Player ratings: Usual suspect steals the show for Man Utd; Brentford star puts on tantalising Old Trafford audition

Cristiano Ronaldo was the star of the show, again, as Manchester United returned to some sort of form with a routine 3-0 Premier League win over a disappointing Brentford side at Old Trafford.

United made a fast start and opened the scoring in the ninth mate when Diogo Dalot’s long ball sent Anthony Elanga scampering clear, and the 20-year-old fizzed over a cross from the byline that Bruno Fernandes crashed home on the volley.

The home side were largely dominant, with their forward play, in particular, looking sharp. And they thought they had a second goal just before the break through Ronaldo, only for a narrow VAR offside decision to rule out his strike after Juan Mata’s cross.

United were awarded a penalty in the 60th minute when Rico Henry bundled over Ronaldo in the box. The 37-year-old stepped up to the spot and sent Raya the wrong way in front of the Stretford End.

The Red Devils went 3-0 up in the 72nd minute when Raphael Varane’s hooked effort from a corner deflected home, giving him his first United goal.

The vistory moved United five points behind United in their unlikely chase for fourth spot, while Brentford stay 14th.

Man Utd (4-2-3-1)

David de Gea: Pulled off a couple of smart stops, including a trademark one with an outstretched boot. 7

Diogo Dalot: Guilty of some poor crossing but his pinpoint ball over the top eventually led to United’s opener for Fernandes. 6

Victor Lindelof: Had to be on the ball to deal with the pace and movement of Toney and Mbeumo and not always comfortable. 6

Raphael Varane: A memorable night for the Frenchman after notching his first goal for the club to seal the win. 7

Alex Telles: Not at his best and did not look to get forward too much over fears of a dangerous Brentford counter. 5

Scott McTominay: Relatively quiet by his normal standards but more lively when his normal running mate Fred came onto the pitch. 6

Nemanja Matic: Could not really get near the classy Eriksen in his final Old Trafford appearance in a United shirt. Booked and then taken off to a pleasant ovation with 20 minutes to go. 6

Anthony Elanga: Great spin, run and cross for United’s opening goal of the evening. His pace and movement was a threat to Brentford throughout. Subbed. 7

Mata adds creative spark

Juan Mata: Blasted a first-half effort wide when he should have at least hit the target. Gave United more creativity in around the Brentford box. Subbed. 7

Bruno Fernandes: Right place, right time for his volley to give United the lead on the night – ending his 11-game goal drought in the process. Always involved in the first half but drifted out of the game in the second. 7

Cristiano Ronaldo: Showed some sensational touches throughout and was clearly in the mood. Showed great strength to win the penalty and was ruthless from the spot to dispatch it. Another classy display from the evergreen Red Devils legend. 9

Substitutes:

Fred (on for Matic, 70): Run around a lot – what more can you say. 5

Edinson Cavani (on for Elanga, 75): Not really involved with the game already won. 5

Phil Jones (on for Mata, 75): A couple of decent clearances as Brentford pushed for a consolation. 6


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Brentford (5-3-2)

David Raya: Could not really do anything about the goals and pulled off a great stop to prevent a Jansson own goal. 6

Mads Roerslev: Tried to give Brentford an oulet down the right but his quality in the final third was not quite up to scratch. 5

Kristoffer Ajer: Struggled with United’s clever movement and did not always look comfortable. 5

Pontus Jansson: Almost scored an embarrassing own goal and had his hands full with a rampant Ronaldo. 5

Mads Bech Sørensen: Arguably the best of Brentford’s back three, but that’s not saying much. 5

Rico Henry: Showed good pace to try and give the Bees an outlet down the left. 6

Brentford midfield struggles

Christian Norgaard: Back in the Brentford side to anchor the midfield but struggled with Mata and Fernandes picking up possession in the pockets in and around him. 5

Vitaly Janelt: Not really involved in the game at all and hauled off with 20 minutes to go. 4

Christian Eriksen: Everything he did was just pure class, from his passing to his delivery. Saw a fierce free-kick pushed out by De Gea in the second half. Brentford’s best player by an absolute mile and it may well have been a nice audition for Erik ten Hag! 8

Christian Eriksen Man Utd v Brentford

Bryan Mbeumo: Plenty of willing running and was always a threat with his pace. 6

Ivan Toney: Headed a great Eriksen cross over the bar in the first half and dragged a good chance wide in the second. 5

Substitutes:

Mathias Jensen (on for Norgaard, 71): Struggled to get involved as United dominated. 5

Josh Dasilva (on for Janelt, 71): Could not really make his mark on the game but probably should have been introduced earlier. 5

Roane Wissa (on for Mbeumo, 76): Hardly had a touch after coming on. 5