Man United begun the game woefully, with defensive duo Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof both making monumental mistakes to give the home side two goals in as many minutes midway through the first half.
Romelu Lukaku grabbed a goal back but Bailly was once again at fault at the other end, giving away a needless penalty to restore Brighton’s two goal advantage by half time. The response in the second half was pitiful.
And according to the Times‘ Paul Hirst, the 55-year-old barely said a word afterwards in the dressing room, which you can imagine would have been engulfed by the most exceptionally painful silence after a performance as clueless as that.
The silent treatment was often favoured by Sir Alex Ferguson, whose famous only words to his players after losing 5-0 at Newcastle United was to get back on the bus.
That would have had a resonating effect, sending a chilling sensation down the spine of every player. It is always worse for somebody to be disappointed than angry with you, after all.
You only worry that, with Mourinho, the silence takes on a different tone. His propensity towards moodiness and sudden outbursts may have been productive in the dressing room at times, challenging his players in a sense, but after a while – as seen in the past – it can have a divisive, adverse effect on the mood of the dressing room.