Manchester United faced Brighton today in the Premier League as the Erik ten Hag era officially got going in competitive competitions.
After a decent pre-season with a squad that needed to improve, United looked to start positively to move on from the disastrous season beforehand.
However, this certainly wasn’t the case as Brighton dominated and won 2-1 against a flustered side.
Here are three things we learned from the match:
This starting eleven isn’t quite working out yet.
While United certainly don’t look different on paper with the exception of Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and more youngsters on the bench, this team looks like they’ve never played together before.
Brighton played with an unconventional set-up, with this style of playing working for the first half resulting in the side scoring two goals.
The Red Devils certainly didn’t know who to mark or where they should position themselves, with both goals conceded being a result of confusion from the players.
An underwhelming debut for Martinez and Eriksen
The Argentine had an outstanding opening 25 minutes, winning 100% of his tackles, and didn’t put a foot wrong until it all went wrong for United.
Lisandro Martinez’ first 25 mins vs. Brighton:
100% pass accuracy
100% tackles won
Most ball recoveries (6)
Most interceptions (2)
Most blocks (2)
Most headed clearances (1)
Looks well suited to the Premier League. pic.twitter.com/5gQZInBKZ8
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 7, 2022
It was clear to see that the new arrivals needed more time to integrate into the squad.
Both players had only been a part of the two friendlies last weekend with Eriksen being without a club since the end of June.
The Danish international, who was at Brentford last season, played as a false 9, often switching with Fernandes in the attacking midfielder role during the first half.
It’s a role that the midfielder isn’t used to after playing much deeper during his time in Italy and Tottenham.
The second half saw an improved performance from both despite United losing the match.
There needs to be a big improvement during the closing weeks of the transfer window.
It’s clear to see that United have one of the most unbalanced squads in the Premier League.
With the transfer window coming to a close in just a couple of weeks time, it is now time for Erik ten Hag to look in the market for alternative targets.
Fred and McTominay had a horrific performance in midfield today with countless mistakes from the duo, who also happened to start the majority of matches last season.
Manchester United will travel down to London to face Brentford next weekend, which will mark a reunion for Eriksen, who will be hoping that there will be a better performance.