Man United open Erik ten Hag period with residence defeat to Brighton and acquainted flaws on show
MANCHESTER — The Erik ten Hag period at Manchester United has promised loads because the 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 present Brighton a lead they’d hold onto even after a second-half personal objective by Alexis Mac Allister. Because it stands, the 2-1 win is Brighton’s first-ever at Outdated Trafford.
Right here is Rob Dawson with response and rankings from at the moment’s match.
Ten Hag period off to the worst attainable begin
And identical to that, the optimism generated by a constructive summer season has disappeared. No person anticipated Ten Hag to magically sort things in a single day, however there was hope that opening video games in opposition to Brighton and Brentford supplied the prospect to a minimum of get off to begin. Apparently not.
The guests went in at half-time 2-0 up thanks to 2 targets from Gross, but it surely might have been extra. United had been higher after half-time and pulled one again after an Alexis Mac Allister personal objective, following some questionable goalkeeping by Robert Sanchez, however Brighton had been nonetheless effectively worthy of the three factors.
Sunday’s match is a harsh actuality test for Ten Hag. His squad nonetheless feels a minimum of 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 in a position to beat Brighton; because it occurred, Graham Potter’s facet 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 recreation away from a disaster and Ten Hag goes to study 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 solely managed 45 minutes in the summertime friendlies, however Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez have not had far more taking part in time this summer season and had 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 group seemed way more harmful.
Ten Hag and Ronaldo already appears like an uneasy union. There are doubts about whether or not Ronaldo can press in the way in which 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 instructed Martial could be out there once more quickly, so it is going to be fascinating to see if Ronaldo is once more left on the bench when United journey to Brentford subsequent weekend. It is all the time an enormous name to go away him out, however notably for a brand new supervisor.
Potter furthers his England probabilities
It is attainable 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 on the lookout for a brand new coach, Potter might be excessive up on their checklist of candidates.
Potter does not have huge sources at Brighton — the truth is this summer season, he is 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 manner of taking part in and are well-coached, which makes them formidable opponents for nearly any group within the Premier League.
Gross’ second objective right here was top-of-the-line 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 everywhere in the pitch.
Potter guided his group to a ninth-place end final season, but when they stick with it taking part in like this, they need to be setting their sights even larger. The draw back for Brighton is that any extra success may see them lose their supervisor to England — though that could be on the playing cards already.
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.
Finest and worst performers
BEST: Pascal Gross, Brighton — Brighton had been incredible within the first half and Gross was the epitome of their work price and tactical effectivity, scoring twice from shut vary after good strikes — the second specifically — 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 received. 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, but it surely was a day when nothing went proper.
Highlights and notable moments
It was good to see United clarify the lineup by way of Ten Hag on Twitter… a disgrace it did not work out!
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 7, 2022
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!
One brings two ✌️
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 7, 2022
After the match: What the managers, gamers stated
“We went into the sport constructive, we had pre-season and it was the worst attainable begin to be 2-0 down at half-time at Outdated Trafford. ot ok. We received a objective again however we huffed and puffed a bit and it is a unhealthy begin for us… Everybody knew the duty. We had a nasty season final season. We have a brand new supervisor making an attempt to place his philosophy on the group however after we do not get it proper we glance far too open.” – Man United defender Harry Maguire
“t was a terrific efficiency and a deserved win. A good way to begin. I assumed we had an thought of the right way to assault and after we might we tried to press and put them beneath stress. We had been constructive, courageous and the boys gave all the things. We’ve received group: they’re formidable, they don’t seem to be good, however they offer all the things and while you’re a coach, it provides you an opportunity.”— Brighton supervisor Graham Potter
“We won’t ask for far more. Three factors away from residence in opposition to Manchester United. It is a large win for us at the moment. I might love to attain extra targets in opposition to different groups, however all the time in opposition to Man United. I do not know why! We performed very well. the sport plan was actually good and we caught to it. We had our probabilities and had been scientific in entrance of objective.” — 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 objective. The 11 losses had been their most in a season since 2013-14 (12 losses)
Brighton have scored extra targets in opposition to Manchester United of their final 2 matches (6) than they’d of their earlier 7 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 2015-19, they gained 5 consecutive Premier League season-openers.
Sunday marked Brighton’s first ever win at Outdated Trafford; the membership was 0-12-2 (W-L-D) in its first 14 visits to Outdated Trafford in all competitions, together with 8 straight losses coming into Sunday
Manchester United: Ten Hag has to place this end result behind him as United face two difficult video games within the weeks forward, with a visit to Brentford (Aug. 13) adopted by the arrival of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Aug. 22.
Brighton: After their Outdated Trafford journey, Potter’s facet host Newcastle (Aug. 13) earlier than a visit throughout the south coast to tackle West Ham (Aug. 21).