Five things we learned from Brighton 4-0 Manchester United

After an encouraging win over Brentford on Monday night, Manchester United were back at their old level against Brighton.

Here are five things we learned from Brighton v Manchester United, another humiliating game and a 4-0 defeat…

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Unchanged team, very different result

As mentioned above, United produced one of their best performances during Ralf Rangnick’s reign on Monday night, so the German stayed with the same team.

But there were absolutely no signs of United building from the very beginning on the bit of momentum generated by that win.

Your club’s SURPRISE star this season

United were abject the whole time and never got the hang of Brighton at any point, with a performance that has so far plunged the depths this season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or Rangnick.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Former United goal against Red Devils

United had struck a deal about a year ago to sign Moises Caicedo, but then they pulled out as a deal was ‘too complex’ before Brighton invaded.

He scored his first Premier League goal here and opened the score by firing in from outside the penalty area.

Caicedo is apparently a United fan and wouldn’t have broken the bank, but the decision to walk away doesn’t look a smart one after an afternoon in which he showed more quality and energy than any of United’s midfielders.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Rangnick’s changes have no impact

United trailed 1-0 at halftime when Rangnick made two substitutions, leaving Edinson Cavani and Fred on for Anthony Elanga and Nemanja Matic.

Within four minutes it was 2-0, as United were then broken open at will and came out even worse after the break.

There was clearly nothing in the team talks at half time to inspire even a little pride in the second half and the tactical changes had no impact.

Rangnick’s next change was to move to a five-man defense, leaving Harry Maguire in place of Juan Mata for his injury comeback, a sign of an attempt at damage control, and little else.

5 things we learned from Brighton v Manchester United

Unwanted record broken

United have now conceded more goals than ever in a Premier League season, with one game remaining against Crystal Palace.

The previous record of 54 also came in a season where United sacked their manager mid-season and went on an interim period.

Maybe there’s a lesson in that. This season it has become possible to drift into a complete crisis, making the job Erik ten Hag has on his hands more difficult by the day.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Another nightmare in a terrible season

United have been torn apart at home and away by Liverpool and Manchester City this season.

That hurts, but they are among the best teams in Europe, which is a small measure of mitigation.

Brighton are a tidy team – particularly with a clear, appealing philosophy that United do not have – but they have struggled at home this season for both goals and wins.

They absolutely ripped United apart here and actually felt sorry for them after the hour when they could have gone ahead and scored six or seven.

It’s a terrible place to be if you wish the season away, but that’s where United fans are now, and this was another terrible game to add to the many, many more of this season.

Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also holds a 2:1 law degree with a degree in French law from the University of Birmingham, including a year of study at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC show Victoria Derbyshire in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match day program pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.

Confirmed Manchester United XI v Brighton

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