A second-half strike from Pascal Gross condemned a lethargic Manchester United side to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion.
Manchester United were handed their seventh defeat of the season in the Premier League, when they were beaten 1-0 by Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Friday night.
Coming into the game with their Champions League status secured, Jose Mourinho’s men never really got going on the night and were constantly pestered by the home team, who were showing greater intensity and drive throughout than their more illustrious opponents.
And it went on to pay great dividends when Pascal Gross turned a header past David De Gea in the 57nd minute and despite Marcos Rojo’s heroics on the line, the ball crept over, as confirmed by the goal line technology. The goal did seem to spark a bit of fight from United, but ultimately they couldn’t conjure up a turnaround and came back empty-handed.
Manchester United have lost to all three newly-promoted sides in a single Premier League season for the first time ever.
2-1 vs. Huddersfield (A)
1-0 vs. Newcastle (A)
1-0 vs. Brighton (A)
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 4, 2018
In what was an extremely disappointing performance, here we rate how the Manchester United stars fared on the night;
David De Gea: 7/10
Once again the saving grace for an awful Manchester United side that was on display on Friday. Made a brilliant stop to deny Glenn Murray’s long range volley in the first period and then went on to deny goalscorer Gross from close range. Not a lot he could do about the goal.
Matteo Darmian: 3/10
Handed a rare start ahead of Antonio Valencia, the Italian international was an utter disappointment. Did not show enough alertness and intent while defending and hardly offered anything going forward. Culpable for the goal as he was casual in trying to stop Jose Izquierdo from hitting in the cross. Poor.
Chris Smalling: 6/10
Fared better than his defensive partners in the sense that he was up for the physical battle against the dangerous Murray and kept Brighton under check each time they looked to threaten. However, he was guilty of getting caught out of position on occasions.
Marcos Rojo: 5.5/10
The Argentine was featuring for the first time for Manchester United since February and naturally showed signs of ring rust throughout the game. Positioning wasn’t always sharp, was often troubled by the pace and movement of Anthony Knockaert. Almost managed to clear Gross’ header off the line to deny Brighton the goal.
Ashley Young: 5/10
Captaining the team on the night, the veteran Englishman put in a bang average display at left-back. Saw a lot of the ball, but hardly offered any sort of threat going forward. Too one-dimensional on occasions and was beaten to the ball by Gross leading to the home team’s goal.
Marouane Fellaini: 4/10
Given a starting berth after his heroics against Arsenal last week, the soon to be out-of-contract Belgian hardly contributed to his team’s cause on Friday. Had an early goal chalked off rightly for offside. Hardly produced anything noteworthy thereafter. Passing was sloppy throughout, kept conceding possession. Subbed off early.
Nemanja Matic: 5.5/10
The Serb tried hard to stifle the Brighton runners, but there is only so much he can do. Lacked support from his teammates, which left him exposed on a number of occasions. His distribution too, was suspect and lacked purpose at times.
Paul Pogba: 5.5/10
It was one of those nights for the Frenchman when nothing he tried came off. Like most of his teammates, his passing too was sloppy on quite a few occasions. Never shirked off his responsibilities and always looked to drive the team forward from the middle. No shortage of effort, but unfortunately it bore little fruits.
Juan Mata: 5.5/10
The Spaniard often found himself dropping too deep to try and get on the ball which rendered him ineffective in the final third of the pitch. His passing was crisp and accurate, although he failed to unlock a tight Brighton defence. Fired over the bar from a set-piece on the edge of the box.
Marcus Rashford: 4/10
It was the England international’s big chance to stake a claim for a regular berth, given Romelu Lukaku’s injury enforced absence, but he failed to make the most of it. Ineffective in holding up the ball at the top, gave away the ball cheaply with poor passing on plenty of occasions.
Squandered a great opportunity to tee Martial up for a goal. There were a couple of bursting runs in behind the defence, but it was a dull and disappointing display from the promising youngster.
Anthony Martial: 4/10
Handed a start ahead of Alexis Sanchez, the Frenchman never really got into the game. Was very sloppy in possession and extremely wayward in his shooting at times. Lacked the intent and the desire that the Chilean would have brought to the table.
Luke Shaw: 5/10
Came on for Darmian in the 67th minute, but did not make much of a difference. End product not good enough.
Jesse Lingard: 5/10
Replaced Fellaini in the 67th minute. Added more mobility and dynamism to the attack, but squandered a great chance to equalize late in the game, firing way wide of the goal from an excellent position.
Scott McTominay: N/A
Came on to replace for the final fifteen minutes of the game. No impact whatsoever.