25 years it has been since United were last beaten by the sea-gulls. 25 years since the lions of Manchester were silenced and what a way to do it. To put matters into perspective, the last time United were beaten by Brighton, a young David Beckham was the sub who had made his Manchester United debut at the young age of 17.
This time around, it was the last home game of Brighton, one last game to show the fans something to remember this season. With the win over United today, Brighton have assured themselves another run at the top flight of English football. They have called into question the passion with which the United players play this game
This was an opportunity for the 6 players who had found themselves starting the game to make a mark and get a place in the starting XI against Chelsea later this month. Mourinho had removed Sanchez and Lukakku, bringing in Mata, Rashford, Fellaini, and Martial. We have mentioned here previously about how Marital is the best thing that United have in their arsenal, no pun intended, but it seems that the man just doesn’t like to play for United.
He looked confused out there on the pitch and the times he did get the ball, he managed to fumble and give it away. There was one chance for United to score, with Rashford having a clear line to Martial, only if Rashford had not hung on the ball for more than ten minutes and waited till the back lines of Brighton arrived to clear it.
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
The greatest disappointment this game were the United players who looked like the B team comes to life, they were sluggish, they did not connect with their passes, they were not clever with the movement of the ball, and they couldn’t clear the ball out properly. It wasn’t that Brighton played a fantastic game that had no mistakes, nor was it that their defence was so solid that Mourinho’s men couldn’t penetrate, it was simply that United lacked the convictions to run at the Brighton goal and treat the few thousand fans who had made the long trek to the match to some football magic.
Paul Pogba, the wonder kid from Juventus, the man who is a dynamite in the middle and can turn the fate of any game with a few touches of his feet. He was a disaster this game, he held on to the ball for much longer than it was required, he tried to go for goal when he had better options opening up in front of him, and he tried to show off his fancy skills.
Why? Why would the crowd or the manager need to see him perform football magic skill that any trick footballer can do? All he had to do was play a game in which he managed to find the feet of his teammates, something he should have learned from watching the tapes of City games and seeing Kevin De Byrne play.
Rashford, Martial, Fellaini, and Marcus Rojo, have all been fan favorites and the media and the fans have been clamoring for seeing more of them in the starting XI. This was their chance to prove to the manager that they are first team material, that they can carry the weight of a whole team behind them and they managed to bungle it up spectacularly.
It was like watching a cruel mockery of what these boys can do, they did not have the passion to win, all they seem to have in their mind was to have as much time as possible with the ball, which no on one’s surprise was a disaster. The back line was caught unawares for the majority of the match and if it weren’t for the athleticism of one David De Gea, the score sheet would have looked more in the red. He was the only shining light in what was a horrible show of football by Manchester United.
United players had all been present when David De Gea had been awarded the best player of the year by the club for the fourth time in the five years he has been with the club. It was clear that the majority of them had slacked during the days that followed and had not really trained. The way they played the game spoke volumes about how the enthusiasm with which they played. And the star who could make United’s fortune, Pogba? Well, he was in France until yesterday, launching his new brand of clothing in association with Adidas.
Paul Pogba stars in Adidas advert before rocking up to launch in Paris with his mum to unveil new clothing range https://t.co/eJgWFs7PPV
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) May 1, 2018
One wonders if these players even want to play the game anymore. When they step on to that field every time, they carry with them a tradition that extends back to the time when the colors of the team were Green and Yellow. They represent a legion of fans across the world who follow the highs and lows of the team with bated breath. They represent a club with a chequered history. And they managed to blow it all by losing to a club that last had its victory over United over 25 years ago.
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) May 4, 2018
When asked, the manager after the match, talked about how the media had questioned his decision to always start with Lukaku and Sanchez, and that this performance was the reason why he always gave them the starting position. He did not mince his words when he reamed into the playing of his players.
I thought for some of them the possibility to start the game, to give reason to the ones that during the season there are always critics towards my choices.
Why always Lukaku? Why always Lukaku? Why always Lukaku? You have the answer why always Lukaku.
Calling them unmotivated and that winning the second position in the league was lucky, something that he did not think this present team would have been capable of doing.
“Not good enough.
“The players that replaced others they didn’t perform at a good level. And when individuals don’t perform at a good level it’s difficult for the team to perform at a good level.
“So maybe now you understand why some players play more than others and you won’t ask why some play more.
It is clear that he plans to bring about massive changes with the United line up during the summer transfer window, and with a majority of the players in the starting XI going out of contract this season and with superstar players feeling like they don’t belong at Old Trafford anymore, things are going to interesting to watch.
Brighton played a better game and they deserved to win, it will interesting to see what they can bring to the table now that they run in the Premier league again has been assured.