Thomas Frank believes you either win or learn and his Brentford side had to settle for a lesson in their 3-0 defeat to Manchester United. 

Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring inside nine minutes and while the Bees fought back into the game, a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty ended their hopes of taking anything from Old Trafford. 

Raphael Varane then netted his first goal for United to seal the win and leave Brentford in 14th, after a first loss in five games. 

“Disappointed I would say,” Frank said. “We talked about before the game being brave, cool, aggressive I don’t think we showed that enough in the first half. 

“I think we started the first five minutes fantastically and then they got a little bit more on top of the game.

“In the game, we didn’t hit the highest level. I think United won fair and square tonight. The second half was much more the way Brentford should play.  

“We were much more front-footed, we were much more aggressive in individual pressure. I think we were better on the ball, with more composure, moved it better, get it to the side, producing a lot of crosses and we really had momentum, and thought ‘ok, we are in this game.’ 

“Then we make a mistake, concede a penalty that we should never make and that really killed the momentum. 

“The fans were amazing. Not only for them but everyone involved in Brentford Football Club, I knew there was something for us tonight and unfortunately, we didn’t hit our highest level. 

“Much better second half and then we make mistakes. It is what it is, you win or learn, and we learn today.” 

Diogo Dalot created much of the home side’s early pressure before setting up Anthony Elanga whose cross found Fernandes in the box to put United ahead. 

Rico Henry then brought Ronaldo down in the box for the penalty which the Portuguese striker duly converted before Varane stabbed home from a corner to put United in pole position for a Europa League place. 

Bees captain Pontus Jansson added: “I think it is a performance where we didn’t really turn up. We started the game on the front foot in the first five to 10 minutes we put them under pressure. 

“Then we gave away a goal too easy and it becomes hard on this pitch, we tried to push high on them and be brave, but I think we gave too many chances away today. 

“When it is 1-0 I think we are in the game we are strong defensively, we also created a couple of half chances 

“But of course, when they score for 2-0 it becomes much harder, I think we kept trying after but weren’t on top today. 

“We have high expectations for ourselves, we want to come here and get a good result and we lose 3-0, so now we are not happy. Maybe when we look back there were things we can be positive about but now, losing 3-0, it feels bad.”