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First Team

Premier League Preview: Manchester United

The Red Devils have only met Brentford six times in the top-flight

28 June 2021

Brentford have played Manchester United in a competitive game just once in the last 74 years. Only six of the 13 total meetings have been in England's top-flight.

2020/21 REPORT

League Position: 2nd

Top League Goalscorer: Bruno Fernandes (18)

Stadium: Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way, Stretford, Manchester, M16 0RA

Capacity: 76,000

Last term was only the second time United have finished in the top two spots in the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013. They have now gone without a trophy for four consecutive seasons, a run that hasn't been seen since 1989. In the league, they finished a solid 12 points behind rivals Man City despite losing the same amount of games (6) all season. In the end, poor results at key times counted against them, like a 1-1 draw with Fulham in May or the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United at Old Trafford in January.

Both domestic cup campaigns lasted four matches. In the Carabao Cup, they got past Luton, Brighton and Everton on the way to a Semi-Final clash with Man City. John Stones and Fernandinho scored the goals as United were beaten 2-0. The Emirates FA Cup campaign lasted beyond Liverpool, West Ham and Watford but once again they were beaten by the eventual winners. Leicester City cruised past them 3-1 in the Quarter-Finals.

Their time in the UEFA Champions League was one to forget, United finishing third in the group stage that included Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and İstanbul Başakşehir. Dropping into the Europa League, they made it all the way to the Final. Real Sociedad, AC Milan, Granada and AS Roma all fell to The Red Devils along the way. The Final itself, held in Gdansk, went all the way to penalties after a 1-1 finish in normal time. Villarreal emerged victorious as goalkeeper David de Gea missed his spot-kick, the final score 11-10 in the shootout.

THE MANAGER

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started his playing career in his native Norway. He was a striker all his career, beginning at Clausenengen and later Molde. He moved to Manchester United in 1996 and, under Ferguson's guidance, won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Champions League in 1999. He famously scored a last-minute winner in the 99 Final against Bayern Munich, flicking a Teddy Sheringham header into the net beyond Oliver Kahn.

Manchester United Manager.jpg

He retired from playing the game in 2007, having picked up a serious knee injury. He had accumulated 67 international caps for Norway, scoring 23 times. He played at both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000.

He remained at United in a coaching role, managing the reserve team in 2008. He returned to Norway in 2011 to manage former club Molde. He led them to their first ever Tippeligaen titles, going back-to-back in his first two seasons. They also won the 2013 Norwegian Cup before he moved to Cardiff City.

Relegated from the Premier League, he left after just a few months in charge and returned to Molde for three years. In 2018, he was appointed caretaker Manager at Manchester United, taking over from Jose Mourinho. In 2019, having won 14 of his first 19 games, he was given a three-year contract as permanent boss.

LAST MEETING

Our previous fixture against United came in September 1975. Old Trafford played host to a League Cup Second Round tie, The Bees defeating Brighton in the opening round. The away side took an incredible lead at the start of the second half through Keith Lawrence but United fought back quickly. Lou Macari levelled the game just a few minutes later and Sammy McIlroy secured the win with 15 minutes to go.

Manchester United Programme 1975.png

Bees: Glazier, Nelmes, Allen, Bence, Lawrence, Smith, Graham, Scales, Simmons, Cross, Johnson

United: Stepney, Nicholl, Houston, Jackson (Grimshaw 50), Greenhoff, Buchan, Coppell, McIlroy, Pearson, Macari, Daly

 


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