Mason Mount’s late strike not enough for Man United as Brentford snatch draw

Mason Mount looked to have won it for Manchester United (Adam Davy/PA)
Mason Mount looked to have won it for Manchester United (Adam Davy/PA)

Manchester United did little to turn down the noise surrounding manager Erik Ten Hag’s future after an ultimately dramatic but largely uninspiring 1-1 draw at Brentford.

United looked to have turned a lifeless display into an unlikely three points after Mason Mount climbed off the bench to fire them ahead six minutes into stoppage time.

But Brentford equalised less than three minutes later through Kristoffer Ajer to snatch a point which was the least they deserved.

Ten Hag had shrugged off speculation over his job this week before returning to the scene of his catastrophic second match in charge, when they conceded four goals in the opening 35 minutes.

On the evidence of this underwhelming performance, they have hardly made any progress since that chastening afternoon in August 2022.

In fact, Brentford had enough chances to stage a repeat performance of their 4-0 romp but for the wayward finishing which has made their season a significantly tougher one than the last.

They had 31 attempts at goal and hit the woodwork four times before finally finding the net.

Ivan Toney, fresh from opening his England account against Belgium in midweek, raced through early on but his finish came back off the foot of the post.

The Bees hit the frame of the goal again when Mathias Jorgensen met Mathias Jensen’s cross with a powerful header which clipped the crossbar.

Toney threatened once more when he chased a long clearance and cut inside Victor Lindelof on the edge of the box, only to curl his shot over the top.

Still the chances came and went, with Vitaly Janelt driving across goal and wide, Yoane Wissa’s acrobatic effort flying off target and Keane Lewis-Potter heading straight at Andre Onana.

All United had to show for their limited endeavour in the first half was a Bruno Fernandes shot which fizzed wide and a deflected Marcus Rashford effort saved by Mark Flekken.

United did at least start the second half with a sense of urgency and Fernandes beat the offside trap before squaring for Rasmus Hojlund, whose first-time effort was brilliantly clawed away by Flekken.

Onana then outdid his opposite number with a stunning double save to keep out Yehor Yarmoliuk’s shot and Lewis-Potter’s follow-up.

Wissa came agonisingly close for the hosts when his volley shaved a post before an audacious Toney volley flew just over.

Toney had the ball in the net when he guided in a cross from substitute Bryan Mbeumo, but he was denied by a tight offside decision.

Moments later Mbeumo volleyed against the crossbar and it really did not look like being Brentford’s day when, deep into nine minutes of stoppage time, Casemiro set up Mount to convert at the far post.

But Brentford were not to be denied and when Toney sent the ball across goal in the 99th minute, Ajer was on hand to ensure United left with only a point which will do little for either their Champions League hopes or Ten Hag’s prospects of staying in a job this summer.


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