Temperatures soared in England on Saturday and no one was feeling the heat more than Manchester United’s latest manager, Erik ten Hag.
On another humiliating day for a massive club in freefall, United conceded four goals in the first 35 minutes and was swept aside in a 4-0 loss at Brentford in the Premier League.
It’s two matches, two losses so far for Ten Hag, the Dutchman who arrived from Ajax in a bold offseason appointment as United’s fifth manager in nine years and looked shell-shocked in the dug-out as the goals poured in at Brentford Community Stadium.
It was understandable, too. United had never gone into halftime of a Premier League match trailing 4-0. Never before in the Premier League had United conceded so many goals so quickly.
There were so many individual mistakes — goalkeeper David de Gea let a weak shot dribble underneath him for the first goal, Christian Eriksen was tackled inside his own box prior to the second, and Brentford had two free headers at a corner for the third — that Ten Hag probably wanted to change most of his team at halftime.
He made three halftime substitutions, with Cristiano Ronaldo — back in United’s team after an offseason when he pushed to leave the club — staying on and playing the full match. He wore a frustrated look throughout.
Josh Dasilva, Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo were the scorers for Brentford, which pressed relentlessly and blew United away.
It might get even worse for Ten Hag and his new team, which opened with a 2-1 home loss to Brighton last weekend. Up next? It’s only fierce rival Liverpool.
United’s meltdown came in the last of Saturday’s seven games that were played in sweltering conditions that reached as high as 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit).
Manchester City and Arsenal both scored four goals in home wins and continue to set a hot early-season pace.