Teamwork makes the dream work

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

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MANCHESTER — The Erik ten Hag period at Manchester United has promised so much for the reason that former Ajax supervisor arrived on the finish of the 2021-22 season, however the 2022-23 season has begun with the identical sort of efficiency and the identical sort of end result.

Cristiano Ronaldo started the sport on the bench and Pascal Gross scored twice within the first half to offer Brighton a lead they’d cling onto even after a second-half personal aim 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 Brighton’s 2-1 win marks their first victory ever at Outdated Trafford.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 scores from in the present day’s match.

JUMP TO: Participant scores | 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 identical to that, the optimism generated by a optimistic summer time has disappeared. No one anticipated Ten Hag to magically sort things in a single day, however there was hope that opening video games towards Brighton and Brentford provided the prospect to at the very least 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 might have been extra. United have been higher after half-time and pulled one again after an Alexis Mac Allister personal aim, following some questionable goalkeeping by Robert Sanchez, however Brighton have been nonetheless effectively worthy of the three factors.

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Sunday’s match is a harsh actuality examine for Ten Hag. His squad nonetheless feels at the very least two gamers quick, 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 crew that ought to have been in a position to beat Brighton; because it occurred, Graham Potter’s aspect confirmed the transition to a brand new model of soccer goes to take time. The issue at United, nevertheless, is that they’re by no means a couple of recreation 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 begin, however Ten Hag stored 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 way more taking part in time this summer time and have been each picked to begin.

After a disastrous first half that noticed United booed off, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than Ronaldo was on rather than Fred, and with the Portugal ahead up entrance, Ten Hag’s crew seemed much 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 way in which his supervisor desires, however United are wanting choices, and he’s as shut because it will get to assured targets. Talking at a information convention on Friday, Ten Hag recommended Martial could be obtainable 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 a giant 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 might come to an finish after the World Cup in Qatar, and if the FA discover themselves in search of a brand new coach, Potter shall be excessive up on their checklist of candidates.

Potter would not have huge assets at Brighton — in actual fact, this summer time he has mentioned goodbye to Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella, two key gamers — however season after season he produces a crew that is higher than the sum of its components. They’ve a clearly outlined approach of taking part in and are well-coached, which makes them formidable opponents for nearly any crew within the Premier League.

Gross’ second aim 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 crew to a ninth-place end final season, but when they keep on taking part in like this, they need to be setting their sights even increased. The draw back for Brighton is that any extra success would possibly see them lose their supervisor to England — though that could be on the playing cards already.

Participant scores

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 have been implausible within the first half, and Gross was the epitome of their work fee 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 need to see Fred and Scott McTominay paired in midfield, however that is what they obtained. 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 recreation, 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 could 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 mentioned

“We went into the sport optimistic, we had a very good pre-season and it was the worst potential begin to be 2-0 down at half-time at Outdated Trafford. Not adequate. We obtained a aim again however we huffed and puffed a bit and it is a dangerous begin for us. … Everybody knew the duty. We had a nasty season final season. We have a brand new supervisor attempting to place his philosophy on the crew, however once we do not get it proper, we glance far too open.” — Man United defender Harry Maguire, talking to Sky Sports activities

“t was an ideal efficiency and a deserved win. An effective way to begin. I believed we had an thought of the best way to assault and once we might we tried to press and put them beneath stress. We have been optimistic, courageous and the boys gave every part. Now we have obtained a very good group: they’re bold, they aren’t good, however they offer every part, and whenever you’re a coach, it offers you an opportunity.”— Brighton supervisor Graham Potter

“We won’t ask for way more. Three factors away from house towards Manchester United. It is a large win for us in the present day. I might love to attain extra targets towards different groups, however at all times towards Man United. I do not know why. We performed rather well. the sport plan was actually good and we caught to it. We had our possibilities and have been medical in entrance of aim.” — Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross

Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Data)

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

  • Brighton have scored extra targets towards Manchester United of their previous two matches (six) than they’d 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 gained 5 consecutive Premier League season openers.

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

Up subsequent

Manchester United: Ten Hag has to place this end result behind him as United face two tough 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.

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