Brentford outclassed by Man United as Bees see their chances of keeping Eriksen dwindle
Manchester United eased to a 3-0 win over Brentford in their final home game of a miserable season thanks to goals by Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane.
If this victory is anything to go by for incoming manager Erik Ten Hag, some of the players showed at least that they can be trusted upon for next season.
But it was too little too late for Man United as the race for the top-four will be an affair between Arsenal and Tottenham.
And the manner of the loss will give Christian Eriksen plenty of food for fought. Is the Dane really willing to commit his future and final years of his career to Thomas Frank’s men?
Brentford and Frank have been a revelation in 2021/2022 but Eriksen showed that he can still mix it with the best in the world. He clearly is on another planet and the real reason why the Bees will play Premier League football next term. He joined the club at the perfect time and just when things and results started to get out of hand.
His opposite number Bruno Fernandes also excelled tonight. He had known better days under Ralf Rangnick’s predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but there are no doubts that he looked rejuvenated tonight.
And his 9th-minute opener in which he perfectly timed his run before clinically burying his chance epitomised just that.
Had he delivered week-in, week-out in the past couple of months, Man United would still be in with a shout of making the top-four. But he went off the boil and with him the whole team.
But boy did they miss the best version of Bruno, who was undoubtedly the club’s best player in his initial 18 months at Old Trafford, before his form nosedived. And tonight he reached an important milestone after scoring his 50th goal for the club, a feat unmatched by illustrious Portuguese players like Nani  at the club.
In the second-half Cristiano Ronaldo doubled the lead with a penalty. Before Frenchman Varane finally broke his duck for the club after volleying home from a corner to round off a perfect evening for Man United and give the supporters at least a memorable send-off.
Rangnick’s vigorous men started on the front foot but Ronaldo, after being teed up with a delicious long ball over the top from countryman Diogo Dalot slipped just as he wanted to get his shot away a couple of minutes after kick-off.
But it didn’t take long for the Red Devils to open the scoring.
Anthony Elanga latched onto a lovely-weighted ball forward before crossing first-time for Bruno Fernandes from the byline. And the ex-Sporting Lisbon midfielder made no mistake, blasting the ball into the empty net from range to punish the Bees’ sloppy Scandinavian backline.
On 22 minutes, Eriksen picked out Toney with a laser-guided cross but the ex-Peterborough man nodded over the top.
On the half-hour mark the crowd got out of their seats when Ronaldo tracked back to dispossess Bryan Mbeumo with a slide tackle in United’s half.
Three minutes later the Portuguese superstar and Juan Mata, on his Old Trafford farewell, exchanged passes before the Spaniard fired wide.
Ronaldo also had a goal disallowed for offside on the stroke of half-time after being rolled in superbly by the ex-Chelsea Champions League winner.
Barring Toney who sent a header off target and Eriksen’s skying a good opportunity, the Bees were nowhere to be seen in the first-half.
At 1-0 down, Brentford had some good chances to equalise in the second period.
But Toney missed another good opportunity when he scuffed a volley after a delicious inswinging free-kick from Eriksen.
De Gea then kept Eriksen’s free-kick out before pulling off a trademark save with his foot to deny the profligate Toney again.
And in football if you can’t put the ball into the back of the net, expect your opponents to do it.
Ronaldo confidently beat David Raya from 12 yards to make it 18 goals for the league season on 61 minutes.
His ex-Real Madrid teammate and serial winner Varane finally got off the mark in the famous red shirt when he fired a first-time volley beyond the reach of Raya.
Brentford will play in the Premier League next season but will it be with or without Eriksen?
After all, the penny must surely have dropped tonight that he can still hold his own against the best in the league such as Bruno Fernandes and Ronaldo.