Five things we learned from Manchester United 1-2 Brighton
Manchester United lost 2-1 against Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford in Erik ten Hag‘s first Premier League game.
A first half double from Pascal Groß gave Graham Potter’s Seagulls a 2-0 lead which stunned the Theatre of Dreams faithful.
United pulled a goal back in the second half following an Alex MacAllister own goal but couldn’t complete a comeback.
Here are five things we learned Manchester United v Brighton.
Five things we learned from Manchester United v Brighton
Worst possible start for Ten Hag
After a positive pre-season campaign, the former Ajax manager was given a rude awakening to life in the Premier League and the task of the rebuild he faces at the fallen giants.
Brighton keen to show that May’s 4-0 win against the Red Devils at the Amex Stadium was no fluke looked comfortable in large periods during the clash on M16.
Improvements desperately needed in midfield
Ten Hag opted to start with Fred and Scott McTominay and even without Yves Bissouma in midfield for Brighton – the pair were given the run around.
United’s team looks so disjointed without a ball-playing midfielder in our ranks similar in ilk to say Frenkie de Jong.
Until United have a dominant midfield pairing it’s going to be difficult for Ten Hag to implement his philosophy.
Tough Premier League debut for Lisandro Martinez
Much has been made about the Argentine being the smallest centre-back in the Premier League and the former Ajax man was given a stern test in his first outing in English football.
United’s new number six had to contend with the pace and physicality of former Red Devils forward Danny Welbeck.
Welbeck ran Harry Maguire and Martinez ragged but the South American is only going to get better the more exposure and experience he gets in English football.
Cristiano Ronaldo introduced from bench
Despite Anthony Martial being unavailable for our Premier League opener, Ten Hag opted against starting Ronaldo and instead went with Christian Eriksen in the false number nine role.
The cameras turned to Ronaldo when United conceding the first and he was gesturing to his United teammates to respond to the setback.
The 37-year-old came on early in the second half and gave United a focal point but Ten Hag will continue to be asked questions about his number seven’s future while the transfer window remains open.
Pascal Groß loves scoring against Manchester United
The German had scored four goals against United prior to today’s clash, more than any other side the midfield has faced during his career.
Brighton’s number 13 slotted home both of his goals and proved to be the scourge of Manchester United once again.
The 31-year-old has now scored six times against the Reds in 12 appearances.