By Phil Spencer
Manchester United’s new Premier League season has gone from bad to worse after a nightmare start against Brentford.
After losing 2-1 to Brighton on the opening weekend, the hope for Erik ten Hag’s side was that they would bounce back with a strong performances against the Bees in London.
Unfortunately, United’s players didn’t get the memo.
David De Gea has the reputation of being one of the Premier League’s top goalkeepers, but he pulled off a shocking blunder after just ten minutes to allow Brentford to take the lead.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who was handed a surprise start at the Brentford Community Stadium, was caught dawdling on the ball by Mathias Jensen who played the ball to Josh Dasilva who hit a routine effort towards goal from 20 yards.
Unfortunately, De Gea got it all wrong and spilled the ball into the back of his own net in a moment of real embarrassment.
Things got even worst for the Spaniard eight minutes later when he tried to play the ball out to Christian Eriksen from a goal kick, only for the Dane to lose the ball to Jensen who slotted home to make it 2-0 to the Bees after just 18 minutes.
Eriksen was having an uncomfortable afternoon as he took on his former club, with Brentford’s supporters booing him every time he touched the ball, but for United, this was the least of their problems.
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Things got even worse after half an hour when a set piece saw Ben Mee head home inside the penalty area, before Bryan Mbeumo netted to make it 4-0 in a quite stunning first half.
talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan was one of many who reacted on social media, and couldn’t believe what he was watching.
“This scandalous bunch of miscreants at Manchester United need to start representing this club properly,” he posted on Twitter.
“They are so lightweight, mentally puny, playing out when the option isn’t there, because that’s what they’ve practised.”
United legend Gary Neville, meanwhile, was simply stunned by the manner of the Red Devils’ collapse, with ole’s heard from the Brentford supporters as a nightmare first half came to a close.
Liverpool legend and Sky Sports sparring partner Jamie Carragher didn’t exactly help his mood…
“Brentford are not having it, they are all over them like a rash, Manchester United are in a mess,” Neville said on co-commentary.
“They are being pressed like you would not believe and they are crumbling in this first 20 minutes.
“Shell-shocked, Erik ten Hag… and this is no surprise whatsoever.
“He’s picked the smallest team he could have possibly picked thinking he is going to out-pass Brentford. But it is 5’9” Lisandro Martinez against Ben Mee. No chance.
“You have to deal with the physical aspect of the game in the Premier League and Manchester United are not doing it. I have to say, it is like a men’s team against under nines.
“They have been mauled, bullied, messed around with like you wouldn’t believe.
“What a first half of football we are seeing here – the annihilation of Manchester United.”
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