Manchester United on Monday took the sting out of their fans’ latest protest against the Glazer family as they eased to a 3-0 win against Brentford.
Ahead of a summer of change for troubled United, interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s side won for just the second time in seven games to keep the atmosphere from turning toxic at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernandes struck early in the first half and Cristiano Ronaldo converted a second-half penalty before France defender Raphael Varane bagged his first goal for United.
Despite winning their last home game of the season, United remain in sixth place in the English Premier League with two games left.
They sit five points adrift of the top four with no realistic hope of qualifying for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
Fittingly, it was under gray, rain-filled skies that fans protested against despised owners the Glazers for a third successive home match. Outside the stadium before kickoff, a group of supporters held up anti-Glazer banners, set off red smoke bombs and made offensive chants about the club’s owners.
United fans had been urged by the protesters to leave the stadium with 17 minutes left in the match — one minute for every year the US-based Glazers have owned the club.
However, that idea proved a damp squib as only a handful left their seats.
There were more empty seats by the time United embarked on a post-match lap of appreciation, but no overt signs of dissent toward their underachieving stars.
“In possession that was one of our best performances this year. It was the type of performance we wanted to show to our supporters,” Rangnick said.
Regardless, there is no doubting the overall level of frustration at another trophyless season for United, who have not won the Premier League since 2013 and last lifted a major trophy five years ago.
Aside from a few scathing comments about the club’s direction, Rangnick has done little to jolt United out of their malaise since replacing the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November last year.
“In the end I’m not happy with the results, especially in the last four or five weeks. In general we have lacked consistency,” Rangnick said.
“It’s obvious quite a few players will leave and there is a need for top quality players,” he said. “Other clubs only needed two or three transfer windows to challenge. I strongly believe that if everyone works together we can bring Man Utd back to where we need to be.”
Rangnick was in charge of his last home game as United interim manager before the recently hired Erik ten Hag arrives from AFC Ajax to start his rebuilding job next season.
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