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Match report: Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United opened their season with a home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion as they lost 2-1.

It was Erik Ten Hag’s first competitive game in charge of the Reds and it was a nervy start for the Dutchman as Diogo Dalot was caught in possession but luckily Trossard could only find the side netting.

Marcus Rashford made a good run in the opening five minutes but his cross across was cut out by Brighton.

Scott McTominay had a chance moments later but his shot was blocked. Bruno Fernandes had a go on the rebound but it was off target.

United were intent on playing out from the back but were too slow to move the ball and kept giving it away but Brighton couldn’t take their chances.

Eriksen – who was playing in a false nine position – had a great chance to mark his debut with a goal but after Rashford made a brilliant run, Eriksen could only find the keeper’s hands with his shot.

It was Brighton who took the lead when Caicedo cut open the defence, found Welbeck who played it to Gross who found the back of the net.

It went from bad to worse for United as Gross compounded the misery with a second tap in. De Gea saved the initial shot but parried it into the path of Gross.

United came out in the second half with a lot of work to do. Rashford was spritely but could only find the side netting.

Just a few minutes into the half, Cristiano Ronaldo replaced Fred to the delight of the crowd.

He made an impact as he forced a corner and later was heavily involved in a chance for Rashford that was well saved by the Brighton keeper.

It was Rashford again who had a good chance. He came steaming in at the far post but he couldn’t keep the shot down as it flew over the bar and into the stands.

Eventually they made the breakthrough after a scramble, the goalkeeper collected, dropped it and it was Dalot who forced it over the line but it went to VAR.

Was it a fowl? Was it a handball? VAR said no! 2-1 to United but it went down as an own goal, McAllister being the one who put it over the line as he tried to clear.

United were growing into the game but was it too late?

Martinez was trying to be a hero for the home fans as he took a long range shot but it flew over the bar.

Each time Brighton pushed forward themselves as groans echoed around Old Trafford with each mistake the defence made.

Despite being much improved in the second half, United couldn’t find the equaliser and Erik Ten Hag opened the season with a disappointing defeat.

Team: de Gea, Maguire, Rashford, Martinez, Eriksen, Dalot, Fred (Ronaldo), Shaw (Malacia), Sancho (Garnacho), McTominay (Van De Beek), Fernades (Elanga)

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