Marcus Rashford scored the only goal with a brilliant half-volley as Manchester United beat Brentford 1-0 in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Wednesday to climb above Tottenham Hotspur and back into the top four.
The victory was a perfect response following a disappointing 2-0 defeat by Newcastle United on Sunday and lifted the Red Devils to 53 points, three ahead of fifth-placed Spurs and level with the Magpies in third.
United started brightly, forcing a series of corners and free kicks as Brentford pulled its outfield players behind the ball to try to close down space. The breakthrough, in the 27th minute, came from a set-piece.
A Brentford clearance from a corner only made it as far winger Antony on the edge of the box. He lofted it towards the head of Marcel Sabitzer, and Rashford met the Austrian’s bouncing knockdown with a sumptuous half-volley that gave David Raya no chance.
United keeper David de Gea almost gave Brentford a lifeline early in the second half when his attempted clearance cannoned into Ivan Toney, and the United keeper had to stand firm in the 67th minute to deny substitute Kevin Schade.
Brentford poured forward in the closing stages, but the closest it came to scoring was through an audacious attempt at a chip from Toney that drifted harmlessly over the bar as the home side held on
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