Brentford 4-0 Man United: Ten Hag's side bottom after poor display

Brentford 4-0 Man United: Erik ten Hag’s woeful side are BOTTOM of the Premier League with zero points after a humiliating first-half display saw them get blown away by the Bees in west London

  • Manchester United are bottom of the Premier League after suffering a miserable 4-0 defeat away to Brentford
  • The Bees produced a scintillating first-half display, as United collapsed and allowed Brentford pull away 
  • David de Gea spilled what should have been a routine save from a Josh Dasilva shot into the back of his net 
  • He then played a short pass to Christian Eriksen who was dispossessed by Mathias Jensen to make it 2-0 
  • Brentford made it 3-0 after just 30 minutes when defender Ben Mee bundled the ball past the Spanish keeper
  • They made it 4-0 five minutes later when Bryan Mbeumo scored after a brilliant Brentford counter-attack 

Once a manager is in a death spiral, it’s almost impossible to retrieve the situation. At Manchester United, this situation comes along frequently. You know you’re in that zone when there is no discernible structure on the pitch, no cohesion amongst the players and seemingly no authority from the coaching team.

Given that Erik ten Hag is only two games into his Premier League career let’s be kind and say we’re not at this point quite yet. But let’s also be clear that he’s in danger of entering that phase of his career within weeks. Lose heavily to Liverpool at Old Trafford on Monday week and he will struggle to regain any equilibrium on a listing ship. The suspicion will be that it is already holed beneath the water line.

Manchester United were as bad as they have ever been in the modern era here at Brentford. You would probably have to go back to the 1973-74 relegation season to find something as humiliating. They did lose 4-0 Brighton last season under Ralf Rangnick but even that wasn’t as comprehensively humiliating as this. At least they were in the game until half time on that occasion. They are bottom of the table.

Things got from bad to worse for Manchester United as they suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat away against Brentford

United couldn’t have got off to a worse start as David de Gea let Josh Dasilva’s strike slip through his fingers after ten minutes

De Gea’s mistake set the tone of what was to come in the first-half as Manchester United crumbled against the Bees

The result leaves the Red Devils bottom of the Premier League table with zero points following their prior loss to Brentford

Mathias Jensen dispossessed Christian Eriksen after a poor De Gea pass to make it 2-0 to the Bees after just 18 minutes

That said, this take is slightly unfair to Brentford and Thomas Frank, who were excellent. They had a plan and they executed it to perfection. They hassled United into submission with a pressing plan that was coherent and applied with relish. They countered attacked with incision and ferocity. And when they need to slow the game down in the searing heat, they did so with calm assurance.

United can do none of the above and yet the truth is a competent Premier League would have given Brentford a better game. Twice we have seen ten Hag’s United now, against what would be styled lesser Premier League lights. On both occasions they have been out fought, out played and looked short of the standards of their opponents. Here, Brentford were miles better.

Little Brentford, who would barely have registered as a dot on horizon in the Sir Alex Ferguson era, as they struggled in the lower reaches. But football has a glorious was of unseating the complacent and upending the mighty. United look like a team that modern football left behind. They seem to think that pressing doesn’t apply to them. By contrast, Brentford are a team built for modern football, on clever recruitment, proper application of data and a big heart.

Ben Mee scored Brentford’s third goal of the game as he headed home after Ivan Toney headed across the box from a corner

Bryan Mbeumo capped off a brilliant counter-attack to tuck the ball home as he celebrates with first goalscorer Dasilva


Brentford (5-3-2): Raya; Henry, Mee, Jansson, Roerslev, Hickey (Bech Sorenson 80); Jensen (Baptiste 74), Norgaard (Onyeka 80) Dasilva (Janelt 62); Toney, Mbeumo (Wissa 74)

Subs not used: Ghoddos, Strakosha, Lewis-Potter, Damsgaard

Goals: Dasilva 10, Jensen 18, Mee 30, Mbeumo 35 

Manager; Thomas Frank 

Man United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Shaw (Malacia 46), Martinez (Varane 46), Maguire, Dalot; Fred (McTominay 46), Eriksen; Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho (Elanga 60); Ronaldo

Subs not used: Heaton, Wan-Bissaka, Garner, Ferreyra

Booked: Maguire, McTominay, Rashford, Fernandes 

Manager: Erik ten Hag

The G-tech Stadium, as it is now known, might not seem an intimidating place and yet when full of Brentford fans close up to the pitch roaring their team on, it can break a team. United crumbled. First David De Gea, letting in the softest of opening goals. Then Luke Shaw, Fred and Lisandro Martinez fell apart losing their nerve as the Brentford harried them into mistake after mistake.

At 2-0 down ten Hag had an opportunity to rectify the situation, a drinks break having introduced to mitigate the extreme heat. He is not a man who exudes enormous presence stood among the players. He seemed to be making a few clam points. They seemed to be greeted with shrugs and the odd nod. Ronaldo shouted at someone. And within ten minutes, after the tactical adjustments, they were 4-0 down.

The game was set as early as nine minutes, the central themes amplified in the opening goal. Mathias Jensen, superb throughout, pounced on Ronaldo in possession. The Portuguese superstar felt he was fouled but Brentford were simply all over United. He fed Josh DaSilva who, given time and space, decided to have a shot. In truth it should have been a simple save but de Gea somehow contrived to let it squirm through his arms. It was an inauspicious moment. Usually de Gea looks to blame Harry Maguire when something goes wrong. On this occasion it was all him.

Ten minutes later United looked as though their nerve had gone. Under ten Hag they seem to think they’re Ajax of the Johan Cruyff era playing out from the back. They chose to take a short free kick to de Gea, who in turn elected to pass directly to Shaw, who was clearly under pressure. These players aren’t god enough or confident to play like this. Jensen was on to Shaw, robbing him and then finding the space to roll the ball into the net.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the starting line-up but was left frustrated and couldn’t get himself into the game on Saturday

Ronaldo was frustrated with himself in the second-half as he had a few headed chances which he couldn’t find the net

Then came the ten Hag drinks intervention which, if anything, exacerbated the situation. One of ten Hag’s key signing has been Lisandro Martinez, a 5’9” centre half. From a deep corner, which was heade back across goal by Ivan Toney. It caused chaos but the reality was the Ben Mee simply bullied Martinez – in a legitimate sense – to get the touch to turn it in.

Yet Brentford saved their best for last. The fact that they could expose United so easily on a counter attack was embarrassing for ten Hag’s tactical set up. They looked Sunday league like as Brentford simply played out quick from the back to Toney. He took one touch to play in Bryan Mbeumo. Shaw had allowed him the wrong side and he would never allow the left back to get near him, and finished cooly to put Brentford 4-0 up in 35 minutes.

It was stunning stuff and almost as impressive was the manner in which Brentford controlled the second half. Fred, Shaw and Martinez were withdrawn as ten Hag attempted to impose some control. Yet the game was gone. United, embarrassingly, never had a plan or the wit to break down Brentford’s defensive block. They were reduced to abject crosses from wide that invariably were inaccurate. On one occasion, Ronaldo did meet one and send his header over. He thumped the ground in frustration. The crowd jeered. It seemed apposite. He was raging against the dying light of his career. He once could produce heroics to save teams. But not now, not at this age and not this team.

Toney and Mbuemo caused United’s defence all sorts of problems during the first-half with Harry Maguire booked and Lisandro Martinez hooked off at half-time

Manchester United fans showed their frustration throughout the game and banners were raised against the Glazer family

Erik ten Hag has a lot to ponder after a miserable performance ahead of a tricky clash coming up against rivals Liverpool

Brentford players celebrate after the game with their first top-flight league victory over Man United since the 1936-37 season

De Gea holds his hands up to Manchester United supporters after the game acknowledging his mistakes in the first-half

Sportsmail’s Kieran Lynch provided live blog updates on events at the Gtech Community Stadium. 

Host commentator

The full-time whistle has gone and it’s a brilliant victory for Brentford! Goals from Dasilva, Jensen, Mee and Mbeumo have handed Thomas Frank’s side all three points and it’s just what they deserve.

What a contrast though for United. Erik ten Hag won’t quite believe what he has seen his side produce today. And it’s Liverpool next. Lose against their rivals and they will have lost their first three games which would be a disaster for the Red Devils.

A lot for Ten Hag to mull over in the next nine days.

Fernandes is cautioned for dissent

89 mins: United give the ball away and Rashford is next into the book as he stops a threatening counter-attack.

Much to the enjoyment of the Brentford fans as the Dane has not had a great return to where he played his football last season.

86 mins: Ronaldo has an effort from outside the box and is comfortably saved by Raya.

He calls for an earlier foul but advantage was played.

85 mins: Another Brentford corner as the free-kick is played forward to Toney whose cross is deflected behind.

From the corner Janelt has a shot blocked by Maguire and the United captain is there again moments later to clear.

83 mins: Yellow card for a foul by McTominay on Onyeka. His touch is poor and has a lack of awareness of what’s behind him as Onyeka rushes on and he brings the Brentford man down.

Donny van de Beek meanwhile looks like he’s about to come on.

81 mins: Fantastic strike by Rico Henry who forces De Gea into a save.

Then at the other end the ball bounces perfectly for Eriksen who hooks his shot wide on the volley.

Brentford make some more changes as Hickey makes way for Bech Sorensen and Norgaard also makes way for Onyeka.

75 mins: Fernandes swings a ball towards the far post where Dalot is waiting but it’s cleared behind for a United corner by Henry.

The resulting corner is comfortably dealt with by Norgaard.

Nearly a chance for Elanga as the ball heads his way in the box before Jensen does well to clear.

More changes for Brentford as Mbeumo and Jensen are off for Wissa and Baptiste. 

71 mins: We’re into the final 20 minutes of the game at Brentford. Can United get anything from this match? The win looks well out of sights but Ten Hag will be keen for his side to finish strong.

Brentford look more than comfortable at the moment though. This would be United’s seventh away league defeat in a row, and probably just about their worst.

67 mins: Ronaldo threads the ball through to Rashford who gets past Mee and crosses the ball into the path of Eriksen, but the summer signing can’t get enough power behind his header and Raya comfortably dives to gather the ball.

66 mins: United are knocking the ball around but with no real conviction. The ball is fired into the Brentford box though there’s not a player in United’s colours who is anywhere near it.

Bruno Fernandes does play a neat flick in the box but again, no United player can get on the end of it.

Warm ovation for Josh Dasilva, the man who bagged the first goal of the game, who is replaced by Vitaly Janelt.

60 mins: Mbeumo is nearly in as the ball is played over the top and Malacia does well to clear though the forward would have been offside.

Another change for United meanwhile as Anthony Elanga is on in place of Sancho.

59 mins: The ball is whipped right towards the back of the penalty box where Toney looks like he’s going to head it across goal but Eriksen reads the situation to head out for another Brentford corner.

The resulting corner is hooked away by Malacia and it’s Mbeumo who sprints back to make sure Sancho doesn’t get onto the end of it.

57 mins: Brentford wins a corner as Roerslev’s cross is deflected behind after some good overlapping play on the right-flank.


56 mins: Better from United with some nice intricate passing around the Brentford box before the ball is played to Malacia whose effort is blocked by Dasilva.

53 mins: Another chance from Ronaldo as Dalot crosses in and it again meets the head of Ronaldo, though his effort lands on the roof of the net. He is getting closer though.

51 mins: Just a reminder that Ronaldo is playing as he thumps the ground in frustration. Some decent play from United leads to Dalot crossing the ball early to the Portuguese star who heads wide under pressure.

Looks like he felt he could have done better though.

50 mins: De Gea called into action as he saves with his legs! Corner comes in and McTominay misses the ball.

It comes out to Jenson who forces the Spaniard into a smart save at the near post.

49 mins: More of the same for United as Sancho misplaces a pass to McTominay and the ball goes out for a corner.

48 mins: Varane is quick into action as he cuts out a dangerous looking counter-attack.

Looks like Ten Hag’s chances if anything are to bring a bit of height into the team. Martinez in particular looked pretty vulnerable against Toney and Mbeumo in the air.

McTominay, Malacia and Varane on for Shaw, Martinez and Fred.

United hoped for better after last week’s loss to Brighton – what they have got instead is so much worse.

And they’ve got themselves to blame. Brentford went 1-0 up after De Gea spilled a shot in from Dasilva.

It was 2-0 when Jenson dispossessed Eriksen inside the United box after a poor pass from De Gea.

Then Mee bundled the ball home to make it three, and a brilliant fourth from Mbuemo capped off a miserable first-half for United.

Delight for the Bees, misery for Ten Hag and United.

It would take an incredible comeback for United to get anything from this game, from a team which hasn’t shown much fight in the last year in games which have gone like this.

Not the kind of day United want going into their next clash with Liverpool, with more talks of protests and walk-outs at Old Trafford.

United are whipping a few balls into the box but Raya is comfortably gathering all of them so far. 

Four minutes too long for Ten Hag.

44 mins: Frustration there from Fernandes who fires a shot well off distance from well outside the box.


43 mins: United putting pressure on as Ronaldo plays the ball back to Fernandes but his shot is saved.

Then Mbuemo catches Martinez and United win a free-kick near the half-way line.

41 mins: Less than five minutes to go plus stoppage time before the break.

Rashford gets forward and attempts a shot but Roerslev sticks out a foot and takes the sting off the shot.

May just be two games into the season, but if the score stays the same, United will go into the night bottom of the table.

38 mins: Brentford playing some lovely, intricate football around the Man United box.

They’re full of confidence. United can’t wait to get in.

There was nearly a moment though as Rashford burst through and it was risky from Raya outside the box but he wins the ball off his shoulder.

Rashford is down and left in a heap though.

Remarkably Man United have never been 4-0 down at this stage of a Premier League match.  A ‘time to go’ Glazers banner is lifted in the away end. 

Brilliant from Brentford and they are DEMOLISHING Manchester United.

It comes on the counter attack from their own box as the ball is cleared up-field. 

Toney looks like he’s going to take on Martinez but instead plays through Mbeumo, whose touch and finish is brilliant to take it away from Shaw and then the left-foot finish into the back of the net.

Brilliant stuff from the Bees

34 mins: Gary Neville on commentary says that United have been mauled, bullied and messed around with ‘like you couldn’t believe’.

And that would be a fair summary. Could be ugly for United as Brentford look dangerous from every set-piece – which is not helped by United being sloppy at the back and making mistakes.

Chants of ‘Christian, what’s the score?’ ring around the Brentford end.

It goes from bad to worse for Erik ten Hag.

The corner comes in and Toney heads it back across the box leaving De Gea stranded.

Martinez can’t get onto the end of the ball but Ben Mee can, and he bundles the ball home.

United players look stunned. Ronaldo throws his arm down in frustration.

29 mins: Jensen whips in a dangerous ball and De Gea is able to punch away.

But there’s another free-kick for Brentford after Dasilva wiggles away from two players before he is brought down.

Brentford then win a corner after Hickey plays the ball off Rashford after the free-kick.

28 mins: Another free-kick for Brentford – about 25 yards out after Fernandes makes a lazy tackle just outside the area on Hickey.

Chance for a dangerous ball to be crossed into the box.

25 mins: Time for a drink. Ten Hag might be hoping for something stronger than water though after the mistakes which have put them 2-0 down.

United’s defenders have their work cut out with both Mbuemo and Toney bullying the opposition in the air so far.

Thomas Frank pulled out his board as he gave some instructions out and away we go again.

24 mins: United come forward but Dalot’s cross is well over-hit and Rashford can’t get onto the end of it.

Dalot then gets forward again and exchanges passes with Ronaldo but his shot from the edge of the area is comfortably held by Raya.

22 mins: ‘You’re going down with Fulham’ is the next chant aimed by Brentford fans at United.

The visitors though now having a spell of possession but they need somebody to step up and get them back into this game.

‘Sacked in the morning’ chants by Brentford fans. 

Erik ten Hag probably can’t believe what he’s seeing.

His free-kick goes over the bar but it’s from the resulting goal-kick where it all goes wrong for Manchester United.

De Gea plays a dreadful pass to former Brentford man Eriksen who is hounded immediately by Jensen who wins possession and gets the goal.

United’s defence is crumbling!!!

Manchester United look so vulnerable and Harry Maguire lunches right through Ivan Toney and he gets a yellow though he’s very lucky Martinez got back in time or it could have been a red.

Free-kick just outside the box for Brentford

15 mins: Dasilva tries to turn provider as he tries to pick out a team-mate in the box from the right side of the flank – though Martinez manages to get a foot in just in time.

11 mins: Good chance for United to respond as Eriksen and Sancho play a 1-2 before the ball is played back to Bruno Fernandes who scoops his shot well over the bar.

Ronaldo feels like he was fouled in the build-up to the goal, doesn’t look like he was though.

He’s done it again Dasilva who fires at goal and De Gea should do much much better than this as he tries to scoop the ball with both hands as he dives and it slips through them.

1-0 for Brentford! From the man who bagged the equaliser last week against Leicester and was rewarded with a start.

Christian Eriksen is getting some boos whenever he is on the ball from the Brentford fans.

Bit surprised by that seeing how well he did for them last season.

Brentford of course were keen to re-sign Eriksen before he opted to join Man United.

6 mins: Good chance here for Brentford as a long throw comes into the box and the ball bobbles around before United are able to clear it for a corner.

Mbuemo takes the corner and it’s headed out to Henry on the edge of the box who blasts it over first time on the volley.

4 mins: United players are blending nicely into the grass with their new hi-vis third kit. Not the prettiest kit I must say.

They are starting the stronger though and Ronaldo lets loose from outside the area and it bobbles comfortably for Raya to take. Speculative to say the least.

2 mins: Good work from Rashford with the turn and pass to Ronaldo who has a claim for a free-kick on the edge of the Brentford area turned down.

Bruno Fernandes and Man United get us underway!

‘Hey Jude’ is playing inside the Gtech Community Stadium which means we are about to get underway at Brentford.

The players line-up in the tunnel and come out with the home crowd receiving a big roar from the home support

There were protests last week, and just before kick-off today the visiting fans have started a chant of ‘We want Glazers out’

Brentford are winless against Manchester United in six top-flight meetings going all the way back until the end of the 1936-37 season.

The Bees though have not lost their first home game in any of their six previous top flight seasons – famously beating Arsenal on Friday Night Football last year.

United ended last season on a six-match away losing run – something they’ll look to put right – with kick-off in about ten minutes.

Christian Eriksen has come a long way since the events of Euro 2020.

Today he comes up against his old team who he helped win seven of the 11 games he participated in – when previously, it looked like he might not play a game again. 

Will he make an impact in the late kick-off?

We’re less than 30 minutes to go until kick-off at Brentford. But the 3pm kick-offs have come to an end and here are the results.

Arsenal 4-2 Leicester

Brighton 0-0 Newcastle

Man City 4-0 Bournemouth

Southampton 2-2 Leeds

Wolves 0-0 Fulham

Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho has admitted the squad ‘needs more time’ to be successful as he referenced new signings and a new playing system ahead of the club’s trip to face Brentford on Saturday.

United limped to a disappointing loss on the opening Premier League weekend, losing 2-1 to Graham Potters impressive Brighton side at Old Trafford as the era of Erik ten Hag got underway.

The new Man United boss has called for more reinforcements to be added to his stuttering squad of superstars as the Dutchman attempts to guide the club back to brighter days.

Read more below

Neither side could pick up a win from their season openers, though it’s safe to say, that Brentford had a lot more to cheer about than Man United.

The Bees went 2-0 down after goals from Timothy Castagne and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, only to show incredible character in the second-half, with goals from Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva earning them a point.

United meanwhile picked up where they left off last season, with an underwhelming poor display as Pascal Gross scored a brace in a 2-1 win for Brighton.

The Red Devils won 3-0 and 3-1 in the two games between today’s opponents last season, so there should still be plenty of optimism that they can get three points up on the board.

Manchester United fans won’t see the often maligned ‘McFred’ partnership as Ronaldo comes in for Scott McTominay and will be part of a front three alongside Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.

Bruno Fernandes drops back to midfield, alongside Christian Eriksen and Fred so plenty of creativity in the team but can they get their season rolling?

The signing of Mikkel Damsgaard has excited Brentford fans, but like Thomas Frank said on Friday, he is not fit to start though the Bees could see the Dane make his debut today.

There are two changes though as Mads Roerslev and Josh Dasilva – who came off the bench to score a late leveller against the Foxes last week – are recalled as Vitaly Janelt and Yoane Wissa drop out.

Ronaldo starts! As does Christian Eriksen against his former team


Starting with Brentford….


Here's our line-up to take on Manchester United#BrentfordFC | #BREMUN

The big talking point when the teams news is announced will be whether Cristiano Ronaldo starts for the visitors.

Ronaldo has wanted to leave the club this summer after they failed to qualify for the Champions League, but it looks like his only option is to stay at Old Trafford.

He’s had to put that disappointment aside and focus on getting back into shape after missing most of pre-season. Ronaldo’s return could be a huge boost for Erik ten Hag as they look to get their season up and running after their defeat to Brighton last week.

Team news will be out in about 20 minutes for the late kick-off between Brentford and Manchester United but here’s what’s happening around the grounds from the 3pm kick-offs

Arsenal 2-0 Leicester

Brighton 0-0 Newcastle

Man City 3-0 Bournemouth

Southampton 0-1 Leeds

Wolves 0-0 Fulham

Also in the early kick-off, Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa beat Frank Lampard’s Everton 2-1.

And welcome to Sportsmail’s live coverage of Manchester United’s trip to Brentford which kicks off at 5.30pm.

The Erik ten Hag era got off to a miserable start last week against Brighton, and the Dutchman will be keen to put things right ahead of their next match which comes against their greatest rivals Liverpool.

Kieran Lynch with you today, and I’ll be bringing you all the build-up and updates in what promises to be a cracking match.

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