LONDON (AP) — Manchester United plumbed new depths with a 4-0 loss at Brentford on Saturday to send Erik ten Hag’s team into meltdown after just two games of the Premier League season.
Through a mixture of defensive ineptitude and Brentford's opportunism, United was 4-0 down at halftime for the first time in a Premier League game.
Mistakes by goalkeeper David De Gea gifted the first two goals to Josh Dasilva and Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee nodded in the third at a corner and Bryan Mbeumo hit a slick fourth on the counterattack on a chastening afternoon for the visitors.
Ten Hag, who joined from Ajax in the offseason, had insisted before the game that he was not panicking despite United’s lack of new signings but the Dutchman must be worried about this humiliating result, coming a week after a 2-1 home loss to Brighton.
It was a defeat largely of United’s own making.
Ten Hag had turned to Cristiano Ronaldo to lead the attack, having started the Portugal star on the bench against Brighton.
But the problems were all at the other end, as United imploded after only 10 minutes thanks to the first mistake from De Gea.
The Spaniard allowed Dasilva’s weak long-range shot to squirm through his hands and roll into the net.
De Gea was at fault again eight minutes later, passing to the under-pressure Christian Eriksen as United attempted to play out from the back.
Jensen was alive to the unravelling situation in the United defense and nipped in to rob Eriksen, cut inside and double the lead.
It was a sweet moment for the Bees fans, with Eriksen having spent the second half of last season with Brentford following his recovery from cardiac arrest, only to opt for supposed bigger and better things at United.
It certainly does not look like panning out that way for the Denmark international just yet.
The drinks break in sweltering conditions gave Ten Hag the chance to try to sort out the mess unfolding in front of him, while Bees boss Thomas Frank brought out a tactics board.
There was no change and on the half hour, Mee, an offseason signing from Burnley, bundled in a header at the far post after United failed to deal with a corner headed back into the danger area by Ivan Toney.
Five minutes later, Toney was given space to race forward down the left and tee up strike partner Mbeumo, who beat Luke Shaw before firing home.
With the heat undoubtedly a factor, United got some respite in the second half and Eriksen managed a couple of attempts on goal — a header held by goalkeeper David Raya and a volley skewed wide — both to loud cheers from the partying Brentford fans.
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