hit tracker Brentford 1 Man Utd 1: Ajer equalises in 99th minute after Mount’s first Utd goal looked set to secure undeserved win – Newsmix.pics

Brentford 1 Man Utd 1: Ajer equalises in 99th minute after Mount’s first Utd goal looked set to secure undeserved win

IF THIS Manchester United team make the Champions League, it will be as big a travesty as the result of this truly extraordinary game

Mason Mount seemed to have committed the biggest robbery of this or any other Premier League season by scoring deep into stoppage time.

Rex

Kristoffer Ajer earned Brentford a point[/caption]

And Kristoffer Ajer’s even later equaliser was hardly justice.

Because United were totally outplayed by a brilliant Brentford side still not safe from relegation.

It’s the time of year for miracles, and it is unbelievable that Erik Ten Hag’s side escaped without a defeat that would have put another nail in the coffin of their hopes of finishing in the top four or five.

Before Ajer’s strike, the Bees had hit the woodwork three times, forced fine saves out of Andre Onana, had a goal disallowed for a tight offside, and wasted countless other opportunities.

Ten Hag claims not to care about speculation that he will be sacked as part of the changes envisaged by new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his team.

The prospect of a fat pay-off no doubt lessens the jeopardy.

But any United fan who cares about the club will wonder where it is heading under the Dutchman. 

United started the game unchanged from the side that beat Liverpool 4-3 in that thrilling FA Cup tie, the highlight of Ten Hag’s reign apart from the Carabao Cup win last season.

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But the big question is how much United have really changed since their last visit to this corner of West London.

Before the game Brentford showed highlights of their incredible victory in August 2022, when Thomas Frank’s side scored four goals in the first 35 minutes and won 4-0.

It’s no exaggeration to say that, with better finishing, the scoreline would have been the same again at half-time.

And it’s hardly unfair to state that United have gone backwards this season after spending big on Rasmus Hojlund, Andre Onana and Mason Mount.

If wins earlier in the day for Champions League rivals Spurs and Aston Villa had not woken United up to the task in hand, then the ear-splitting volume at which the Brentford PA system blasted out Metallica’s Enter Sandman before kick off should have done the trick.

United’s away contingent also started the match in good voice.

Their team gave them very little to shout about, however, particularly in a poor first-half display.

After captain Bruno Fernandes sent an early shot wide, Brentford created all the best chances and should have been at least two goals up by the break.

Cross after cross and corner after corner rained into Andre Onana’s box. Shots and headers went everywhere except the back of the net.

Toney, fresh from grabbing his first England goal from the penalty spot against Belgium, fluffed the best of the opportunities.

Lively Yoane Wissa played a first-time pass through Raphael Varane’s legs and found his strike partner the wrong side of Victor Lindelof. But Toney slightly scuffed his shot, which struck Onana’s right-hand post and rebounded to safety.

The home side were defending well but there was a real lack of penetration from United.

Wingers Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho in particular were struggling to make an impact.

Back at the other end, Zanka headed against the bar and Toney fired high and wide.

While Brentford’s shot count hit double figures, United’s first effort on target arrived in the 42nd minute. Brentford ‘keeper Mark Flekken dealt with Rashford’s shot as comfortably as his team had dealt with their opponents as a whole.

There was still time for another last-ditch clearance from Lindelof and a Lewis-Potter header saved by Onana.

Harry Maguire replaced the injured Varane at half time and United played with a little more purpose. Flekken saved easily from Fernandes but was grateful to see a Diogo Dalot effort go just wide.

And after Wissa failed to make the best of a two on two break, Fernandes teed up Hojlund, only for Flekken to make a superb save.

Not to be outdone, Onana did just as well to keep out Yehor Yarmoliuk’s effort and Lewis-Potter’s follow-up. But the United ‘keeper was helpless when Wissa sent a volley flashing wide.

Before the hour, Ten Hag had seen enough and sent on Antony for Garnacho.

Little changed, including Brentford’s inability to take their chances. Although if Toney’s volley from Jensen’s pass had gone in, it would have been a goal of the season contender.

United’s defensive woes deepened as Lindelof became the second centre back forced off by injury. On came World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez for his first appearance since February and only his ninth in the Premier League all season.

Lewis-Potter sent an acrobatic effort over the bar before Frank made his first changes.

Antony shot just wide and then finally Brentford had the ball in the net. Only for VAR to confirm that Toney was offside from substitute Bryan Mbeumo’s cross.

Then it was Mbeumo’s turn to be denied, hitting the crossbar. Onana stopped Jensen’s header.

Toney failed to capitalise on Martinez’s mistake. It was truly incredible.A minimum of nine minutes of stoppage time were decreed. Forgotten man Mount scored neatly in the sixth.

But brave Brentford avoided the least deserved defeat you could imagine, when Ajer turned in Toney’s cutback in the ninth.

If they had found a winner in a handful more, no-one in those hideous United shirts could have complained.

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