Report and free video highlights as former Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck opened the scoring for Brighton; Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro added goals in the second half after poor defending; Danny Welbeck scored the first goal for Brighton. Man United’s Hannibal Mejbri scored the equalizer, and the home team has now dropped three of their first five Premier League matches.
Manchester United’s miserable start to the current Premier League season continued with a loss to Brighton by the score of 3-1. This marked the club’s fourth consecutive defeat in a game played at this level.
This is the first time in 34 years that Manchester United have lost three of their first five league games to start a season. The loss at Old Trafford brought an end to a streak of 20 Premier League games in which they had not been defeated at home.
The irony was in the performance, which was far better from Man United, with Rasmus Hojlund and Sergio Reguilon impressing on their maiden starts and Marcus Rashford looking lively on the left side. Marcus Rashford looked like he was having fun on the left wing.
However, they were undone by some dubious defense that led to all three of Brighton’s goals, as the guests did not let any mistake go unpunished.
When Danny Welbeck, a former striker for Manchester United, scored the opening goal in the 20th minute, he was allowed to do so unopposed. Pascal Gross was able to score a goal for the away team in the 53rd minute because neither Lisandro Martinez nor Victor Lindelof reacted quickly enough to stop a pass that was sent on the ground by Tariq Lamptey after the break.
In the same manner, Joao Pedro was given plenty of room at the top of the box to curl home a lovely third goal in the 71st minute, despite the fact that Hannibal Mejbri promptly responded for the hosts two minutes later. Old Trafford was hoping for a comeback, but it did not ignite the turnaround they needed.
The only teams to which Manchester United has lost four consecutive Premier League games in a row are their fierce rivals Manchester City and Liverpool. Brighton is swiftly becoming Man United’s bogey team. As a direct consequence of this defeat, Erik ten Hag’s team has dropped to 12th place with six points.
In the meantime, Brighton have moved up to fourth position after winning their fourth of their first five league games of the season. This victory gives them additional confidence in front of their first match in the Europa League, which will take place on Thursday.
How Brighton came back to defeat Manchester United
At Old Trafford, Manchester United got off to a strong start. Within the first six minutes of the game, Rashford was beautifully picked out by Reguilon, but the attempt made by the England forward was blocked by the foot of Jason Steele.
Soon after that, Hojlund came close to opening his account for the club on his very first start in the Premier League. Despite his best efforts, he was unable to get to Rashford’s low pass.
After that, Brighton started to regain their footing in the game, and Welbeck scored his fourth goal against his previous side in the twenty-first minute of play. The striker was responsible for finding Simon Adingra down the right side, and Adingra’s cutback found Danny Welbeck all alone in the box, allowing Welbeck to rip a shot past Andre Onana.
Rashford had the best chance to tie the game for Manchester United, but Mahmoud Dahoud was able to save a powerful shot from a distance that he took shortly after Brighton scored the game’s first goal. After that, he had a great solo run, but his shot hit Joel Veltman in the back, and it hit the top of the crossbar instead of going in. Another shot from long range failed to find the target late in the first half.
Hojlund thought he had tied the game for Manchester United in the 40th minute, just before Rashford missed the final opportunity. The goal was scored by the Dane, but the goal was disallowed by the video assistant referee because Rashford’s cross into the box was already out of play before he delivered it.
Man United finished the first half with just one of their eight efforts on target, and after two missed opportunities from Rashford, Brighton took advantage of further sloppy defence to double their lead and put the game out of reach for Man United.
Lamptey’s cross into the box lacked conviction, but Lindelof and Martinez were unable to react in time to prevent a scoring opportunity. It opened the door for Gross, who was waiting in the wings, to grab the ball and then fire it home for his seventh goal against United.
At the 64th minute mark, Antony Martial came on for Hojlund, which was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd at Old Trafford. After Brighton scored their third goal, the afternoon continued to get worse. Lamptey delivered a considerably superior cutback that found Pedro all alone at the top of the area, and Pedro finished it off with a beautiful strike that beat Onana.
The moment that Man United supporters started making their way out of the stadium, their club scored an equalizer practically instantly. Mejbri took a shot from about 25 yards out and put it into the lower corner of the net. It was ultimately a speculative effort on Mejbri’s part.
However, Brighton had more opportunities to score before the end of the game than their opponents did. Ansu Fati, who was making his first appearance in the game, had the best opportunity, but Onana was able to block his shot effectively.
Despite their loss to Brighton, Ten Hag is adamant that Manchester United are not in a state of crisis. Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag:
“If we stay committed to one another, the game plan, and the guidelines, we will be able to turn this situation around.
“The form is annoying, but I have to see how we play in order to get over it. It comes down to our moral fiber; we have to demonstrate how resilient we are and how well the group works together. Players are standing up and showing character because we have seen that we can play well and create opportunities in all of the games, notably the game today (Saturday) and against Arsenal and Forest. Players are standing up and showing character because of this.
“But we also have some improvements to make, and we need to step it up.”
“I think it was positive,” Martial said when asked about the boos that were heard when Hojlund was replaced by him. You can tell that the fans at Old Trafford gave a fantastic welcome from the very first second you arrived there. Hojlund delivered an outstanding performance; it’s encouraging that they sent this signal; Rasmus will gain belief as a result of this message. He entered the arena with a minor problem, and he is not yet prepared for the entire game.
“If Hojlund gets injured because he is not capable of playing 90 minutes, then we are much further away from where we want to go.”
Ten Hag continued by saying, “The booing occurred because Rasmus was taken off.” But I believe that when Martial played for us last season, he had a positive effect on the games that we played… when he is fit, he will contribute to the team. He is not in peak physical condition right now, but he is making progress. When he is physically ready, he will contribute the same way he did in the previous season.
The fact that this wasn’t a surprise is a major cause for concern, Neville.
Gary Neville, commentator for Sky Sports:
“I’ve just gotten back from Old Trafford, and while it’s important to maintain a positive attitude before every game, the thing that worries me the most is that what we ended up watching wasn’t a surprise. This was not due to a lack of effort on the part of the players or a lack of interest on their part. This was a team that was thoroughly dominated by competitors who were well prepared and were aware of what they were doing. It’s as easy as that…
“Oh, and to answer your question, the Glazers are to blame. It operates in this manner. You are the owner of a company, and ultimately, the responsibility for its success or failure rests with you. They received the most advantageous inheritance in every respect. They have presided over ten years of mediocrity, both off and on the field, in both arenas. They are the ones that are responsible for the culture of greed, lack of discipline, indecision, and uncertainty that permeates the entire club.
“It would be in everyone’s best interest if they sold the club with some degree of speed and efficiency and enabled at least the off-the-field issues to be adequately handled so that the tone and culture could be reset. Football is a volatile sport, which means that the outcomes on the pitch may be unpredictable and cyclical. However, if the off-the-pitch stuff, including the owners’ direction and leadership, is bang on, it offers you a better opportunity to succeed on it.
De Zerbi: We had a great group, and it showed in our performance; we had a good game.
The manager of Brighton, Roberto de Zerbi, explains:
“I believe that we played an excellent game, particularly in the second half. During the first 15 minutes of the game, we were put under a lot of pressure by Man United, and their players took a variety of positions.
“But after that, we played a good game because we have a strong roster, we can substitute two players in every position on the pitch, and while the characteristics change without Estupinan and Solly, the quality of the players does not.
“I believe that we were extremely good at keeping possession of the ball in the second half, but there were instances when we could have attacked with more vigor. On the other hand, we were concentrating our efforts on avoiding giving up the counterattack. However, we could score more goals, particularly in the final quarter of the game. The goal that we gave up, the movement leading up to it is something I don’t fully comprehend, but I believe the result is accurate.
According to Opta statistics, Manchester United is piling up the goals against them.
Pascal Gross, who plays for Brighton, has scored seven goals in the Premier League versus Manchester United, which accounts for a quarter of his total goals scored in the competition (7/28). Old Trafford has been the scene of four of those goals; only Mohamed Salah and Steven Gerrard, both with five, have scored more goals as a visiting player at Old Trafford in the history of the Premier League.
Roberto De Zerbi, the manager of Brighton, became only the eighth manager in Premier League history to win both of his first two games against Manchester United. Glenn Hoddle, José Mourinho, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Carlo Ancelotti, Garry Monk, and Mikel Arteta were the previous seven managers to accomplish this feat.
Manchester United have given up two goals or more in each of their previous four Premier League games, which is tied for their longest such streak in the tournament (they also gave up two or more goals in each of their last four games from May to August 2001).
What should I do now?
On Wednesday, Manchester United will play their first game in the Champions League, which will take place at Bayern Munich. The match will begin at 8:00 p.m. local time.
After that, Erik ten Hag’s team will get back into Premier League action on Saturday when they travel to Burnley (kickoff is at 8 p.m.).
The next game for Brighton is on Thursday, when they will host AEK Athens in the opening round of the Europa League. The match will begin at 8:00 p.m. local time.
The match against Bournemouth will mark the Seagulls’ return to Premier League play, and it will take place at their home stadium on September 24 at 2:00 PM.