Brentford 1-1 Manchester United: Wasteful Bees recused by Kristoffer Ajer

Ajer scored in the 98th minute (Action Images via Reuters)
Ajer scored in the 98th minute (Action Images via Reuters)

Brentford’s winless run continued to seven games but Thomas Frank’s side put in a much-improved performance in 1-1 a draw with Manchester United on Saturday night.

Ivan Toney had a goal ruled out by VAR and the Bees hit the woodwork three times in a wasteful but encouraging display.

They sit five points above the Premier League’s relegation zone but hardly looked like a team battling the drop as they consistently powered through Erik ten Hag’s side. It was not the clinical performance that saw them condemn United to a famous 4-0 defeat in August 2022 but proved arguably as dominant.

When Mason Mount slotted home in the 95th minute, it seemed like the ultimate smash-and-grab. Kristoffer Ajer, however, rescued the hosts with a driven late finish to ensure they were not left empty-handed.

The hosts had 31 attempts at goal and hit the woodwork four times before finally finding the net.

Toney, fresh from opening his England account against Belgium in midweek, raced through early on but his finish came back off the foot of the post.

The Bees hit the frame of the goal again when Mathias Jorgensen met Mathias Jensen's cross with a powerful header which clipped the crossbar.

Toney threatened once more when he chased a long clearance and cut inside Victor Lindelof on the edge of the box, only to curl his shot over the top.

Still the chances came and went, with Vitaly Janelt driving across goal and wide, Yoane Wissa's acrobatic effort flying off target and Keane Lewis-Potter heading straight at Andre Onana.

All United had to show for their limited endeavour in the first half was a Bruno Fernandes shot which fizzed wide and a deflected Marcus Rashford effort saved by Mark Flekken.

United did at least start the second half with a sense of urgency and Fernandes beat the offside trap before squaring for Rasmus Hojlund, whose first-time effort was brilliantly clawed away by Flekken.

Onana then outdid his opposite number with a stunning double save to keep out Yehor Yarmoliuk's shot and Lewis-Potter's follow-up.

Wissa came agonisingly close for the hosts when his volley shaved a post before an audacious Toney volley flew just over.

Toney had the ball in the net when he guided in a cross from substitute Bryan Mbeumo, but he was denied by a tight offside decision.

Moments later Mbeumo volleyed against the crossbar and it really did not look like being Brentford's day when, deep into nine minutes of stoppage time, Casemiro set up Mount to convert at the far post.

But Brentford were not to be denied and when Toney sent the ball across goal in the 99th minute, Ajer was on hand to ensure United left with only a point which will do little for either their Champions League hopes or Ten Hag's prospects of staying in a job this summer.