Same old, same old from the Red Devils. Manchester United have started the new season in the Premier League and it did not feel like anything from the last one changed. Erik ten Hag’s side lost 2-1 against Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford on the opening day of the new campaign. It was a dreadful performance, especially in the first half, which made United suffer against Graham Potter’s team once again.
While the last time Brighton had beaten United 4-0 at home, this time it was goals from Pascal Gross in quick succession that gave the visitors a clear lead. In the second half, United did manage to be a bit more aggressive and attack-minded, but ultimately, Alexis Mac Allister’s own goal did not change much for the hosts. Here’s everything you need to know about United’s first loss of the season.
Ten Hag Realises The Magnitude Of The Job
This opening day was the perfect encapsulation for Erik ten Hag to see right away just how huge of a task he will have during his tenure at the club. Former Ajax manager has just about realised how far United are from a team where he wants to see it in the future. United were disorganised, had a gaping hole in midfield throughout and in forwards Rashford and Sancho, lacked quality in the final third. United lost a lot of players this summer, most of them expectedly so, but were joined by only three new ones. It would be naive to expect big changes already, then.
McTominay And Fred Frustration Keeps Growing
Fred was substituted after 53 minutes and Scott McTominay after 78, but if you asked the fans, they would not have waited to do so after terrible 45 minutes. The Scottish-Brazilian midfield duo are a good representation of things going wrong at United. The two of them have clearly shown in the recent seasons they are not the quality to bring United closer to the top of English football and this match was yet another show of that. McTominay has made plenty of poor decisions on the day and was lucky not to get sent off due to a reckless challenge, while Fred lost all of his duels in midfield and ran around Brighton’s midfielders.
Lisandro Gets The Bitter Taste Of Premier League
This was a debut match for Lisandro Martinez, former Ajax centre-back, who started the match alongside Harry Maguire. And the defender had a lot of trouble in his first match in England. He was unable to stop Danny Welbeck, with the former Man United forward giving him all sorts of problems with his pace and physicallity. Martinez is still new to Premier League and will require more patience, but he definitely did not enjoy his first outing.
Cristiano Ronaldo Could Make Less Drama
The biggest decision Ten Hag made on Sunday was to make Cristiano Ronaldo wait 53 minutes before getting onto the pitch. The Portuguese superstar started on the bench after not getting through the pre-season and playing only 45 minutes the weekend before that. Instead of being a leader from the bench and suppressing his ego after doing his best to abandon the club in any way possible, Ronaldo continued with the drama. His constant expressions on the bench were saying he did not want to be there and while he may have felt he should have started, he could have done more since Erik ten Hag’s arrival in England to make things easier on the new manager. When he finally came on instead of Fred, Ronaldo was unable to be the saviour.