Manchester United ended their fifth game of the Premier League season in defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion. Here are four reasons why...

Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Clinical Brighton

The first reason that United were beaten has to be down to the opposition. They were downright clinical against the Red Devils at Old Trafford.

Three big chances created for the Seagulls, resulted in three goals. Danny Welbeck’s first-half finish was particularly devastating for Erik ten Hag‘s side.

This was completely against the run of play, but ultimately changed the game putting United on the back foot. Unlike United, Brighton simply took their chances – showing ruthlessness in front of the Old Trafford faithful.

Bench firepower is woeful

We understand that Hannibal Majbri came on and got a goal – which was a tremendous moment for the youngster, but realistically United’s substitutions weren’t exactly ‘game-changing’.

Mejbri and Anthony Martial entered the frame on 64 minutes, with the Tunisian having a superb game, yet the Frenchman was once again completely absent.

It seemed a desperate attempt to look for a goal, from a player that simply won’t provide them. United do have a real issue outside that starting XI. There is no one, maybe bar Alejandro Garnacho who entered the frame far too late, that excites fans as a substitution.

A lot of this comes down to injuries – but five games in, this is a major worry.

Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Noone stepped up

Something that is a worry for United this season is when individuals aren’t performing – it’s hard to see where goals are coming from.

Marcus Rashford had an impressive first half, but other than that – it was apparent that no other member of the team really stepped up when it was needed.

What’s worrying is the immediate reliance already on Rasmus Hojlund. The decision to take the Danish striker off was greeted with boos from the crowd... but we have to remember, he’s only 20, and this was his first Premier League start.

We can’t rely on a 20-year-old to do the business, which is a worrying sign of things to come with no immediate goal-scoring threat.

Ultimately – Erik ten Hag got it wrong

United decided to line up with a new system… which looked great to begin with, but it quickly panned out that Ten Hag was wrong in doing this.

Brighton had more possession, more passes and genuinely came to Manchester and controlled the game. The system the Dutchman set up with didn’t work and a lot of this defeat should fall on his shoulders.

The pressure is mounting up now. We hope things change for the better, and fast.

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