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Brentford 1 Manchester United 1

Brentford 1 Manchester United 1

Kristoffer Ajer’s second goal in as many matches earned Brentford a point they more than merited against Manchester United on Saturday evening.

The away side took the lead against the run of play six minutes into added time – substitute Mason Mount sweeping beyond Bees keeper Mark Flekken – but Ajer converted Ivan Toney’s cutback three minutes later in a dramatic finale at Gtech Community Stadium.


Level at the break with Brentford twice denied by the woodwork

Thomas Frank made two changes to the side that fell to a narrow defeat at Burnley a fortnight ago at Turf Moor.

The most notable inclusion was that of Yehor Yarmoliuk who made his first start of the calendar year, the Ukrainian replacing Frank Onyeka in midfield.

Keane Lewis-Potter also returned to the side at left wing-back in place of the suspended Sergio Reguilón.

Manchester United were unchanged from their dramatic 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final victory over Liverpool.

A cagey beginning saw half chances for both sides as Yarmoliuk did well to get the byline and cut back looking for Jensen before the visitors cleared.

Marcus Rashford led a United counter soon after, but it was a move that culminated in Bruno Fernandes dragging the away side’s first opening off target.

It was the Bees who then proceeded to dominate the remainder of the half, and indeed the match.

Yoanne Wissa’s work rate saw him capitalise on some slack visiting defending, producing a low cross that needed Victor Lindelöf to clear.

Lindelöf’s central defensive partner Raphaël Varane then had to return the favour as Brentford continued to press for the opening goal of the evening.

Jensen saw his shot saved by Onana before Ivan Toney’s free-kick after a clever routine with Vitaly Janelt was cleared.

The best chance of the half fell to Toney soon after. Nathan Collins displayed great vision to find Wissa in space, and his flick around the corner set the England international in on goal.

With only Andre Onana to beat, Toney's shot came agonisingly back off the bottom of the keeper’s right-hand post before United scrambled clear and Wissa headed the resulting corner wide.

The woodwork would deny Brentford the breakthrough their fast start had more than merited again moments later.

A short corner routine worked back to original taker Jensen ended with Zanka’s powerful back-post header grazing the crossbar.

Wissa had personified Brentford’s desire in the first half. He won the ball back on the edge of the home team’s area and found Janelt.

The German’s weighted ball over the top was perfect for the run of Toney, who left Lindelöf on the ground as he cut inside and fired just over.

There was no letup in the intensity from Frank’s side as both Janelt and Wissa missed further efforts and Onana had to be on his toes to save Lewis-Potter’s header from Ajer’s cross with the outside of his foot as the half ended.

Mount and Ajer on target in dramatic finale at the Gtech

The second period began with a succession of Brentford corners and Diogo Dalot curling wide of the target.

Wissa’s strong run from inside his own half produced a shot wide before Flekken made a superb save to thwart Rasmus Højlund at the opposite end of the field.

Yarmoliuk was then denied by Onana, as was Lewis-Potter on the rebound. The wide man also headed off target from Jensen’s cross during another sustained spell of Bees pressure.

Toney’s volley from Jensen’s lofted through ball was the next opportunity to come and go. Lewis-Potter’s bicycle inside the area took the home shot count to 23 as the game entered its final 20 minutes.

Bryan Mbeumo replaced Wissa and Mikel Damsgaard was introduced in place of the highly impressive Yarmoliuk in the hosts’ first two changes.

Toney finally had the ball in the net on 73 minutes as he latched on to Mbeumo’s pass, but the forward was flagged inches offside.

The crossbar would deny Brentford yet again when Mbeumo saw his brilliant volley cannon back off the woodwork, and Toney then hooked the Cameroonian’s corner over with seven minutes left on the clock.

Nine added minutes were signaled by the fourth official, and it looked like it was to be the cruelest of endings for Frank’s side.

On as a substitute, Mason Mount latched on to Casemiro’s pass and curled into the far corner to give the away side a lead they were fortunate to have earned.

But more late drama was to follow, and despair had soon turned to joy inside the Gtech.

Saman Ghoddos lofted the ball high into the Manchester United penalty area, and the ball was brilliantly kept alive by Ivan Toney.

The forward muscled his way to the byline and laid the ball on a plate for Ajer to turn home in front of the south stand as deserved parity was restored.

There was still time for the Bees to roll the dice once more, but United cleared Neal Maupy’s deep cross and referee Hooper brought a pulsating clash to a close in the 104th minute.

Brentford: Flekken, Roerslev (Maupay 86), Zanka, Ajer, Collins, Lewis-Potter (Ghoddos 86); Jensen, Yarmoliuk (Damsgaard 69), Janelt, Toney, Wissa (Mbeumo 70)

Subs not used: Strakosha, Ji-soo, Trevitt, Baptiste, Onyeka

Manchester United: Onana, Dalot, Lindelof (Martínez 69), Varane (Maguire 45), Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Mainoo (Casemiro 80), Garnacho (Antony 58), Fernandes, Rashford (Mount 80), Højlund

Subs not used: Heaton, Amrabat, Kambwala, Eriksen

Attendance: 17,138