Sunday, March 3, 2024

Manchester United 2-1 Brentford: What Were The Main Talking Points As Scott McTominay Inspires A Stunning Comeback At Old Trafford?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 8 Oct 2023

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While Manchester United might have been seconds away from another infamous defeat at Old Trafford, Scott McTominay inspired what was a remarkable last-gasp comeback on Saturday afternoon.

With the home support silence midway through the first-half as Mathias Jensen’s effort found a way past a struggling Andre Onana, Erik ten Hag’s side were set to face even more scrutiny following on from a nightmare week.

Opening Saturday’s showdown in desperate need of a crucial boost, it was second-half substitute McTominay that will steal all of the headlines after producing a stunning cameo appearance.

Watching the Scotland international bag a famous brace in the dying embers of injury-time, United’s remarkable comeback at Old Trafford could turn out to be crucial in their bid to find some stability.

With McTominay sending the home support into overdrive after notching a 97th-minute winner, it is hard not to feel for Brentford as they missed out on a golden chance to claim a maiden victory at Old Trafford.

With the Bees now mustering just a single Premier League victory from their opening eight attempts, October’s international break couldn’t have come at a better time for Brentford.

In what was another thrilling affair from Old Trafford, we have taken a look at the main talking points as United claw their way back into the top-half of the Premier League table?

McTominay shows what he has been doing on the international stage

With Marcus Rashford still far from finding top gear and summer arrival Rasmus Hojlund still waiting to open his Premier League account, Manchester United have been seeking someone who can be a regular goalscoring threat.

However, heading into the final few minutes of injury-time on the verge of a third straight defeat on home soil, McTominay proved to be a shock match-winner here.

However, already notching six European Championship qualifying strikes with Scotland this year, fans of the Tartan Army have been quick to point out that the 26-year-old is more than capable of producing these crucial performances.

Although there might have been continued speculation over the summer that McTominay could be heading for the Old Trafford exit amidst real interest from West Ham, United’s homegrown star made it clear that his sole focus was on trying to fight for his place in ten Hag’s squad.

Spearheading United’s stunning comeback here and rightfully earning Saturday’s Man of the Match award following his famous 10-minute came appearance, McTominay also demonstrated that he can still be a key performer for ten Hag.

United are still dealing with some public defensive issues

While McTominay might have certainly saved United’s blushes on Saturday afternoon, their last-gasp win at Old Trafford will not cover many of the issues that ten Hag’s side have shown since opening up the new campaign.

Eventually falling to that infamous 3-2 defeat at the hands of Galatasaray earlier in the week, United have continued to gain a reputation for their extended defensive struggles.

With defensive talisman Lisandro Martinez set for another lengthy stint on the sidelines after underdog surgery on a foot injury, there is also growing concerns over Onana’s nightmare start to life in the Premier League.

With fingers once again set to be pointed at the former Inter Milan shot-stopper after Jensen’s tame effort squeezed past his grasp, ten Hag could be tempted to take the Senegal international out of the firing line following a string of high-profile mistakes.

Forced to call back Harry Maguire for a first start of the season here, Manchester United have now recorded just a pair of clean sheets from any of their previous 10 straight appearances across all competitions – a run that stems all the way back to the opening weekend.

Brentford suffer an infamous collapse at Old Trafford

While Brentford might have gained a string of plaudits last season as they claimed a top-half finish, some in the Bees’ camp opened up the new campaign with their sights set on mounting a famous European charge.

However, while Thomas Frank’s side might have arrived at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon smelling the chance to spring a heavyweight upset, Brentford will take some time to recover from a heartbreaking collapse in Manchester here.

Falling to their knees at the final whistle after watching McTominay snatch that stunning injury-time brace, it is fair to say that the west London outfit have struggled to find any real stability since returning from the summer break.

Crashing out of the EFL Cup at the hands of title contenders Arsenal on September 27th, Brentford have now failed to win any of their last eight straight appearances across all competitions within 90 minutes.

Likewise, putting just a single Premier League victory on the board since getting the 2023/24 campaign, Brentford will be desperate for a turn in fortunes when they return from October’s international break later in the month.

Match Report

Manchester United: Onana, Dalot, Maguire, Evans, Lindelof, Casemiro, Amrabat, Fernandes, Mount, Rashford, Hojlund

Subs: McTominay, Martial, Garnacho, Antony, Eriksen

Brentford: Strakosha, Ajer, Pinnock, Collins, Hickey, Janet, Norgaard, Jensen, Roserlev, Wissa, Mbeumo

Subs: Maupay, Ghoddos, Onyeka

Goals: Manchester United: McTominay (90+3’, 90+7’) – Brentford: Jensen (26’)

Yellow Cards: Norgaard, Hickey, Collins, Janet, Maupay

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Andrew Madley


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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