Man Utd back to winning ways with 3-0 victory over Brentford
Defender Raphael Varane scored his first Premier League goal as Manchester United returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Brentford on a night of potential farewells at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo, the latter with a penalty, also scored on Monday, which is the last home fixture of a difficult campaign for United.
Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic were given starts by departing coach Ralf Rangnick in what is likely their final season with the club, while Edinson Cavani, who is also expected to leave, came off the bench.
United remains in sixth place with 58 points from 36 games, five behind fourth-placed Arsenal but having played two more matches. Brentford has 40 points from 35 games and may need one more win to ensure its not dragged into a relegation fight.
There had been talks fans walking out of the stadium in the 73rd minute in protest of the Glazer family having owned the club for 17 years.
But there was no mass exit as the vast majority stayed to watch what was a rare commanding performance by United in recent months.
UEFA Champions League: Villarreal seeks perfection to beat near flawless Liverpool
United has won only one of its previous seven games in all competitions and seen its hopes of playing Champions League football next season fade.
On Monday, however, they played with confidence and no shortage of quality from the first outset.
They opened the scoring on nine minutes with a well-worked goal as Diogo Dalot fed Anthony Elanga with a superb pass on the right and the latter’s cross was met on the volley by Fernandes.
Mata fired wide after being teed-up by Ronaldo, and then returned the favour with an excellent break on the left to feed the Portugal international, whose goal was chalked off after he had strayed offside.
But Ronaldo won a clear penalty on the hour-mark when he was barged over in the box by Rico Henry and stepped up to convert a clinical spot-kick to settle any lingering home nerves.
Varane then scored his first goal for United as he volleyed home from an Alex Telles corner just a minute before the walk-out of fans was supposed to start, perhaps bursting that protest bubble.