Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford ended personal goal droughts with second-half strikes as Manchester United put wasteful Brentford to the sword in a 3-1 Premier League win on Wednesday.
Ralf Rangnick’s men threw away a two-goal lead to Aston Villa on Sunday, but they managed to avoid repeating the feat in their first league meeting with Brentford since 1947.
United was indebted to David de Gea – and Brentford’s unimpressive finishing – in a first half that the home side largely dominated, but the Red Devils improved significantly after the interval.
Two goals seven minutes apart left Brentford deflated, and Rashford added to their misery, with Ivan Toney’s late strike a mere consolation.
Amid an early Brentford flurry, De Gea crucially got a boot to Mathias Jensen’s 13th-minute effort, Vitaly Janet and Mads Bech Sorensen then saw efforts deflected just wide before Christian Norgaard inexplicably volleyed over from close range.
United – who did not record a single first-half shot on target – had De Gea to thank again after the half-hour mark, the Spaniard blocking Jensen’s goal-bound attempt.
The breakthrough ultimately came at the other end with 55 minutes on the clock – Anthony Elanga latched on to Fred’s lofted pass into the danger area and nodded past Jonas Lossl after flicking the ball up for himself.
Since October, Greenwood then scored his first Premier League goal, tapping in from Bruno Fernandes’ squared pass after being released by Cristiano Ronaldo’s clever chested pass.
Ronaldo fumed at his withdrawal soon after for Rashford, but the England striker finished off a flowing move late on to justify his introduction with his first strike since October 30.
Toney prodded home from close range to force a tense finish, but United saw it out.