- Manchester United secured a 3-0 win over Brentford
- It was United’s last game at Old Trafford for the season
- United are essentially out of the Top 4 and remain 6th on the table
Ahead of a summer of change for struggling United, Ralf Rangnick’s side won for just the second time in seven games to prevent the atmosphere from turning toxic at Old Trafford.
Despite winning their last home game of the season, United remain in sixth place in the
They are five points behind the top four with no realistic hope of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
Fittingly, it was under gray, rainy skies that fans protested against the despised Glazers owners for a third straight home game.
Outside the stadium before kick-off, a group of supporters held up anti-Glazer banners, set off red smoke bombs and chanted offensive chants at the club’s owners.
United supporters had been urged by protesters to leave the stadium with 17 minutes left in the game – one minute for each year the US-based Glazers own the club.
But that idea turned out to be a wet squib as only a handful left their seats.
There were more empty seats as United embarked on a post-match round of appreciation, but no clear signs of dissent towards their underachieving stars.
“In possession, it was one of our best performances this year. It was the type of performance we wanted to show our supporters,” Rangnick said.
Either way, there is no doubt that the overall level of frustration at another trophyless season for United, who have not won the Premier League since 2013 and last lifted a major trophy five years ago.
– “Lack of consistency” –
Aside from some scathing comments about the management of the club, Rangnick has done little to rouse United from their malaise since replacing the sacked one.
“At the end of the day, I’m not happy with the results, especially over the last four or five weeks. In general, we’ve lacked consistency,” Rangnick said.
“Obviously a lot of players will leave and there is a need for high quality players.
“Other clubs only needed two or three transfer windows to challenge. I firmly believe that if everyone works together we can get Man Utd back to where we need to be.”
Rangnick was in charge of his last home game as caretaker United manager before recently hired Erik ten Hag arrived from Ajax to begin his rebuilding work next season.
After such a miserable run, United needed a quick start to lift the gloom and it took them just nine minutes to move past.
He reached the ball just before it went out for a goal kick and whipped a superb cross towards Fernandes, who flew in from six yards for his first league goal since February.
After several listless displays, it was a more forceful effort from United and Juan Mata fired narrowly wide from Ronaldo’s blazing pass.
Ronaldo won a 60th-minute penalty as he passed Rico Henry and was roughly sent down to the grass by the Brentford defender.
Getting up, Ronaldo sent David Raya the wrong way.
The Portuguese striker has scored nine of United’s last 11 league goals, taking his tally for the season to 24 in all competitions.
With the much-publicized departure of United fans seconds away, Varane stole the third goal from a 72nd-minute corner.
That appeared to quell the revolt, with Mata and Nemanja Matic – both likely to leave at the end of the season – leaving to standing ovations when they were substituted.
It was a rare feel-good moment in a season of contention at Old Trafford.