Manchester United succumbed to a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion in their first Premier League match under new manager Erik ten Hag.

The Erik ten Hag era was off to the worst possible start at Old Trafford as Manchester United fell to a 1-2 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in their Premier League opener at Old Trafford.

Manchester United had the first big chance of the game, but Bruno Fernandes sent his effort over the bar from a great position inside the box. Brighton & Hove Albion started to grow in confidence with time, and started to control proceedings, eventually breaking the deadlock through usual suspect Pascal Gross at the half-hour mark after some fine work by ex-Red Devil Danny Welbeck.

Nine minutes later, the German midfielder doubled his and Brighton’s tally on the afternoon as David de Gea spilt a shot from Solly March, with Gross blasting home the rebound. The hosts looked a bit more purposeful after the break and tried to make things, eventually pulling a goal back through an own goal by Alexis Mac Allister in the 68th minute.

Manchester United huffed and puffed in their efforts to try and find an equaliser in the final stages of the contest, but could not find a way through as Ten Hag became the first Red Devils’ manager since Louis van Gaal in 2014 to lose his first Premier League game in charge of the team. Here are our player ratings from a dismal display from the 20-time English champions as another difficult season awaits.

Manchester United Player Ratings

David de Gea: 4/10

There was not a lot he could have done to stop Brighton’s opening goal, although he should have made a better attempt to stop Welbeck’s cross into the box. But David de Gea was culpable for their second strike as he failed to collect March’s shot, allowing Gross to hammer home what would prove to be the eventual winning goal. He does not look all too comfortable with the ball when pressed by the opposition.

Diogo Dalot: 5/10

The Portuguese international almost gifted Brighton a goal in the opening seconds but was fortunate that Trossard’s effort was into the side-netting. Dalot grew in confidence from thereon, though, and made some decent forward runs while playing an influential role in the own goal that Mac Allister scored. However, he continued to look vulnerable at the back.

Harry Maguire: 4/10

The Manchester United captain was once again unsure and suspect at the back, as he struggled to deal with the movement of Danny Welbeck. Maguire allowed the striker to run behind him and played him onside for the opening goal. He was booked for an unnecessary scuffle in the second half.

Lisandro Martinez: 5/10

A tentative performance from the new signing, who showed glimpses of his ability on the ball and also won some aerial duels despite his short frame. However, there were times when his positioning was suspect, while he was booked after getting caught on the ball close to half-time. 

Luke Shaw: 3/10

Given the nod over Tyrell Malacia, Shaw failed to make the most of his chance, putting in what was a largely ordinary performance. The English was unaware of Gross’ presence in the lead-up to the first goal and was not aggressive enough to get close to March leading to the second. Shaw offered next to nothing in attack.

Scott McTominay: 2/10

Apart from a few surging runs from midfield in the initial stages, it was a game to forget for McTominay, who failed to offer control in the middle of the park. He also tended to put his teammates under pressure with his poor ball control on occasions. The Scotsman lost the ball in the lead-up to the opening goal and could have easily seen a red card for his foul on Moises Caicedo.

Fred: 2/10

A day to forget for the Brazilian, with this performance once again showing that he is not suited to playing the deeper, holding midfield role. Poor control almost led to a chance for Trossard but recovered well. However, he was not quick enough to thwart Gross from scoring the second after De Gea’s spill. He was the first one to be withdrawn by Ten Hag.

Jadon Sancho: 5/10

One of the few positives for Manchester United, although that is not saying much. Sancho looked threatening when he was found in space by his teammates, but they could not do so regularly enough. He was willing to drive at the opposition defence and even played some key passes but lacked the support from those around him.

Bruno Fernandes: 4/10

The Portuguese midfielder should have put Manchester United in front within ten minutes but blazed his effort into the stands when found unmarked inside the box. He failed to threaten regularly enough, and even though there were some dangerous crosses into the box, there was just not enough quality from the hosts’ creator-in-chief.

Marcus Rashford: 2/10

Poor from Manchester United’s No. 10 as he struggled to get involved in the first half and was poor with his decision-making when on the ball. Rashford had a great chance when played in by Ronaldo but could not beat Robert Sanchez in a 1v1 situation before missing another decent opportunity.

Christian Eriksen: 5/10

The Dane made his competitive debut for Manchester United on Sunday. Starting as a makeshift No. 9, Eriksen spent most of the first half dropping deep to try and get on the ball. There were some good-looking passes every now and then but failed to offer any threat. He should have done better with an opportunity on the counter at 0-0.

SUBSTITUTES

Cristiano Ronaldo: 5/10

On for Fred eight minutes into the second period. Apart from setting Rashford up for a chance, Ronaldo failed to get into the game even as Manchester United pushed for goals.

Donny van de Beek: N/A

Sent on in place of McTominay for the final 15 minutes or so. Hardly did anything noteworthy.

Anthony Elanga: N/A

Stoppage-time substitute for Sancho.

Alejandro Garnacho: N/A

Late substitute for Bruno Fernandes.

Tyrell Malacia: N/A

Malacia made his debut, coming on for Shaw in the 90th minute.

Comments 1

  1. Kenny says:

    rashford be benched,marguire benched,and may be get better defencive midfielders than the ones that played.Thx E ten

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