Manchester United’s start to the new season took another turn for the worse after losing 3-1 to Brighton Hove and Albion in game week five of the Premier League season. Brighton, in fact, were the last team to beat United at Old Trafford, managing the feat in last season’s first league game. Hannibal Mejbri’s first goal (73’) for the club was in vain as strikes from Danny Welbeck (20’), Pascal Gross (53’), and Joao Pedro (72’) helped the Seagulls claim all three points.
The Red Devils started the game brightly, opting for a diamond formation as Antony and Jadon Sancho were unavailable due to off-field reasons; Scott McTominay joined United’s regulars in midfield, Diogo Dalot moved to right back ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Sergio Reguilon made his United debut at left back.
United weren’t able to make their promising start count as Roberto De Zerbi’s men took the sting out of the game with their typically patient play around the 15th-minute mark; a slight change in build-up with Danny Welbeck dropping deeper was rewarded with a goal. Marcus Rashford and new forward Rasmus Hojlund, who was making his Old Trafford debut, looked sharp in the early minutes; it looked like the two had successfully combined for the home side’s equalizer in the 41st minute but it was overruled after a VAR check.
United never got going in the second half, with goals from Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro killing any hopes of a comeback. Hannibal Mejbri’s well-taken goal from range was a bright spark in an otherwise torrid afternoon for the Reds. Injuries, overruled goals, and off-field issues haven’t helped the Red Devils, but those excuses don’t tend to fly at Manchester United. The Reds head to the Allianz Arena next to kick off their Champions League campaign against Bayern Munich.