The Premier League debut of Erik ten Hag was disastrous as Manchester United fell to Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 on Sunday at Old Trafford.
Up to Alexis Mac Allister’s own goal on the 68th minute, Brighton had a comfortable lead thanks to a brace from Pascal Gross in the first half. But United failed to take advantage of any opportunities, allowing Brighton to win at Old Trafford for the first time ever.
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We had a strong preseason and a solid start to the game, but being down 2-0 at halftime at Old Trafford was the worst possible start. Not sufficient. Harry Maguire stated, “We got a goal back, but we huffed and puffed a bit, and it’s a horrible start for us.
We had control of the game as a team and got off to a good start in the match. Then we gave up the first goal, which severely hurt us. After that, we stopped having fun.
“We need to think about how to avoid having the first goal set us back as much. However, we need to be more alert because we encouraged them to approach and assault us. Being 2-0 behind at the half was a terrible start.”
In a period where Brighton was applying the most of the pressure, it took them 30 minutes to break United. Danny Welbeck evaded Maguire and fired the ball into the six-yard box, where Gross finished it off and put the ball in the goal.
Nine minutes later, Brighton scored a solid team goal for his second goal. From their corner flag, where Solly March scooped up the ball on the edge of the area, they worked the ball down the field.
He fired a shot that David de Gea palmed away, but it only reached Gross, who sent the ball into the net’s roof.
United applied more pressure in the second half. Marcus Rashford had two excellent chances to give United the lead but he didn’t take advantage of them after being set up by Cristiano Ronaldo, who had come off the bench.
Instead, it was a poor choice by Robert Sanchez, who had already made some excellent saves, that allowed Mac Allister to accidentally put the ball into his own net during a scrum in the goalmouth.
The goalkeeper mishandled the corner kick, allowing the ball to bounce twice toward his goal before being struck off Mac Allister and into the net.
Diogo Dalot was investigated by VAR for possible handball in the lead-up to the goal, but no foul was discovered, hence the goal was scored.
“Excellent performance and deserving victory. a fantastic way to begin, “Graham Potter, the Brighton coach, stated.
“We attempted to push and put them under pressure whenever we could because I believed we had a plan on how to attack. We were upbeat, courageous, and the boys gave it their all. First half of play was pretty solid for us.”