Man Utd in David de Gea's debt as Cristiano Ronaldo's tantrum taints Brentford win

Manchester United have now won four of their last seven Premier League after beating Brentford 3-1 on Wednesday, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s tantrum tainted the hard-fought win

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In pictures: Brentford v Man Utd

The scoreline only told half of the story.

Quite how Manchester United were allowed to escape with such a comfortable win was down to a mixture of David de Gea’s heroics, Brentford missing chances and ruthless finishing at the other end.

Incredibly, that makes it four wins from seven Premier League games under Ralf Rangnick and anyone looking at those results might think it is going rather well for the interim manager.

But then you have the mother of all meltdowns from Cristiano Ronaldo who behaved more like a petulant child when he was substituted in the second half. A total lack of respect.

It was downright embarrassing as United’s star player effectively called out the manager in public by trudging slowly off the pitch, then throwing down his jacket in disgust on the bench before pointing at himself and shouting: “Me?”

Mind you, at least that probably took some of the focus away from a wretched and awful first half performance from United when they looked as far removed from their traditions as their horrible blue and yellow mishmash of a kit.

Join the debate! Did Man Utd deserve to beat Brentford? Let us know your thoughts below.

Ronaldo was furious after being subbed off

They got away with it thanks to de Gea, Mathias Jensen wasting a hat trick of gilt edged chances and yet you were left scratching your head wondering how on earth United ran away with it so easily in the end.

The truth was that it was United’s own clinical finishing as Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood and then substitute Marcus Rashford took their chances with real style.

That should be a huge goal for Rashford who has been struggling so badly for form but this might just help him on his way back. He looked a different player after scoring.

But the travelling support will know in their heart of hearts that this is a million miles away from where they want to be. A precious important win. But far from convincing. At this rate, they might as well give de Gea the Player of the Year gong now. His renaissance is truly remarkable.

The United fans chanted and sang their hearts out as the goals flew in but Rangnick cannot be the answer in the long term and you have to wonder whether it is a good idea to even consult him on the permanent manager.

United played with little style or direction in the first half and de Gea bailed them out time and again as they could not handle Brentford’s energy or threat.

Jensen went clear only to be denied by de Gea’s legs, Vitaly Janelt’s follow-up shot was heroically blocked by Victor Lindelof and then Mads Bech Sorensen saw a close range effort blocked by Alex Telles. United were hanging on.

Brentford pushed Man Utd to the brink

Time and again, Brentford’s energy caused all sorts of problems. Bryan Mbeumo is such a menace but de Gea denied Jensen with another two saves and you have to fear for Brentford because they were every neutral’s favourite fairytale but are sinking fast.

United somehow made it to half time without conceding and then, credit to Rangnick, they did improve and the goals began to flow.

Fred was the unlikely pass master for the 55th minute opener as his through ball put in Elanga who controlled it rather awkwardly, the ball span up and the youngster headed home his first goal of the season.

Elanga scored his first goal of the season

United made it two after 62 minutes. Ronaldo chested the ball forward, Bruno Fernandes raced away and then played in Greenwood who just stayed onside to score.

Ronaldo threw his strop as United rang the changes with Fernandes setting up Rashford for a cool finish and the points were in the bag. It was a lesson in finishing.

Brentford finally got their goal as Ivan Toney showed Jensen how it is done by poking home after a goalmouth scramble but by then it was too little too late.

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