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Erik ten Hag's horrific start to Premier League life continued as Manchester United were blown away by a four goal Brentford blitz.
Josh Da Silva provided the first real sting when he capitalised on some sloppy passing from the United midfield and unleashed a tame effort that somehow squirmed through David De Gea’s hands and embarrassingly trundled into the back of the net. But De Gea had barely recovered from his first horror mistake when another brain freeze saw him sheepishly pass to Christian Eriksen, who turned into Mathias Jensen, giving his international compatriot a simple opportunity to finish past the Spaniard.
When it rains at United it pours and it did so at the Gtech Community Stadium as Ben Mee bundled in Ivan Toney’s looping header at the far post, before Bryan Mbeumo finished a stunning counterattack to add a jaw-dropping fourth. Daily Star sport considers five of Erik ten Hag’s mistakes after United suffered one of their most embarrassing Premier League defeats in history
Read More: Christian Eriksen booed by Brentford fans on return to club after signing for Man Utd
Starting you know who
Cristiano Ronaldo ’s first start of the new Premier League campaign was the talk of the Gtech Community Stadium. However, this topic was swiftly commandeered by Brentford’s stunning four goal haul.
Ronaldo tried to rally the troops when the second goal went in, but even he looked pretty helpless when the third and the fourth very quickly followed. It would be hard to label Ten Hag’s decision to deploy Ronaldo in this contest.
But his inclusion certainly did little to help the situation.
'McFred' out 'Just Fred' in
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Fred was deployed as the sitting defensive midfielder in front of the United back four. Unfortunately, he was absolutely flooded by a ferocious red and white tide who jostled him off the ball and blocked any and all passing lanes.
McTominay's presence may not have necessarily helped proceedings but it would have given the Brazilian a little bit more protection from the press. When it comes to his best position and role, Fred has been somewhat of a puzzle for Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Ralf Rangnick.
Considering his display and the fact Fred was hauled off at half time, Ten Hag will likely have the same headache as his many predecessors.
Back you come Christian
Eriksen was deployed in front of the Brighton and Hove Albion defence in his first Premier League match for United. But returning against his own team, Eriksen spent most of the time nervously receiving the ball under pressure in front of his own defence.
The normally ice cool and composed Dane was completely savaged by his former team mates who never gave him a moment to breathe. He was overpowered physically and out-fought mentally, particularly by his Denmark teammate Jensen, who so easily dispossessed him to double Brentford's lead.
Eriksen appeared to be a very shrewd piece of business from United, but Ten Hag does not seem to know where he can be utilised best.
Unchanged back four
Considering United's display last week, it was a surprise to see an unchanged back four for United. Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire and £54million summer arrival Lisandro Martinez kept their places in the defence.
Brentford targeted Martinez's smaller frame and looked to overload Shaw and Dalot at the backpost at every opportunity it worked a treat as the United defenders were all chasing shadows, particularly when Mee completed a training ground set piece to tap a third goal in from close range.
Ten Hag, almost mercifully, realised selection mistakes had been made, hauling off Shaw and Martinez and introducing Tyrell Malacia and Raphael Varane in the second half. Unfortunately for United, it was too late as the contest was already won by Brentford.
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- Manchester United FC
- Erik ten Hag
- Brentford FC
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