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Man Utd Lose Ground On Rivals After Brentford’s Last-Gasp Equaliser

  • SPORT
  • 3 min read

Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at lowly Brentford after Kristoffer Ajer’s 99th-minute equaliser in their Premier League clash on Saturday, denting the visitors’ hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Substitute Mason Mount thought he had given United an undeserved and dramatic victory when he slotted home in the 96th minute after Brentford had dominated the game.

But Ajer smashed home Ivan Toney’s cut-back from close range three minutes later to deny United the win and leave them in sixth spot, 11 points off fourth-placed Aston Villa.

They are also eight points off Tottenham Hotspur in fifth, a spot which could be enough for Champions League football next season. Villa have played a game more than Spurs and United.

“There are still many games to go,” United’s disappointed boss Erik ten Hag told reporters when asked if his side could still qualify for Europe’s elite club competition.

Ten Hag accepted United were second-best throughout at Brentford but was left to rue his players’ inability to “bring it over the line” after taking a last-gasp lead.

“We didn’t deserve to win but if you are winning you have to take this,” the Dutchman said.

The draw leaves Brentford in 15th place, five points above the relegation zone, but they deserved so much more.

BUSY BEES

The Bees were far superior in the first half, twice hitting the woodwork through Toney and Mathias Jorgensen and creating a slew of other chances without being able to score.

United improved slightly after the break and Rasmus Hojland was denied a goal in a seventh successive league game by a strong hand from goalkeeper Mark Flekken.

Brentford continued to create opportunities, with Toney having a goal disallowed for offside and Bryan Mbeumo volleying against the bar, without capitalising.

The game was somehow still goalless in added time when substitute Casemiro played in Mount who fired past Flekken for his first United goal.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank stood stunned with a wry smile on the sidelines after United had seemingly won the contest at the death.

“I was almost losing my faith in the big football god when they scored,” he told reporters. “How can that happen … how can you explain that you lose a game that you are that dominant in?”

However, Brentford did get the equaliser their performance deserved when Norway defender Ajer produced a striker’s finish to ensure the hosts took something from the game.

Frank praised his players’ character to recover, saying: “When you are this dominant and you then concede a late goal and then have the ability to come back, I don’t know how to explain that, that’s just incredible.”

Reuters