Manchester United fell to an opening-day defeat at Old Trafford, as Erik ten Hag’s first competitive match ended in a 2-1 reverse against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League.
Bruno Fernandes was handed the game’s first real chance after just six minutes. Scott McTominay found space inside the penalty area, before his blocked cross fell kindly to our no.8, who unfortunately blazed over.
Christian Eriksen then almost topped off a superb flowing counter-attack with Ten Hag’s side beginning to edge the early stages. Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Fernandes were all involved in the swift move, with the Dane’s goalbound strike easily collected by Robert Sanchez.
Pascal Gross then gave the visitors the lead with half an hour gone, as the German midfielder tapped home from inside the area, following Danny Welbeck’s square pass across the six-yard box.
Gross added both his and Brighton’s second just 10 minutes later, as the Reds were left with much work to do heading into the second half. A swift counter-attack found Solly March on the left, before David De Gea parried his effort into the path of the 31-year-old to tap home.
As the second half unfolded, the Reds began proceedings in brighter fashion, as Rashford lashed his left-footed effort just wide of the net. Cristiano Ronaldo was introduced shortly after, as Ten Hag looked to fashion a way for his side to get back into the game.
Sanchez then denied Rashford as the game entered the final half hour, with Ronaldo racing in behind the Seagulls backline before squaring for the England international. Although the flag went up, replays seemed to suggest Ronaldo was onside and it would have counted.
Fernandes crossed dangerously, with Rashford, once again, found in acres of space but the England international failed to hit the target.
However, with just over 20 minutes to go, the lead was halved, as a Fernandes corner was eventually turned into his own net by Alexis Mac Allister, as M16 rose once more in an attempt to spur on Ten Hag’s men. VAR provided a long check as Sanchez appealed for a foul, and there was a review as to whether the ball inadvertently struck Dalot’s arm before the keeper cannoned the ball into his own goal off Mac Allister.
As the game edged on, Eriksen looked to carve open opportunities from a deeper role, with Graham Potter’s side defending resolutely throughout to record their first win at Old Trafford. Sanchez was worked again by Dalot but was pretty much untroubled in the closing stages with a raft of substitutions fracturing the play.
Despite United’s best intentions, it was to be the Seagulls who departed Manchester with all three points, as our 2022/23 campaign began with defeat.





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