Man Utd secured an important victory against Brentford, winning 1-0 after suffering a 2-0 defeat from Newcastle last week. Despite not delivering a pretty performance, the three points earned are what matter most for United in their pursuit of the Champions League.
The team were criticized following the Newcastle match and had Brentford’s 4-0 thrashing from the first game on their minds. Considering this, their average play and win could be viewed with leniency. Meanwhile, their third place rivals, Newcastle, beat West Ham 5-1 in London after capitalizing on the latter’s defensive flaws, putting pressure on United and Tottenham.
Both games were rescheduled due to the clubs’ participation in the Carabao Cup, and minimal changes were made in Erik Ten Hag and Eddie Howe’s starting line-ups. However, unlike the Newcastle game, Manchester United immediately started their attack against Brentford, dominating the first half.
Brentford had less than 30% possession and didn’t have any shots on target. United kept up the pace, scoring the leading goal in the 28th minute through Rashford following a corner. The fans felt instant relief as they have won eight consecutive home matches in the Premier League this season after scoring first. Although the second half was uneventful, United managed to secure three important points.
In contrast to the Manchester United-Brentford match, Newcastle-West Ham was exciting. Newcastle exploited many of West Ham’s defensive errors, scoring five goals, three of which were due to defensive blunders. The back line didn’t see Paqueta near the sideline and assumed Joelington was offside.
The Brazilian waited until VAR correctly decided that he was onside before finishing the action. Although West Ham scored a goal to make it 2-1, Aguerd lost the ball in his penalty area, giving Wilson the chance to score easily.
The blunders continued, with Fabianski rushing out of the penalty area and missing the ball, allowing Isac to score. Callum Wilson and Joelington both scored braces, leading to a 5-1 victory for Newcastle and possibly putting West Ham coach David Moyes in jeopardy of losing his job.