Victor Lindelof was part of a Manchester United defence which shipped three goals at home to Brighton.

Manchester United produced a performance to forget when the team slumped to a 3-1 home defeat against a well-drilled Brighton side.

United have now lost three of five games to start the season and sit with a negative goal difference.

Defensive injuries have not helped, but one player who was a standout for his reliability last season, has not looked quite the same in recent matches, Victor Lindelof.

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Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
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Victor Lindelof ‘unrecognisable’

Sweden international Victor Lindelof has been called up to the side in recent games since Raphael Varane suffered an injury.

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks hit out at the centre-back, writing: “I don’t think I’ve seen defending by a Manchester United side like that for years. Victor Lindelof looked unrecognisable from the player I saw in last season’s FA Cup semi-final.”

At the time, Crooks had been very complimentary about Lindelof, who even scored the winning penalty in the shootout with Brighton and kept a clean sheet during the game at Wembley.

The Swede was not the only player to attract his ire, with Crooks adding: “Don’t even get me started on Lisandro Martinez.”

There was some extra context on the defenders’ performances added by Gary Neville, who noted how Brighton’s expert tactics simply dragged them out of position repeatedly.

Neville told Sky Sports: “They dismantled Manchester United by doing what Brighton do. [Danny] Welbeck and [Adam] Lallana dropping into pockets, the two wide players being high, [Lisandro] Martinez and [Victor] Lindelof being caught in no man’s land at times.

“We quite often say that football players win football matches, it’s the most obvious thing to say, and that systems don’t win matches. I’m sorry, systems do have an impact on matches.”

Crooks and Neville disagree over the Glazers

In the wake of Manchester United’s defeat, Gary Neville had hit out at owners the Glazers for ultimately being responsible for the club failing to move forward.

Writing on X, he ranted: “Yes the Glazers are responsible. It’s how it works. You own a business and everything good and bad sits with you! They inherited the best in all areas.

“They’ve overseen 10 years of mediocrity off the pitch and on the pitch. They set the culture of greed, ill-discipline, indecision and uncertainty that runs right through the club.”

Crooks however was not in agreement. He told BBC Sport: “Any attempt to try to attach blame for United’s poor recent performances on the Glazers’ lack of ability to sell the club is utter nonsense.

“Whatever boardroom activities are taking place has nothing to do with a professional footballer once they cross the white line.”

Both are correct. Neville is right to take the wider view, that ultimately, the Glazers are responsible for the state United are in. But it is also fair to question Erik ten Hag, for personally overseeing three straight league defeats to Brighton now.

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