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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the Gtech Community Stadium

Dominant Brentford get least they deserve after clawing back dramatic draw at the death against Man United



Brentford (0) 1 Ajer 90+9

Manchester United (0) 1 Mount 90+6


The Bees escaped the cold dead hand of injustice when they somehow clawed back a goal moments after appearing to have suffered a cruel and undeserved defeat.


It was a travesty when Mason Mount clipped home after a kind set of ricochets allowed Casemiro to tee him up.


But the Bees refused to succumb to that horrible narrative and summoned up one more chance, with Ivan Toney getting to the byline to cross for Kristoffer Ajer to crash home from close range.


Talk about deserved. All told, the Bees won the shot count 31-11 and the corner count 14-4. That told its own story.


It wasn't the 4-0 pyrotechnics of last season's dramatic victory over United - how could it be? - but in its own way, it was almost as impressive.


Thomas Frank will have chewed much gum in frustration throughout because his team were outstanding, dominating from start to finish but having zero luck in front of goal until that last-gasp effort.


They struck woodwork four times during their bombardment of their illustrious opponents - an indication of just how much they controlled this fixture.


It is now seven without a win but this was not the performance of a team that should be involved in the relegation scrap.


There were so many performances to admire. Has Vitaly Janelt had a better game for the Bees? Yoane Wissa and Toney tormented United defenders without getting the necessary rub of the green to make it all count.


The good news is that Brentford's position seems to have improved every week, even without collecting any points, and today's game had the feeling of another free hit given how the other results panned out.


This weekend, Nottingham Forest could only pick up a draw against Palace, Luton lost at Spurs, Everton lost at Bournemouth and have now gone 12 without a win, points collected by Burnley and Sheffield United are all-but irrelevant.


When you factor in the points deductions as well for Forest and Everton, this really has been a good season to have their first real wobble back in the top flight.


When Toney returned in January to inspire home wins against Forest and Wolves, there seemed little reason to fret. But a run of six without a win before today, five of them defeats, has kept the stress levels high.


The awful glut of injuries continues to play a part, of course. Ethan Pinnock, Christian Norgaard and Bryan Mbeumo are the ones whose absence has perhaps been most keenly felt. At least Mbeumo was fit enough to be on the bench this time and he added to the danger for United.


Deprived of players they may be, but the spirit and aggression can still be summoned up and a succession of corners and fast breaks made the Bees feel they were in the game from the start.


One lightning raid saw Wissa slip a beautiful first-time pass through to Toney and the striker - who bagged his first England goal in the midweek draw with Belgium - fired against an upright, with Victor Lindelof doing just enough to hurry him.


From one of several teasing crosses in from the right by Mathias Jensen, Zanka sent a far post header onto the top of the crossbar.


Then, a first-time ball out of defence from Vitaly Janelt gave Toney another dart at goal with just Lindelof for company. His final left-footer was too high. Next, the lively Lewis Keane-Potter got in a fine near-post header that Andre Onana clutched on the goalline.


For all their first-half excellence we nearly saw United steal ahead when Bruno Fernandes, adjudged just onside from a long ball forward, advanced before squaring for Rasmus Hojlund and Mark Flekken had to fling himself to the right to keep out the effort. And Antony was not too far away with a bender.


But the Bees kept pushing and Onana needed to be sharp to make saves in quick succession from Yehor Yarmoliuk and Keane-Potter, before the outstanding Wissa flashed a volley just wide. Toney stretched to send another left-foot volley just over as the theme of the night continued.


Mbeumo came on for Wissa and almost claimed an instant assist with a lovely chip up for Toney to crash in as the ball dropped over his shoulder. Fine technique but a VAR check confirmed an offside.


There was to be more agony. Flekken launched a free-kick down the middle which fell kindly to Mbeumo, but the crossbar came to United's rescue once more.


The Bees would have had good cause to curse their luck had it finished 0-0, let alone 1-0 to United. At least that final kick in the teeth was not allowed to be the final word.


It's Brighton at home next and surely that long-awaited win is just around the corner.


Bees: (3-5-2) Flekken - Zanka, Ajer, Collins - Roerslev (Maupay 87), Yarmoliuk (Damsgaard 70), Jensen, Janelt, Lewis-Potter (Ghoddos 87) - Toney, Wissa (Mbeumo 70)


United: (4-2-3-1) Onana - Wan-Bissaka, Varane (Maguire h/t), Lindelof (Martinez 69), Dalot - McTominay, Mainoo (Casemiro 80) - Garnacho (Antony 59), Bruno Fernandes, Rashford (Mount 80) - Hojlund

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