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Can dramatic Brentford win be a turning point for Manchester United?


Manchester United players celebrate after scoring the winner during their clash with Brentford at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, October 7, 2023. /CFP

Manchester United players celebrate after scoring the winner during their clash with Brentford at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, October 7, 2023. /CFP

Manchester United players celebrate after scoring the winner during their clash with Brentford at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, October 7, 2023. /CFP

It resembled a tale straight out of Tinseltown.  

Manchester United found themselves on the verge of a third successive defeat on their home turf, a predicament they had not encountered since 1979. However, the match unfolded with Brentford midfielder Mathias Jensen seizing the spotlight, netting the opener in the 26th minute.  

In a last-ditch attempt to salvage the situation, manager Erik ten Hag summoned Scott McTominay onto the field a mere three minutes before the final whistle. The Scottish ‘small fry’ would ultimately deliver the team’s redemption. 

To almost everyone’s astonishment, McTominay first exhibited masterful control, lashing the ball into the back of the net due to Kristoffer Ajer’s errant clearance within his own penalty area. Moments later, as Thomas Strakosha thwarted Anthony Martial’s low strike, McTominay reacted with remarkable swiftness to seize the opportunity presented by Harry Maguire’s deft header, culminating in an invaluable goal and an incredible comeback.

Scott McTominay of Manchester United reacts after scoring the winner during their clash with Brentford at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, October 7, 2023. /CFP

Scott McTominay of Manchester United reacts after scoring the winner during their clash with Brentford at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, October 7, 2023. /CFP

Scott McTominay of Manchester United reacts after scoring the winner during their clash with Brentford at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, October 7, 2023. /CFP

The extraordinary turn of events saw United trail until 92 minutes and 46 seconds into the game, making it the latest point in a Premier League game where they managed to overturn a deficit and emerge victorious. 

The impact of McTominay’s double on the morale within United cannot be overstated. The football giants have endured a relentless stream of challenges and setbacks, finding themselves mired in crisis after crisis.  

Interestingly, McTominay and Maguire faced a potential departure from Old Trafford during the summer. It is rather ironic, therefore, that these two individuals joined forces to rescue what had appeared to be an irreparable situation for Ten Hag’s side. 

By averting the prospect of succumbing to three consecutive home defeats within a week against adversaries most onlookers would anticipate United to vanquish with relative ease, the team procured a respite from an overwhelming predicament. 

However, upon the dissipation of the fervor that accompanies such triumph, Ten Hag will undoubtedly be cognizant of the considerable amount of labor that still lies ahead. 

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford during their clash with Brentford at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, October 7, 2023. /CFP

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford during their clash with Brentford at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, October 7, 2023. /CFP

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford during their clash with Brentford at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, October 7, 2023. /CFP

Newly acquired goalkeeper Andre Onana appears to be presenting challenges as he proves to be a liability for the team. In the midfield, Casemiro, in stark contrast to his previous season’s form, seems to be a shadow of his former self. Moving further up the field, both Mason Mount and Marcus Rashford have regrettably become mere apparitions, exerting minimal influence on the squad’s fortunes.  

No individual embodies the state of malaise that plagues United quite like Rashford. In a clear reflection of the team’s struggles, Rashford was substituted in the 77th minute during the defeat against Crystal Palace. He was similarly withdrawn from the game after 68 minutes of play in the loss to Galatasaray.  

Rashford managed to persist until the 62nd minute on Saturday, and it is difficult to determine whether his struggles stem from a dearth of confidence or a lack of enthusiasm. Regardless, his contributions to the cause of United are progressively dwindling, rendering them increasingly inconsequential. 

Amid all the concerns that have dogged the team, there remains a glimmer of hope ignited by McTominay’s decisive heroics. It is quite possible that this single moment has the potential to alter the trajectory of the entire season. 

In the wake of the final whistle, United embarked on a lap of honor, an action that might be perceived as somewhat excessive. Yet, after weathering so many setbacks and reversals, who could possibly find it in their heart to admonish them for reveling in the sheer excitement of their hard-fought victory? 



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