03 May 2022 | 13:07 | Football
Cristiano Ronaldo. (Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United stoked the latest fan protest against the Glazer family as they eased 3-0 win Brentford in Monday.
Ahead of a tumultuous summer for United, Ralf Rangnick’s side won just for the second time in seven games to keep the atmosphere toxic at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernandes scored early in the first half and Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty in the second before France defender Raphael Varane scored United’s first goal.
Despite winning their last home game of the season, Man United are still sixth in the Premier League table with two games remaining.
They are 4 to 5 points behind the top 4 and have no realistic hope of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
Fittingly, under gray, rainy skies, fans protested against the owners’ contempt for the Glazers for a third straight home game.
Outside the stadium before the game started, a group of fans held up anti-Glazer banners, planted red smoke bombs and shouted insults at the club’s owner.
United fans were urged by protesters to leave the stadium with 17 minutes remaining – one minute for each of the five US-based Glazer teams that own the club.
But that idea proved a damp one as only a few left their seats.
There were more empty seats by the time United began to appreciate after the game, but there was no sign of public disagreement over their underperforming stars.
“Owning that is one of our best performances this year. It’s the kind of performance we want to show our supporters,” Rangnick said.
Despite that, there’s no doubting the overall level of disappointment of another title-free season for United, who haven’t won the Premier League since 2013 and last lifted a major title five miles away. here 5 years.
Aside from some scathing comments about the direction of the club, Rangnick hasn’t done much to help United out of their predicament since replacing sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.
“In the end, I’m not happy with the results, especially over the last four or five weeks. Overall, we’ve been inconsistent,” Rangnick said.
“Obviously a lot of players are going to leave and top quality players are needed.
“Other clubs only need two or three transfer windows to challenge. I really believe that if everyone works together we can get Man Utd back where we need to be.”
Rangnick took charge of his final home game as United’s caretaker manager before Erik ten Hag was recently hired from Ajax to begin rebuilding work next season.
After such a bad period, United needed a quick start to lift the gloom a bit and it took them just nine minutes to take the lead.
Anthony Elanga overcame Brentford’s offside trap as he dashed into Diogo Dalot’s cross.
He touched the ball just before it went out for a kick and delivered a superb cross towards Fernandes, who volleyed home from six yards for his first goal of the season. from February.
After some listless displays, it was a more energetic effort from United and Juan Mata narrowly missed Ronaldo’s ecstatic cross.
Ronaldo won a penalty in the 60th minute when he edged past Rico Henry and was hurled into the field by defender Brentford.
Picking up the ball himself, Ronaldo made the wrong shot, causing David Raya to finish from the 11m mark.
The Portuguese forward has scored nine of United’s last 11 goals, bringing his tally for the season to 24 in all competitions.
With the United fans gone just seconds later, Varane scored his third goal from a corner in the 72nd minute.
That seemed to put the revolt out of the revolt, with Mata and Nemanja Matic – both of which are likely to leave for the upcoming season – departing with standing ovation as they were substituted. .
It was a rare moment of wonder in a tumultuous season at Old Trafford.