Man United open Erik ten Hag period with house defeat to Brighton and acquainted flaws on show

MANCHESTER — The Erik ten Hag period at Manchester United has promised lots because the former Ajax supervisor arrived on the finish of the 2021-22 season, however the 2022-23 season has begun with the identical form of efficiency and the identical form of outcome.

Cristiano Ronaldo started the sport on the bench and Pascal Gross scored twice within the first half to offer Brighton a lead they’d hold onto even after a second-half personal purpose by Alexis Mac Allister. Brighton’s 2-1 win marks their first victory ever at Outdated Trafford.

– Report: Man United 1-2 Brighton | Premier League desk | Subsequent Prem fixtures

Right here is Rob Dawson with response and rankings from immediately’s match.

JUMP TO: Participant rankings | Greatest/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Publish-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Speedy Response

Ten Hag period off to the worst potential begin

And similar to that, the optimism generated by a optimistic summer time has disappeared. No one anticipated Ten Hag to magically make things better in a single day, however there was hope that opening video games in opposition to Brighton and Brentford supplied the possibility to no less than get off to a very good begin. Apparently not.

The guests went in at half-time 2-0 up thanks to 2 targets from Gross, nevertheless it may have been extra. United had been higher after half-time and pulled one again after an Alexis Mac Allister personal purpose, following some questionable goalkeeping by Robert Sanchez, however Brighton had been nonetheless nicely worthy of the three factors.

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Sunday’s match is a harsh actuality verify for Ten Hag. His squad nonetheless feels no less than two gamers brief, with simply three weeks to go earlier than the switch deadline, and he desperately wants a central midfielder — whether or not that is Frenkie de Jong or another person. However even with out reinforcements, the Dutchman nonetheless fielded a group that ought to have been capable of beat Brighton; because it occurred, Graham Potter’s aspect confirmed the transition to a brand new fashion of soccer goes to take time. The issue at United, nevertheless, is that they’re by no means multiple sport away from a disaster, and Ten Hag goes to be taught that in a short time this week.

Ronaldo made to attend

With Anthony Martial sidelined due to a hamstring damage, Cristiano Ronaldo seemed in line to start out, however Ten Hag saved the 37-year-old on the bench in favour of using Christian Eriksen as a false No. 9. Ten Hag defined it was as a result of Ronaldo had missed most of preseason and had managed solely 45 minutes in the summertime friendlies, however Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez have not had far more enjoying time this summer time and had been each picked to start out.

After a disastrous first half that noticed United booed off, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than Ronaldo was on instead of Fred, and with the Portugal ahead up entrance, Ten Hag’s group seemed way more harmful.

– Ten Hag blames defeat on lack of self-belief

Ten Hag and Ronaldo already seems to be an uneasy union. There are doubts about whether or not Ronaldo can press in the best way his supervisor desires, however United are in need of choices, and he’s as shut because it will get to assured targets. Talking at a information convention on Friday, Ten Hag recommended Martial is likely to be accessible once more quickly, so it is going to be fascinating to see whether or not Ronaldo is once more left on the bench when United journey to Brentford subsequent weekend. It is at all times an enormous name to depart him out, however significantly for a brand new supervisor.

Potter furthers his England possibilities

It is potential that Gareth Southgate’s time as England supervisor may come to an finish after the World Cup in Qatar, and if the FA discover themselves in search of a brand new coach, Potter will likely be excessive up on their record of candidates.

Potter would not have huge sources at Brighton — the truth is, this summer time he has stated goodbye to Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella, two key gamers — however season after season he produces a group that is higher than the sum of its elements. They’ve a clearly outlined approach of enjoying and are well-coached, which makes them formidable opponents for nearly any group within the Premier League.

Gross’ second purpose right here was among the finest you may see all season. Brighton labored the ball from their very own nook flag with a collection of incisive passes and a few intelligent motion, leaving United’s excessive press in tatters all around the pitch.

Potter guided his group to a ninth-place end final season, but when they keep on enjoying like this, they need to be setting their sights even larger. The draw back for Brighton is that any extra success would possibly see them lose their supervisor to England — though that is likely to be on the playing cards already.

Participant rankings

Manchester United: David de Gea 5, Diogo Dalot 5, Harry Maguire 5, Lisandro Martinez 7, Luke Shaw 5; Fred 5, Scott McTominay 5, Christian Eriksen 6; Marcus Rashford 5, Jadon Sancho 5, Bruno Fernandes 5.
Subs: Cristiano Ronaldo 6, Donny Van de Beek 6, Tyrell Malacia 6, Anthony Elanga 6, Alejandro Garnacho 6.

Brighton: Robert Sanchez 7; Joel Veltman 7, Adam Webster 7, Lewis Dunk 7; Solly March 7, Alexis Mac Allister 7, Moises Caicedo 8, Leandro Trossard 7; Adam Lallana 7, Pascal Gross 8, Danny Welbeck 8.
Subs: Tariq Lamptey 6, Enock Mwepu 6, Levi Colwill 6, Deniz Undav 6.

Greatest and worst performers

BEST: Pascal Gross, Brighton — Brighton had been unbelievable within the first half, and Gross was the epitome of their work charge and tactical effectivity, scoring twice from shut vary after good strikes — the second particularly — had torn United aside.

WORST: Fred, Man United — United followers arriving at Outdated Trafford for the opening day of the season did not wish to see Fred and Scott McTominay paired in midfield, however that is what they bought. Fred was fortunate to get away with an error early on and was subbed within the second half. He wasn’t alone in having a poor sport, nevertheless it was a day when nothing went proper.

Highlights and notable moments

It was good to see United clarify the thought course of behind their lineup selections through Ten Hag on Twitter … a disgrace it did not work out!

In the meantime, this is likely to be the one and solely time you see Brighton’s Gross talked about in the identical sentence as Mohamed Salah … however well-earned all the identical.

After the match: What the managers, gamers stated

“We went into the game positive, we had a good pre-season and it was the worst possible start to be 2-0 down at half-time at Old Trafford. Not good enough. We got a goal back but we huffed and puffed a bit and it’s a bad start for us. … Everyone knew the task. We had a bad season last season. We’ve got a new manager trying to put his philosophy on the team, but when we don’t get it right, we look far too open.” — Man United defender Harry Maguire, chatting with Sky Sports activities

“t was a great performance and a deserved win. A great way to start. I thought we had an idea of how to attack and when we could we tried to press and put them under pressure. We were positive, brave and the boys gave everything. We have got a good group: they are ambitious, they are not perfect, but they give everything, and when you’re a coach, it gives you a chance.”— Brighton supervisor Graham Potter

“We can’t ask for much more. Three points away from home against Manchester United. It’s a big win for us today. I would love to score more goals against other teams, but always against Man United. I don’t know why. We played really well. the game plan was really good and we stuck to it. We had our chances and were clinical in front of goal.” — Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross

Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Info)

  • Manchester United had been 2-11-4 (W-L-D) final season when conceding the primary purpose. The 11 losses had been their most in a season since 2013-14 (12).

  • Brighton have scored extra targets in opposition to Manchester United of their previous two matches (six) than that they had of their earlier seven matches (5).

  • That is the second time of their final three campaigns that Manchester United misplaced their opening match of the season (2020-21 vs. Crystal Palace, in what was technically Matchweek 2). From 2015 to ’19, they received 5 consecutive Premier League season openers.

  • Sunday marked Brighton’s first win at Outdated Trafford; the membership had been 0-12-2 of their first 14 visits to Outdated Trafford in all competitions, together with eight straight losses coming into Sunday.

Up subsequent

Manchester United: Ten Hag has to place this outcome behind him as United face two difficult video games within the weeks forward, with a visit to Brentford on Saturday, adopted by the arrival of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Aug. 22.

Brighton: After their Outdated Trafford journey, Potter’s aspect host Newcastle on Saturday earlier than a visit throughout the south coast to tackle West Ham on Aug. 21.