Substitute Scott McTominay enters game in 87th minute and scores 2 as Man United beats Brentford 2-1
Sat, Oct 7, 2023
Soccer News (AP)
MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Substitute Scott McTominay scored two goals in second-half stoppage time on Saturday as Manchester United rallied to beat Brentford 2-1 in the Premier League.
Erik ten Hag's struggling team looked set to lose a third straight game after Mathias Jensen's first-half goal.
But McTominay came off the bench in the 87th to score in the third and seventh minutes of stoppage time and send Old Trafford wild.
"Everyone knows we are in a difficult period at the minute, but we have fighters in the group that want to keep going right until the end," the Scotland midfielder said. "At this football club it is demanded that you never throw the towel in, for me I have been brought up here since I was 5. I know that better than anyone,"
Ten Hag's own relief was evident after McTominay's winner as he joined in the celebrations on the sidelines after avoiding a third straight defeat.
United was on the brink of losing for a seventh time in 11 games in all competitions in a troubled season as it struggled to find a way back after Jensen's goal in the 26th.
Ten Hag threw on a host of substitutes to try to turn things around and finally called for McTominay.
"It was very loud, the fans were roaring us on so I couldn't hear fully," McTominay said. "He probably said something like: 'Go on and score,' which is what I did.
"That might be one of my favorite moments on a football pitch. Two goals at the death was incredible, but I am just happy to be able to contribute and show people that I can do it."
McTominay, who has been out of favor this season, scored from close range after Diogo Dalot's initial shot was saved.
But he wasn't finished there.
Just four minutes later he rose to head in a winner that caused an eruption of noise from the home fans.
The much-needed victory came at the end of another troubling week for Ten Hag after back-to-back losses against Crystal Palace and Galatasaray.
The manager described the midweek 3-2 defeat by Galatasaray in the Champions League as "the story of our season so far" and admitted it was "concerning."
"This has been a very difficult period for us all," he said in his pre-game program notes to fans. "We are currently far from the levels and expectations we set for ourselves going into the new season, and none of us will attempt to hide from that fact."
United's players seemed intent on making a point by forcing Brentford into retreat early on as Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount drove forward from midfield.
But that bright start was undermined when Brentford went ahead.
Once again United was again guilty of making life hard for itself as Casemiro's errant pass in his own half gave possession away. Victor Lindelof then had the chance to clear from inside the box as Brentford advanced, but his effort was weak.
Even then, the defender could have blocked Jensen's shot, while there was more questionable goalkeeping from Andre Onana, who was beaten despite getting a touch on the ball before it crossed the line.
In response, Rashford had an effort saved at the near post by Thomas Strakosha before the break and Ten Hag brought on Christian Eriksen for Casemiro at halftime.
Alejandro Garnacho, Antony and Anthony Martial were sent on later in the match as Ten Hag tried to salvage something.
But it looked like being another disappointing day until McTominay's introduction.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer"