Erik ten Hag’s start at Manchester United got off to the worst possible start as his side suffered a 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.
The expectations were high before the start of the season with a new manager at the helm.
The first game of the campaign wasn’t a cakewalk as Brighton have been a side on a rise for the last two seasons.
Man United’s old nemesis Pascal Gross bagged a first-half brace to put the hosts on the back foot.
An own goal from Alexis Mac Allister through a corner gave Ten Hag’s men a lifeline.
However, the Seagulls’ astute defensive performance in the second half helped them to record their first-ever victory at Old Trafford.
Player Ratings (Manchester United):
David de Gea (3/10): The Spaniard is still trying to adapt his game under Erik ten Hag as the Dutchman wants his team to build from the back rather than going long. He should have done better with Solly March’s shot which he pushed to Gross’ path for Brighton’s second goal.
Diago Dalot (6/10): The 23-year-old offered more width with his advancing runs but was not able to deliver a clear goal-scoring cross. He did well to put pressure on Robert Sanchez during a corner set-piece which resulted in an own-goal.
Harry Maguire (4/10): A new season, same old story for Man United’s skipper. Danny Welbeck ran behind Maguire several times in the first half as the defender failed to read his movements. He made some good blocks but his lack of speed is concerning if ten Hag wants to play with a high line.
Lisandro Martinez (5/10): It was not a debut the former Ajax defender was hoping for. He was caught in possession a couple of times and drew a yellow card at the stroke of half-time.
Luke Shaw (3/10): The 27-year-old was poor defensively and offered little while going forward. He was caught sleeping for Seagulls’ first goal and didn’t close down March, which later resulted in the second goal.
Scott McTominay (2/10): Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ralf Ragnick and now Ten Hag. All have trusted McTominay due to the physicality he offers at the centre of the park. But it was yet another embarrassing outing for the Scottish midfielder. He could have seen red after a reckless challenge on Moisés Caicedo. He was weak in duels and didn’t offer anything in the attacking half.
Fred (3/10): The Brazilian midfielder had an afternoon to forget. Just like his teammates, he succumbed to Brighton’s press and gave the ball away too easily. Rightly hooked off for Cristiano Ronaldo in the second half.
Bruno Fernandes (4/10): He should have scored early on but skyed his effort. Yet another game when he was wasteful with the ball. A shadow of the player of 2020/21.
Christian Eriksen (5/10): With Anthony Martial injured, Eriksen was started in a false nine role but hardly influenced the game. He did create a wonderful chance for Marcus Rashford via a long cross but the new boss will seek more creativity from the veteran midfielder.
Marcus Rashford (4/10): He often found himself in good areas but failed to beat the defenders. He also spurned a couple of glorious chances, which could have been the difference today.
Jadon Sancho (5/10): The former Dortmund winger played a magnificent cross-field pass in the first half but failed to make any solid impact on the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo (4/10): His arrival was received by a mixture of cheers and jeers as he is still pushing for an exit. Looked lively but United struggled to find him in promising situations.
Donny van de Beek – Too late to make any impact.
Anthony Elanga – Too late to make any impact.
Tyrell Malacia – Too late to make any impact.
Alejandro Garnacho – Too late to make any impact.
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