Football Features

“Today was a horrible day” – Player ratings as Brentford murder Manchester United 4-0

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:51, 13 August 2022

In a wild evening of football, Brentford beat Manchester United for the first time since 1937, and in some style!

“It’s like a men’s team against under-9’s,” said Gary Neville during his commentary, and he was right. “This is very, very, very bad,” he added after the game.

Here’s how the players rated at the Brentford Community Stadium:


David Raya – 7 – Did what was asked of him well, even threw in some adventurous flourishes just to keep everyone entertained.

Aaron Hickey – 7 – Really dynamic on the right-flank.

Mads Roerslev- 7 – Had so little to do, but did it well.

Pontus Jansson – 7 – Coasted through the game.

Ben Mee – 8 – Scored a scrappy but satisfying goal to make it 3-0. Dominated Martinez in the air even as he was off-balance.

Rico Henry – 7 – Ran hard.

Christian Norgaard – 8 – Patrolled midfield with confidence and control.

Mathias Jensen – 9 – Ran the show from the middle of the park. Pressed Christian Eriksen into oblivion, leading to multiple chances and the second goal which he dispatched superbly. Also picked up the assist for the opener. Dominant.

Josh Dasilva – 8 – Opened the scoring with a scuffed effort that ended up rolling under the miserable David de Gea.

Bryan Mbuemo – 7 – Torched United on the break to scored Brentford’s fourth goal, taking his chance superbly.

Ivan Toney – 8 – Killed United but not in the way everyone expected. Oh, sure, he dominated Martinez without ever even needing to touch him. A superb headed assist for Ben Mee’s third goal was followed up by a superhuman first-time low cross to set-up Mbuemo for the fourth. Toney tormented United.

Brentford Substitutes:

Vitaly Janelt (for Dasilva 61′) – 7 – Kept things ticking over.

Yoann Wissa (for Mbuemo 73′) – 7 – Looked bright.

Shandon Baptiste (for Jensen 74′) – 6 – Moved the ball well.

Frank Onyeka (for Norgaard 80′) – 6 – Caused problems for United.

Mads Sorensen (for Hickey 80′) – n/a – Came on late.

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Manchester United

David de Gea – 1 – “That is a Massimo Taibi moment,” said Jamie Redknapp at half-time when watching footage of David de gea let Josh Dasilva’s feeble shot creep underneath him. That goal turned the game and seemed to electrify Brentford as well as euthanise United.

After that it was all the usual De Gea foibles leading to Brentford goals. His useless kicking allowed Brentford to force United back and eventually score a second; “Maybe I should read better the game,” said De Gea after the game. Moreover, his inability to organise his defence and command his area led to Brentford scoring the third while he did wind sprints on his goal-line.

The fourth goal was, admittedly, not his fault. Although he probably should have done better than he did to confront Mbuemo. Instead he did nothing, letting four goals in from four shots on target and, bar making some saves in the second-half where Brentford (who have literally never scored five goals in a single Premier League game) pelted shots straight at him, the rest of his performance passed without incident.

That first 45 minutes, however, was a microcosm of David de Gea’s miserable career at Manchester United. He’s only ever been good when the defence was bad, and the defence has always been bad because besides diving saves and saves with his feet, he is below average at every other aspect of being a modern goalkeeper and Erik ten Hag trying to play actual football has exposed that.

“I cost three points to my team today, to be honest,” said De Gea after the game, adding: “today was a horrible day.”

When Pep Guardiola joined Manchester City he was given the authority to punt club legend Joe Hart into the sun and bring a goalkeeper in who was able to play his style of football. Erik ten Hag must be given the same authority to deal with David de Gea or Manchester United will struggle to finish in the top half of the Premier League table.

Diogo Dalot – 3 – Poor in attack, poor at the back.

Harry Maguire – 4 – For the first time in a long time, Harry Maguire wasn’t the culprit for United’s defensive miseries.

Lisandro Martinez – 3 – Still not comfortable with his team-mates to work as a functioning unit and he got mangled in the air by a nearly supine Ben Mee. Lisandro Martinez is a fine player but this was a horrendous performance for him.

Luke Shaw – 3 – Shaw has a proven track record of being defensively poor and we saw that today. So bad in the build-up phase as well. His defending for the fourth Brentford goal was shockingly weak.

Christian Eriksen – 4 – Still the only United player who ever looks capable of making anything happen. Made some bright runs and nice passes but was pressed into oblivion by Brentford and missed a couple of great chances to score.

Fred – 3 – The best thing one can say about Fred is that he wasn’t at fault for any of the goals.

Bruno Fernandes – 3 – Has lost all the cut and thrust his game used to have and is now just a very angry man who is playing 100mph faster than all of his team-mates.

Jadon Sancho – 4 – Looked the only United player on the same technical level as Brentford’s players, but sadly spent the entire game running headlong into defensive brick walls.

Marcus Rashford – 2 – It’s hard to describe Marcus Rashford’s form right now, but perhaps the best way is that he resembles a rubber dinghy with 70% of the air let out of it. The basic shape of greatness is still there but, just… not at a functional level. It’s a sad sight to see for one of the game’s genuinely good people but maybe a move to PSG away from the toxicity of Manchester United is what this generational talent needs to rediscover the spark his game has lacked?

Cristiano Ronaldo – 2 – A physical shadow of the player he used to be. Forget technique, he’s lost so much explosive pace and power that he can’t even hold players off in simple 50-50’s anymore. Was bullied for Brentford’s first goal and mostly anonymous after that. When he did see the ball it was only to miss a chance that three years ago he would have buried without a second’s hesitation.

Manchester United Substitutes:

Raphael Varane (for Martinez 46′) – 7 – Instantly United’s best player. Prevented two Brentford goals in his first two minutes on the field.

Tyrell Malacia (for Shaw 46′) – 6 – Feisty and combative and put some nice crosses into the box.

Scott McTominay (for Fred 46′) – 5 – Not terrible, but as always his best contribution was violence.

Anthony Elanga (for Sancho 60′) – 5 – Couldn’t spike the United performance.

Donny van de Beek (for Eriksen 87′) – n/a – Came on late.