Unlike so many games this season in which Ronaldo’s goals have gone missing, the 37-year-old was instrumental in winning, even outside of the win and the penalty.
At times, Ronaldo would even come back to win the ball before combining with Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata and Anthony Elanga in a way United fans had never seen before this season.
Admittedly, the fact that Brentford don’t play much has to be taken into account, but United looked like a cohesive attacking unit at times, while managing Christian Eriksen’s delightful deliveries well from a defensive perspective.
Fernandes opened the scoring after a cross from Elanga after the youngster broke through behind the Brentford defense in the opening ten minutes before Mata tackled Ronaldo for another goal at the break.
That, however, was noted by VAR after an offside call and United entered the interval just one goal clear.
From there, United really kicked into high gear. Led by Ronaldo, Mata and Nemanja Matic also impressed in what is definitely their last appearance as a United player at home.
Raphael Varane would bring a third home as fans bid farewell to a number of players, few of whom lived up to their bills.
In many ways, it was a strange atmosphere, a bit like a testimonial. A game that really didn’t matter, the handbrake was released and at least some of the negativity was lifted as Mata, Matic and Edisnon Cavani were cheered off the United stage.
The Erik Ten Hag era is approaching and Ronaldo’s future is uncertain. For other players labeled as deadwood for much of the past few years, it was at least an amicable goodbye.