Manchester United’s first day of the season ended in a depressingly familiar defeat, this time losing to Brighton at Old Trafford.
United conceded two first half goals on the way to a 2-1 loss, which has understandably sparked a meltdown and inquest at why Erik ten Hag was given such a weak squad to start the season with.
The club now look set to panic in the transfer market, which may spark a recovery, or create as many problems as it solves if the wrong players are bought.
The opening day defeat wasn’t the best sign for the season ahead, but it’s just one game with 37 left to go. The club has suffered opening day losses before. Let’s delve into what happened next…
The last five times Manchester United lost on the opening day of the season
2020: Manchester United 1-3 Crystal Palace: This strange defeat came in an empty stadium with Manchester United’s starting XI still very unfit after a short summer break.
Wilfred Zaha scored twice in a 3-1 win for Crystal Palace, with Donny van de Beek scoring a consolation goal on his debut. He has netted only once since.
The results got temporarily worse, a 6-1 home loss to Tottenham followed. But remarkably, the team rallied back and went onto put a consistent run of results together.
MORE UNITED STORIES
United finished the season in second place and even made the Europa League final, with the start of the season put down to an early aberration.
2014: Manchester United 1-2 Swansea City: The last time Manchester United began the season with a Dutch manager in charge, the team lost 2-1 at Old Trafford.
This defeat came as a real shock to the system after a very impressive pre-season under Louis van Gaal. A repeat of this was the fear when Erik ten Hag’s side started pre-season so well, with 2014 proving that friendly results meant nothing.
Like 2020, it got worse before it got better. United lost 4-0 to MK Dons days later. A late flurry of transfer business followed, with Radamel Falcao arriving on deadline day.
Van Gaal did turn it around, with Manchester United finishing ahead of both Tottenham and Liverpool to secure fourth place.
2012: Everton 1-0 Manchester United: Manchester United’s campaign in 2012 came on the back of City’s Sergio Aguero title winning goal the previous year and there was a lot of anxiety to do well.
The season got off to a terrible start on a Monday night at Goodison Park. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were beaten 1-0 with Marouane Fellaini scoring a second half winner. Not even debutant Robin van Persie coming on in the 67th minute could turn this game around.
It wasn’t long before Van Persie made an impact. Manchester United went on to win the Premier League title with enough games to spare for the Dutchman to even get a guard of honour against Arsenal.
2004: Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United: Manchester United opened the season against Chelsea for Jose Mourinho’s first match in charge of the London club.
So soon after Mourinho’s knocking United out of the Champions League with Porto, the newly self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ racked up another victory over Sir Alex Ferguson.
Eidur Gudjohnsen scored a winner for Chelsea against an injury-hit United side which started Roy Keane at centre-back, and Liam Miller and Eric Djemba-Djemba in central midfield.
This was not a good season for Manchester United with the team slumping to third place, a worst ever finish under Ferguson, and losing the FA Cup final.
1995: Aston Villa 1-3 Manchester United: There was plenty of outrage after the Brighton defeat last weekend and it makes you wonder what it would have been like with social media back in 1995.
Fresh of the departures of Andrei Kanchelskis, Paul Ince and Mark Hughes, United lined up with a youthful midfield and were beaten 3-1.
Alan Hansen lashed out at United on Match of the Day, with the immortal line, ‘You can’t win anything with kids’.
By the end of the season Manchester United were celebrated a Premier League and FA Cup double, with the likes of Paul Scholes and David Beckham beginning their journeys to superstardom.