The Ten Hag Era Begins With Defeat To Brighton

The Ten Hag Era Begins With Defeat To Brighton - partycasino

Manchester United taking on Brighton at Old Trafford was one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures of the weekend. Many were keen to see how new United boss Erik ten Hag faired in his side’s first outing of the season. And there was the circus surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential involvement creating a buzz too. But, both were left disappointed at full time, with Brighton running out 2-1 winners.

Potter Confidence

It's fair to say that coming into the Sunday afternoon kick-off, many believed that Brighton would be a much weaker outfit this time after losing star men Marc Cucurella and Yves Bissouma to Chelsea and Spurs, respectively, this summer. But, manager Graham Potter remained confident, setting his team up in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with former United striker Danny Welbeck leading the line.

Ten Hag Newbies

Ten Hag handed a debut to Lisandro Martinez alongside captain Harry Maguire in central defence. Fellow new signing Christian Eriksen also made his debut, but rather than being deployed in midfield, the Dane was played as a false nine, with Ronaldo on the bench and Anthony Martial, who looked good in pre-season, out injured.

Good Start

As the game got underway, there was hope that ten Hag would have installed a new style and managed to correct the mistakes of previous years. But, immediately from kick-off, a long ball forward from Brighton was chested down by new boy Martinez, who seemed to misjudge the pace of the ball. The Argentinian then played it into Diego Dalot, who opened his body up too much, letting the ball run, and Leandro Trossard closed him down, got the block off, and then unleashed a shot at goal from inside the penalty box.

United's Frail Defense

While United fashioned chances, their defence was cut open far too easily, with a ball down the side of Maguire being latched onto by Welbeck, who pulled off a simple cut back for Pascal Gross to side foot home at the far post. Gross was then on hand at the far post again, this time on the opposite side, as David de Gea could only palm a Solly March shot into his path. United were 2-0 down at the break, and Brighton, who stuck to task, looked good for it.

Ronaldo Second Half

The second-half response ten Hag was looking for didn’t exactly come, although United did assert themselves more on home turf. Ronaldo entered the fray, and Martinez’s defensive frailties were exposed as he appeared to bundle over Welbeck in the penalty area. No penalty was awarded following the VAR check, but the Argentinian never looked comfortable on his debut.

Brighton Resolute

United did get back into the game after Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez misjudged the flight of a Bruno Fernandes corner. Dalot inadvertently moved the ball towards the Brighton goal, and as Sanchez attempted to make amends by clawing the ball away at the last minute, he turned it onto teammate Alexis Mac Allister, who rebounded it into the net. But Brighton were resolute and saw the game out, with it being the first time the Seagulls have beaten United in the top flight.