The temperatures rose in England on Saturday and no one felt the heat more than Manchester United’s last manager, Erik ten Hag.
In another humiliating day for a massive club in freefall, United conceded four goals in the opening 35 minutes and were swept aside in a 4-0 defeat at Brentford in the Premier League.
It’s two games, two defeats so far for Ten Hag, the Dutchman who joined from Ajax in a bold off-season appointment as United’s fifth manager in nine years and looked shell-shocked as the goals poured in at the Brentford Community Stadium.
It was also understandable. United had never gone to half-time in a Premier League game at 4-0. Never before in the Premier League had United conceded so many goals so quickly.
There were so many individual errors – goalkeeper David de Gea let a weak shot dribble under him for the first goal, Christian Eriksen was tackled in his own box before the second, and Brentford had two free headers in the corner for the third – that Ten Hag would probably replace most of his team at halftime.
He made three half-time changes, with Cristiano Ronaldo – back in United’s squad after an offseason when he pushed to leave the club — stay on and play the whole match. He had a frustrated look throughout.
Josh Dasilva, Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo were the scorers for Brentford, who pressed relentlessly and blew United away.
It could get even worse for Ten Hag and his new team, who opened with a 2-1 home defeat against Brighton last weekend. Next? There is only fierce rival Liverpool.
United’s meltdown came in the last of Saturday’s seven games 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.
Man City didn’t even need Erling Haaland to score in their 4-0 drubbing of Bournemouth.
Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden were City’s scorers along with an own goal, and Haaland barely got a glimpse of the goal in his first game at the Etihad Stadium.
The Norwegian striker scored both of City’s goals in their opening weekend 2-0 win against West Ham, but was largely overstuffed a week later, making just eight touches before coming off in the 74th.
A player who left City thrives at Arsenal.
Gabriel Jesus played a starring role in the 4-2 win over Leicesterscored the first two before half-time and provided assists for second-half strikes by Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli.
Jesus, the Brazilian striker who left City in the summer for a reported £45m ($54m), was in fine form for Arsenal beforehand and appears to be relishing being the starting striker again after being in and out of City’s team .
An own goal by William Saliba and James Maddison’s strike brought Leicester twice within a goal of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
GERRARD TOPP LAMPARD
England team-mates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were rivals in the dugouts when they went head-to-head for the first time as managers on Saturday.
Gerrard came out on top.
Despite a late wobble, Aston Villa beat Everton 2-1 for his first win of the season and left his opponent scoreless. Danny Ings and Emi Buendia scored for Villa before an 87th-minute own goal by Lucas Digne gave Everton hope.
Like Man United, Everton are on zero points after two matches.
PUNISH THE SAVINGS
A draw at the back was probably as much as Fulham could have expected as they returned to England’s big time.
However, it could have been much more, with Aleksandar Mitrovic having a late penalty saved in the 0-0 draw at Wolverhampton.
Jose Sa dived to his right to meet the spot-kick from the Serbia international, who scored twice in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool and was looking to score his 45th league goal in as many games for Fulham.
There were two other draws, with Brighton and Newcastle struggling to 0-0 stagnant and Southampton come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Leeds.
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Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80