Manchester United recorded the biggest win of Ralf Rangnick’s reign in his final home match as interim boss as Brentford were beaten at Old Trafford, according to BBC News.
A brilliant opener from Bruno Fernandes was followed by a second-half penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane’s first United goal as the hosts cruised to victory.
Ronaldo also had a goal disallowed as he moved onto 18 Premier League goals, four behind Golden Boot leader Mohamed Salah.
The result keeps alive United’s slender hopes of Champions League qualification at least until next weekend, while Brentford could still go down, even though their 40 points is almost certainly enough to retain their status as a top-flight club.
For the third game running, home fans protested against the club’s owners, but while there were plenty of anti-Glazer family chants and green and gold flares in opposition to the Americans, the mooted 73rd-minute walkout did not materialise in any significant number.
Mata’s fond farewell
United’s victory moved them on to 58 points with two games remaining, meaning they still have the chance to match their tally from the 2013-14 campaign under David Moyes, which is their lowest since the 59 they struggled to in 1990-91.
This was actually one of their better displays, helped in no small part by Juan Mata, who was making his first league start of the season in what was probably his last match at Old Trafford.
Mata could have had an assist to go with his precise passing and invention, only for Ronaldo to be judged marginally offside after he had scored from the veteran Spain international’s pass.
Ronaldo got his goal anyway, sending Brentford keeper David Raya the wrong way from the spot after the Portuguese had been fouled by Rico Henry.
That doubled a lead given to the hosts by Fernandes.
With a contract to 2026, Fernandes is one of the pillars of incoming manager Erik ten Hag’s United.
His first goal since February was a beauty, slamming home Anthony Elanga’s cutback with a first-time volley.
Raphael Varane’s deflected shot brought United their third – and with the protest not gaining the anticipated momentum, there were still plenty of fans in the stadium as the home players went on their post-match lap of appreciation for a season that most connected with the club cannot wait to end.
Image Source: BBC News