Premier League
Man UtdManchester United1BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion2

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton: Erik ten Hag suffers defeat in first Premier League game

By Simon StoneBBC Sport at Old Trafford
Pascal Gross has scored six goals against Manchester United in the Premier League, three more than he has against any other team in the league

Brighton survived a late onslaught to secure a first win at Old Trafford and condemn Erik ten Hag to a losing start as Manchester United manager.

Pascal Gross' first-half double stunned the home supporters, who were desperate to see their team put a miserable end to last season behind them.

However, United were totally outplayed in that opening period by Graham Potter's side, who beat them 4-0 at the Amex Stadium in May on their way to a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League, their highest in history.

Not even the second-half introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo could deny Brighton, although United did threaten a comeback when a scramble inside the visitors box ended with Alexis Mac Allister turning the ball into his own net after goalkeeper Robert Sanchez had touched it into his path under pressure from Harry Maguire.

In nine previous league visits, Brighton had managed only one draw, so this victory was historic.

"It was unnecessary to lose this game," said Ten Hag.

"I think it was a good start and then after [the first goal] we dropped down a level, dropped down in belief and we made mistakes and the opponent punished us.

"But I think it is a good opponent, they have worked long together and when you make mistakes you get punished for that against such teams."

New season, same problems for United

'It's a hell of a job' - Ten Hag on scale of Manchester United task

With the sun shining and a new manager in place, there was a sense of optimism around United before kick-off.

Ten Hag has started to impose his personality on the club, to the extent of ousting some of the 'prawn-sandwich brigade' from their corporate hospitality suites so his players could have their pre-match meal.

Yet so many of the old issues remained. Protests against the United owners before kick-off meant the club shop had to be shut.

Co-chairman Avie Glazer was paying a rare visit and would have heard the songs to his left calling for his family to get out of the club.

On the pitch, there was no cohesion despite decent debuts from Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.

Brighton, well drilled and fluid, took advantage. Leandro Trossard volleyed into the side-netting within 15 seconds of the start and United failed to impose themselves on the game until it was far too late.

For the opener, Welbeck's run split Maguire and Martinez. The latter came across from the left to cover the cross, leaving a huge hole in the six-yard box and, as United's defence scrambled to plug the gaps, Gross was on his own to tap home at the far post.

He was in a similar position but on the other post when Solly March cut inside and unleashed a low shot, which keeper David de Gea turned into his path.

The boos that accompanied the half-time whistle were predictable and deserved. Within eight minutes of the resumption, Ronaldo had been introduced to try and lead a rescue mission.

The 37-year-old had a negligible impact. It was another Portuguese, Diogo Dalot, who created the confusion that led to United's goal. But by the end it was Brighton who looked more likely to score again.

Potter's fabulous job

Potter hails "amazing" Brighton

Amid the inevitable soul-searching for United at this dreadful result, Potter's influence at Brighton should not be underestimated.

He has lost Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella for a combined £88m from the side that beat United in May. Director of football Dan Ashworth has also gone. None of Brighton's summer signings started this match.

But they moved the ball with a purpose absent from United, while Welbeck was a particular threat against his old club.

Gross and Trossard were both superb and, even without Bissouma, Brighton controlled midfield to ensure United were not able to turn their industry into something more tangible.

Little wonder the jubilant visiting fans chanted "can we play you every week?".

Player of the match

GroßPascal Groß

with an average of 8.67

Manchester United

  1. Squad number14Player nameEriksen
    Average rating


  2. Squad number7Player nameCristiano Ronaldo
    Average rating


  3. Squad number34Player namevan de Beek
    Average rating


  4. Squad number1Player namede Gea
    Average rating


  5. Squad number6Player nameMartínez
    Average rating


  6. Squad number25Player nameSancho
    Average rating


  7. Squad number10Player nameRashford
    Average rating


  8. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Dalot
    Average rating


  9. Squad number49Player nameGarnacho
    Average rating


  10. Squad number23Player nameShaw
    Average rating


  11. Squad number8Player nameBruno Fernandes
    Average rating


  12. Squad number12Player nameMalacia
    Average rating


  13. Squad number36Player nameElanga
    Average rating


  14. Squad number5Player nameMaguire
    Average rating


  15. Squad number17Player nameFred
    Average rating


  16. Squad number39Player nameMcTominay
    Average rating


Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number13Player nameGroß
    Average rating


  2. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck
    Average rating


  3. Squad number11Player nameTrossard
    Average rating


  4. Squad number5Player nameDunk
    Average rating


  5. Squad number7Player nameMarch
    Average rating


  6. Squad number14Player nameLallana
    Average rating


  7. Squad number25Player nameCaicedo
    Average rating


  8. Squad number4Player nameWebster
    Average rating


  9. Squad number2Player nameLamptey
    Average rating


  10. Squad number34Player nameVeltman
    Average rating


  11. Squad number10Player nameMac Allister
    Average rating


  12. Squad number8Player nameMwepu
    Average rating


  13. Squad number1Player nameSánchez
    Average rating


  14. Squad number6Player nameColwill
    Average rating


  15. Squad number21Player nameUndav
    Average rating



Man Utd

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1de Gea
  • 20Dalot
  • 5MaguireBooked at 53mins
  • 6MartínezBooked at 45mins
  • 23ShawBooked at 74minsSubstituted forMalaciaat 90'minutes
  • 39McTominayBooked at 25minsSubstituted forvan de Beekat 78'minutes
  • 17FredSubstituted forCristiano Ronaldoat 53'minutes
  • 8Bruno FernandesSubstituted forGarnachoat 90'minutes
  • 25SanchoSubstituted forElangaat 90'minutes
  • 14Eriksen
  • 10Rashford


  • 7Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 12Malacia
  • 19Varane
  • 22Heaton
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 34van de Beek
  • 36Elanga
  • 37Garner
  • 49Garnacho


Formation 3-3-3-1

  • 1Sánchez
  • 4Webster
  • 5Dunk
  • 34Veltman
  • 14LallanaSubstituted forMwepuat 76'minutes
  • 25Caicedo
  • 13Groß
  • 10Mac Allister
  • 7MarchSubstituted forColwillat 90+1'minutes
  • 18WelbeckSubstituted forUndavat 90+5'minutes
  • 11TrossardBooked at 53minsSubstituted forLampteyat 75'minutes


  • 2Lamptey
  • 6Colwill
  • 8Mwepu
  • 9Maupay
  • 19Sarmiento
  • 21Undav
  • 22Mitoma
  • 23Steele
  • 29van Hecke
Paul Tierney

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamBrighton
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

  3. Post update

    Lisandro Martínez (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Deniz Undav (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Deniz Undav replaces Danny Welbeck.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United. Lisandro Martínez tries a through ball, but Anthony Elanga is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United).

  8. Post update

    Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Levi Colwill replaces Solly March.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Tyrell Malacia replaces Luke Shaw.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Anthony Elanga replaces Jadon Sancho.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Alejandro Garnacho replaces Bruno Fernandes.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lisandro Martínez (Manchester United) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lisandro Martínez (Manchester United) header from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Eriksen with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Adam Webster.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jadon Sancho.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Christian Eriksen (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo.

  18. Post update

    Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Enock Mwepu.

Page 1 of 6
  • Our coverage of your Premier League club is bigger and better than ever before - here's everything you need to know to make sure you never miss a moment


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


As It Stood

4Man City11002023
13Man Utd100112-10
16Aston Villa100102-20
17Crystal Palace100102-20
18Nottm Forest100102-20
19West Ham100102-20
View full Premier Leaguetable

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC