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Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s draw against Manchester United.

Thomas Frank stuck with the 3-5-2 yet again, starting an unchanged back 3 of Zanka, Ajer, and Collins. Lewis-Potter replaced Reguilon to join Roerslev as the other wingback. Yarmolyuk joined Jensen and Janelt in midfield with Nørgaard recovering from injury. Wissa and Toney started up top, with Mbeumo looking to make an impact off the bench.

Manchester United came out in a 4-2-3-1 with Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, and Wan-Bissaka along the backline.  Mainoo and McTominay played in a double pivot, with Fernandes ahead of them. The wingers, Rashford and Garnacho, joined Høljund up front. Expensive signings lined the bench for Manchester United with the likes of Maguire, Antony, and Mount.

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Brentford ended with 3.2 xG which was the most xG the Bees have ever recorded against a Big 6 side. In fact, it’s the 2nd highest xG they’ve created so far this season. The Bees had an impressive performance, seamlessly building out of the back and easily progressive the ball against a Big 6 club. Brentford’s 47% possession was the 2nd most since facing Tottenham in 2021. The Bees also only allowed 0.6 xGA to Manchester United which was the lowest since facing Chelsea in 2021.

Brentford recorded the most key passes (29) and passes into the penalty area (19) in a single match so far this season. One statistic that stood out to show Brentford’s dominance is that Brentford had 77 touches in the oppoenents penalty area, while Manchester United only had 14. A testament to Thomas Frank’s evolving tactics as players return from injury. Thomas Frank already enjoying the boost from having Mbeumo back, should be thrilled to add Pinnock and Schade back into the mix.

Brentford’s midfield had a brilliant performance, as Yarmoluyk made a statement for getting his name into the starting XI going forward. Jensen finished with 8 shot creating actions, 6 key passes, and completing 9 out of 12 long passes. Janelt did a fantastic job filling in for Nørgaard, recording 10 ball recoveries along with 7 tackles and interceptions.