Scott McTominay came from the bench to spare Manchester United blushes with a dramatic 2:1 win at Old Trafford.
Brentford took a shocking lead after 26 minutes through Mathias Jensen despite Manchester United’s dominance in the early exchanges.
Brentford held on in what looked like another scalp at Old Trafford until three minutes in added time when McTominay directed the ball into the net after it ricocheted in the box.
United had had a goal ruled out shortly before then for offside after confirmation by the video assistant referee.
For all their enterprises, McTominay lost his marker again in the dying seconds of added time when he headed the ball into the net.
Brentford would be hard done by the defeat, which stretched to five in five and winless in six in all competitions.
The Reds escaped with all three points on another memorable day at Old Trafford after two successive defeats in both the Premier League and Champions League.
Speaking shortly after the game, the match-winner said, “That might be one of my favourite moments on a football pitch. Two goals at the death was incredible, but I am just happy to be able to contribute and show people that I can do it.”
United have been ravaged by injury with five regular starters on the treatment table, and Erik Ten Hag had to recall former captain Harry Maguire to pair Jonny Evans in the defence.
The shaky defence occasioned by a lack of permanent partnership has leaked 12 goals in eight games in the Premier League alone.
With low morale as the team struggles to score but conceding more, McTominay said, the win is “massive. Everyone knows we are in a difficult period at the minute, but we have fighters in the group who want to keep going right until the end.
“It could have been anyone on that pitch scoring the two goals. Really pleased, and hopefully, we can build on that from here.
“Sometimes we feel like we are in our own bubble with people outside only saying negative things, but we just have to block that out and be better after the international break.”
Brentford coach Thomas Frank said after the match that, “Football is brutal in moments like this. I think we did so many things right, coming here to Old Trafford: almost perfect first half, pressed high, good on the counter and well deserved lead.
“Of course, in the second half, you know you will be put under pressure here. I actually felt like we defended it very well and didn’t give any big chances away… well until the third minute of injury time.
“Then, of course, to lose the game is even more brutal. At least a draw was probably a fairer reflection.”