Manchester United are back in the top four after they secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Brentford tonight at Old Trafford.
Erik Ten Hag demanded a response from his side after their meek performance during their 2-0 defeat away at Newcastle last weekend and the Dutch coach will have been pleased to see his side start full of attacking vigour.
Manchester United completely dominated the opening exchanges with Scott McTominay and Antony both going close to opening the scoring with shots from the edge of the area.
Marcus Rashford played through the middle in place of Wout Weghorst and it was no surprise that it was the Red Devils talisman who opened the scoring on 27 minutes. Antony clipped the ball over the Brentford defence for Marcel Saibitzer to head into Rashford’s path, and the 25-year-old duly rifled a side-footed half-volley into the roof of the net.
Brentford inched their way back into the game after the break and David de Gea had to bravely smoother out Kevin Schade after the German forward found himself clean through on goal.
Brentford left gaps at the back as they poured forward in search of an equaliser and Fred missed a guilt-edged chance to finish the game off late on.
In the end United held on for the win in relative comfort and tonight’s victory sees them leapfrog Spurs into fourth.
Marcus Rashford has now scored 121 goals for Manchester United, that’s as many as Andrew Cole.
Amongst Legends. 🌟 pic.twitter.com/KpXj14kQRZ
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 5, 2023
Speaking afterwards matchwinner Rashford was happy to get back on track after the disappointment of last weekend.
“We are in that period of the season where every game is important and every game counts so we are pleased to win and hopefully we can get back to where we were a few weeks ago,” Rashford told BBC Sport.
“The important thing is always to win the next game. Everyone is clear that we are not going to play our best every week but there is never a time to drop our standards and we have to keep trying to push each other every week.
“We were a bit more patient out of possession, we waited for the right conditions to press rather than pressing every ball. We were calm and kept communicating to try and stop the supplies to their forward men.