brought on in his place.
At the moment, Casemiro is proving to be more of a liability than an asset and questions need to be asked of him moving forward.
The defensive solidity and midfield presence he once provided are no longer present.
Casemiro’s weaknesses need to be addressed lest United continue suffering. He and the team would be best served by a return to the basics. His main job is shielding the back four and linking the defence and attack.
Much-improved second-half display
Ten Hag’s men put up more of a fight in the second period of their clash vs. Brentford.
A goal down, the Reds fashioned more goalscoring opportunities. Dalot especially was productive attacking-wise.
He got forward more and put in good crosses.
The personnel changes made a bigger difference. Alejandro Garnacho certainly offered more than Rashford.
Fernandes being restored in his preferred playmaker role ensured he was more involved as opposed to when he was on the wing.
Eriksen was better than the uninspiring Casemiro. United thought they had restored parity late into the game but Anthony Martial who got involved in play, was deemed to have been offside.
Fortunately for United, their more spirited display in the second half was enough to clinch them a share of the spoils. McTominay scored the equalizer and the game seemed to be destined for a draw.
However, with literally the last kick of the game, the Scotland international rose highest to connect with a fabulous cross and head it into the back of the Brentford goal – another dramatic end to a game at Old Trafford.