Manchester United fell to their first loss of the season after they were beaten 3-2 by Brighton and Hove Albion. Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and Pascal Gross scored for the home side while Romelu Lukaku found the net for the Red Devils and contributing writer, Nathan Quao, of Citi Sports, Accra, Ghana takes a look at the fallout from the tie.
Big mistakes sunk the team
On a day when Manchester City put 6 past Huddersfield and they were almost perfect, Man United looked almost completely different when they stepped on the field and the errors seemed to hang over the team like a spectre in the period when Brighton scored.
Juan Mata, Ashley Young and the centre backs fluffed their lines for Murray’s goal while a lack of understanding in the entire defending unit led to Brighton’s second in the aftermath of a corner kick.
Eric Bailly, who was usually a very dependable player, put out one of his worst showings as a Man United player, went into a tackle to give away a penalty for Brighton’s third.
There were errors everywhere in the first half and each one was very glaring. Passes were underhit, runs were not being made and there was a lot of disorganisation in the team when security should have been present.
They say that errors are part of the game but when they combine to send a team down then, a review is needed quickly to understand the sources of the errors and see if these origins can be wiped out completely.
The curse of bad attitude strikes again
Last season, the problem of a poor attitude and a low work rate affected Man United in so many games and the expectation was that things would improve.
But at Brighton, it was quite obvious that the wrong disposition to matches in the division was not a thing of the past. It was a clear and present danger and it was palpable.
No one was willing to run, put in a tackle, and take responsibility to help save the ship.
There was no willingness to match Brighton in terms of physicality and determination. It was as though Man United did not expect Brighton to fight for the points. That is where the problem is.
The thinking that the points will be won anyway without the hard work.
That is what leads the other big teams to win at almost all the grounds. They work hard enough to show their skills and once that happens, the opposition cannot stand.
Football is a game where talent accounts for half the picture. The other half hangs on the attitude to give it every thing. To give every drop of sweat and not to let the opponent have their way.
If Paul Pogba’s assessment of his and the team’s attitude is very honest, then, they owe it to themselves, to the manager and the millions of fans who watch them play every week, never to repeat such a showing again.
The badge must be respected at all times.
Moving on is important but learning is vital
After such defeats, the atmosphere is usually gloomy and lots of things will be said but there is the need to keep moving forward. Standing still will not help in this league that is so dynamic and has the ability to change its course or narrative.
Tottenham Hostspur is next at Old Trafford and the pain, horror and anger of losing to Brighton should spur the team on to get a victory.
After all the tactical work and training, the desire to win and get something as way of avenging the loss at Brighton is the greatest form of fuel the team needs in the next round.
But the players must want to win that game. It is not enough just granting interviews and saying that there is need to win and yet, show up and show no hunger and fight over 90 minutes.
Players must learn from their errors and the manager must also take the best decisions for the team. A marriage of the two will bring the desired results.