Eric Bailly a calamity as abject Manchester United suffer Brighton setback
Manchester United's 3-2 defeat at Brighton on Sunday does not even begin to do justice to the abject nature of their display.
This was arguably the worst of their Premier League performances under Jose Mourinho, and it is worrying to think what might have happened if they had produced this play against Liverpool or Manchester City. The repercussions from the manner of this loss may well be swift and far-reaching. Two games into the league season, United look woefully unprepared for the months ahead.
It is difficult to identify any significant positives from this game, save maybe the purpose that Jesse Lingard provided after his introduction and Luke Shaw's unfailing effort throughout.
United seemed almost universally off the pace, misplacing passes and taking poor touches, failing to provide cohesive attacking play and isolating each other with bad decisions. At best they looked rusty, at worst they looked very short of confidence.
Manager rating out of 10
3 -- Mourinho may be angry that he was unable to add to his central defence in the summer, though it was two of his recruits -- Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof -- who were particularly poor here. His team, even after introducing three substitutes, failed to gain any real verve in attack and that must ultimately be his responsibility.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David De Gea, 5 -- Though his handling and positioning were fine, his passing was surprisingly poor, isolating Fred on one crucial occasion that led to a Brighton goal.
DF Ashley Young, 5 -- Worked hard but his crossing was notably lacking in accuracy, and he struggled too often to beat his man on the flank.
DF Victor Lindelof, 4 -- A strikingly poor showing. Allowed Glenn Murray to cut across him for Brighton's opening goal and his positional sense was exposed on several other occasions.
DF Eric Bailly, 3 -- Possibly the club's most talented centre-back, but he endured one of his worst afternoons in a United shirt. His passing and positioning put his team in jeopardy time and again, and he looked short of timing in both his movement and his tackling.
DF Luke Shaw, 6 -- Perhaps the pick of United's players, he kept surging forward though was unable to create a great deal.
MF Andreas Pereira, 4 -- Was withdrawn at half time after failing to impose himself on the game, having been caught out of position too often.
MF Paul Pogba, 5 -- A disappointing outing given his outstanding recent form, misplacing passes and making one reckless decision close to his own goal. The effort was there but too often the precision was not.
MF Fred, 5 -- A good start but lost his positional discipline at times and his passing, though prompt, was occasionally wayward. Could have been sent off if a late challenge on Murray had connected.
FW Juan Mata, 4 -- Had a decent start but could not get into the game, unable to form good attacking patterns as the game progressed.
FW Anthony Martial, 5 -- Failed to make an impression after a good start, and lost intensity as Brighton swept him and United aside.
FW Romelu Lukaku, 5 -- Missed a vital early chance which could have settled his team's nerves. A smart finish for United's opener but looked lacking in sharpness after such a fine summer with Belgium at the World Cup.
MF Jesse Lingard, 6 -- Pushed forward with rare energy but could not provide the needed breakthrough.
MF Marcus Rashford, 5 -- Like Lingard, he tried to inject urgency into proceedings, but could not make a lasting impression.
MF Marouane Fellaini, 6 -- Was brought down for a penalty that Pogba converted, and held the ball up well when called upon to do so.