Man Utd winners, losers and ratings as Ten Hag’s disastrous debut highlights need for new signings
Man Utd winners, losers and ratings as Ten Hag’s disastrous debut highlights need for new signings :
At Old Trafford, the Dutchman’s reign began in shambolic fashion as he was defeated 2-1 by Brighton
After being stunned by Brighton, Erik ten Hag’s reign at Manchester United got off to the worst possible start.
United were beaten 2-1 by Graham Potter’s side despite a second half fightback sparked by a double from Pascal Gross in the first half.
Early in the second half, Ronaldo was introduced from the bench, but the want-away forward was unable to inspire United like he did last season.
Brighton fans taunted Ten Hag with chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning” as the home side trudged off the pitch at half-time.
While that won’t happen, this wasn’t the best way to start his tenure.
There is no doubt that this was a good one to miss.
In the absence of Martial, United’s reputation will only grow – and no one at the club would want to be associated with such a shambolic performance.
As a makeshift false nine in the first half, Christian Eriksen struggled badly as United’s attack point.
Red Bull Salzburg & Bologna
This week, United has been linked with any club with a striker.
Before kickoff here, United were strongly linked with Bologna forward Marko Arnautovic, a former Stoke and West Ham player. Old Trafford’s sense of panic will only grow with this defeat, which sounds like a desperate move.
United are also interested in Salzburg teenager Benjamin Sesko, but are unwilling to pay more than £50 million ($60.3 million) for him. Salzburg might just think they can hold out for their full asking price after watching this.
Erik ten Hag
It was a miserable start for the Dutchman, but he has now a stronger case for going to his superiors and requesting money to save the season before the transfer window closes.
After being forced to enter the campaign with key signings still to be secured, he has been badly let down by those above him.
Erik ten Hag
Ten Hag’s reign could not have started worse, and the pressure is on from here on out.
The game against Brentford next week is a must-win, while Liverpool visit Old Trafford next week.
Before the game, he spoke of the need to win ugly. Ronaldo was left out of his starting lineup, but it was the ugliest of defeats.
As Brighton burst forward with pace, United fans were dismayed to see the midfield pairing start yet again.
Playing Scott McTominay and Fred as a duo threatens to keep United back, as neither can be trusted on their own.
Frenkie de Jong remains Ten Hag’s top target when it comes to signing a top-class holding midfielder.
The Glazers/Richard Arnold
This mess was witnessed first-hand by Avi Glazer in the stadium. After this performance, the discontent will only grow louder, even though he may not have seen the pre-match protests.
After the final whistle, it was no surprise that he made a hasty exit.
Before the transfer window closes, Richard Arnold and the Glazers have a lot of work to do. It is unlikely that a move for Arnautovic will ease tensions.
Man Utd Ratings: Defence
De Gea (6/10)
Neither goal could be prevented. Badly let down by his defence on a number of occasions.
It is much more effective in attacking than in defending. During the last 25 minutes, he played as a virtual winger and sparked the panic that led to Mac Allister’s own goal.
As Brighton took the lead, Danny Welbeck capitalized on too much space between him and Dalot. He was part of a shaky rear-guard, but showed some encouraging signs of carrying the ball.
Greetings from England. His understanding with Maguire will take some time to develop as he struggles to track Brighton’s forward runners. He improved as the game progressed, but these are early days.
Supported Brighton well, but allowed Mac Allister too much time to get his shot off before Brighton’s second goal. Delivery wasn’t good enough.
I got a yellow card for a foul on Moises Caicedo in the build-up to the opening goal. Ten Hag pushed for a comeback by playing him as an attacking midfielder.
Leandro Trossard’s early, dangerous attack was snuffed out by an important challenge. It was a surprise to see him sacrificed for Ronaldo instead of McTominay despite not using the ball well enough.
Probably at his most effective when dropped back into a holding role, where he could pick his passes. With a first half effort that was tamely fired straight at Robert Sanchez, the team should have done much better.
Given how ineffective he was, it was surprising he lasted until the 90th minute. Time and again, delivery was poor.
As lively as any United forward, but did not work the keeper enough. His blushes were saved by an offside flag when he failed to convert Ronaldo’s cross – but replays suggested the goal should have stood.
Manager & Subs
Ten Hag (4/10)
Given his lack of options up front, leaving Ronaldo out of his starting XI felt like a statement.
The manager’s sluggish start does not reflect well on him.
After the break, he at least got a reaction from them, but the timing of his substitutions was questionable, especially waiting until the 90th minute to make three substitutions.
His introduction undoubtedly improved United’s performance.