Manchester United used a new formation against Brighton and it did not work out at all well.

Manager Erik ten Hag crowed after the game about his new 4-3-1-2 formation enjoying success for the first 20 minutes.

He told club media: “The first 20 minutes was very good. I think we had the chances, in the first half, I think we played very well but we didn’t score. We didn’t finish.”

Sadly for United, the game lasted for 90. Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi adjusted to combat United’s new approach, and the visitors ran out 3-1 winners.

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Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
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McTominay and Eriksen struggle

Midfielders Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen were among the players who found it tricky as the game went on, with Brighton’s approach making life tough for United.

Brighton’s width was able to stretch United’s deliberately narrow set up, enjoying more possession, and the Red Devils’ midfielders did not see enough of the ball, outnumbered especially once Brighton pushed their full-backs forward.

Pundit and former midfielder Don Hutchison spoke to ESPN FC following United’s defeat, and said he felt some sympathy.

He said: “The two players I feel sorry for the most… the work Scott McTominay had to do by being a central midfielder running out to Mitoma, running out to Tariq Lamptey, was off the charts,.

“On the left-hand side Eriksen had to do the same, down Veltman’s side and Adingra. Tactically, Ten hag got it wrong. You could see the patterns of the game.”

Casemiro criticised

Midfielder Casemiro did not elicit the same sympathy from the pundit, who criticised the Brazilian’s performance.

Hutchison added: “Casemiro really struggled, he struggled badly. He looked a player who was treading water.”

He had earlier been criticised in his homeland after his performance in Brazil’s recent international. He should benefit from Sofyan Amrabat being introduced into the team when he is fully fit.

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