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Brighton and Hove Albion

The new season began as the last ended – with Albion making history and being the subject of media acclaim.

With Manchester United arguably the most backed club in world football, it was understandable that their new manager Erik ten Hag’s debut in the job led most reports.

But as well as detailing his woes, the writers in that cramped Old Trafford press box also hailed the Seagulls’ first win there.

Not a single journalist considered the three points anything but well-deserved and there was general appreciation for the performance of Graham Potter’s side and the two well-conceived goals.

Ian Ladyman, for example, wrote in the Daily mail that “United were out of thought and out of play. The only manager bringing any real influence to this game was Potter. His side bought into his plan in a way that United never seemed likely when it came to theirs.

“Brighton scored two brilliantly executed goals from Pascal Gross in the 30th and 39th minutes and it was the least they deserved. Their midfielder Moises Caicedo was magnificent, a mixture of physicality and intelligence. Danny Welbeck at the forward, meanwhile, looked fitter and better than at any time since leaving United eight years ago.

“Brighton had been in the ascendancy for ten minutes or more when Gross scored his first goal. Scott McTominay had a horrible day and could have walked after an over the top challenge on Caicedo in the 25th minute. Instead, the Scotsman was booked. From then on, Caceido seemed determined to leave an entirely more legitimate mark on the game and when he stole the ball from his attacker in his own half, Brighton were on United’s backline in numbers.

“Welbeck’s run off the back of Harry Maguire was smart, as was Leandro Trossard’s ball to find him. When the low center arrived, Gross thundered at the back post to slide him home. Simple but fabulous.

“Then, six minutes before half-time, Brighton raged forward from almost their own corner flag to score again. Trossard’s back heel to escape a tight spot on the sideline looked decorative at first, but Caicedo’s push past Eriksen turned it into something else entirely and when he played the ball downfield to Adam Lallana, his subsequent pass to Solly March on the right left United exposed. March’s low shot through goal was adequately saved by David de Gea but the ball raced towards Gross who stretched to score a left-footed high into the net.

“A wave of United improvement has happened over time, but it took a bizarre goal to give them a foothold. We’ve been here a few times over the years at Old Trafford and we know what’s going on. often. But that’s not the case with this United team. In the end, there was to be no kitchen sink. Not even a few knocks. Brighton saw that comfortably. The better team won. »

In the The telegraph of the dayJason Burt wrote that “Brighton and their excellent manager Graham Potter deserved the points.

“‘Ole’ was also sung around Old Trafford, but it was not a reference to former United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Instead, it was Brighton fans who rejoiced then that their team were playing ball and United were chasing shadows in the August sun.

“Brighton arguably lost their two best players in the summer – with Yves Bissouma leaving for Tottenham Hotspur for up to £35m and Marc Cucurella joining Chelsea for up to £61m – but were superb and fully justified their victory. ”

Henry Winter of The temperature agreed. “The best players on the pitch were all in the visiting ranks, especially the quick and tireless Danny Welbeck who crashed to the ground to give Brighton an outlet,” he wrote. “Gross and Trossard also excelled. Brighton’s first win at Old Trafford was totally deserved. Their attitude, organization and attacking threat were superior to United.

“Graham Potter took in his stride the sales of Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella for £88million and his team didn’t miss a stride. Potter’s work is remarkable, again showing his qualities as an alchemist , making Brighton more than the sum of their parts, something Ten Hag must achieve at United.

On the Daily Mirror website, Nathan Ridley wrote that “the Seagulls won 2-1 to mark their fifth season playing premier league football in style and record their first ever win at Old Trafford.

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Pascal Gross‘ did double the damage, because Graham Potterfrom the side tore apart the hapless Red Devils in the first half. An Alexis Mac Allister own goal gave United hope late in the day, but their abject performance deserved nothing more than defeat.

“While all the pre-match talk was about how Ten Hag was on his way to transforming the Red Devils into an exciting team that plays on the front foot, Brighton showed them exactly how it was done.

Moments after Ten Hag turned on Ronaldo just eight minutes into the second half, new £56.7million signing Martinez almost gave his side a bigger mountain to climb . The Red Devils defender clumsily charged Welbeck, who fell in a heap as everyone looked towards referee Paul Tierney.

“But despite a hasty VAR check, a penalty was given to surprise no one with the luxury of a replay and Martinez was able to escape without his debut going from bad to worse.”

That of the sun Longtime Manchester man Neil Custis remarked that “During a break in play through injury, Ten Hag desperately tried to rally his troops as he called them into his technical area.

“They weren’t listening. Five minutes later, within the half hour mark, Brighton were in the lead. Trossard played a perfectly weighted ball into Danny Welbeck’s run which had stormed United centre-backs Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez.

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“His ball through the goal went between David De Gea and the retreating McTominay, finding Gross at the far post to slide him home.

“The worst was ahead for United but what a goal it was in the 39e Brighton minute with the move starting with the corner flag in their own half.

“A brilliant backheel from Trossard relieved the pressure with Moises Caicedo picking up the ball and getting it out. He gave it to Gross and on the ball moved to Adam Lallana and across the field to Solly March who unleashed with a low shot.

“De Gea saved but the ball broke and Gross reacted faster than Fred and fired the shot. The fans were furious. Brighton were playing like a side who won 4-0 against these opponents at the end of last season and United looked a lot like whoever was playing in the Amex that day.

“Brighton would hold on for a deserved win. For Ten Hag, the enormity of his work was on full display in front of a crowded, unhappy and dispirited Old Trafford.

Friend of this column and beloved mystery writer, Jamie Jackson wrote in The Guardian that “Brighton gave [ten Hag] an uncompromising welcome to premier league. Leandro Trossard, Danny Welbeck and Pascal Gross starred in an impressive visit from Graham Potter’s men. At all times it looked like they were going to score, so Ten Hag and his players will have to wake up for next weekend’s visit to Brentford before hosting Liverpool in the next home fixture.

“A push from McTominay was the first mistake as he ran into a sandwich from Brighton. From there the ball was threaded by Trossard towards the effervescent Welbeck and when he tapped a cross the unmarked Gross rolled. Cut to Ten Hag shaking his head and Cristiano Ronaldo, on the bench, raising his arms: either out of disdain or encouragement.

“Then, however, more despair for those in red. Along Brighton’s left, Trossard fed Caicedo. He ignored a passive Eriksen and the ball was swept uphill in a sequence featuring Gross, Adam Lallana and Solly March. The latter shot on goal, David de Gea kicked out and Gross, the next, doubled his tally and the lead, Fred the last United spectator.

“When the interval came, ten Hag, surely, had prepared dry words. If so, the Dutchman still had to watch McTominay get into another confusion and Martínez lose Welbeck, whose header should have carried the score at 3-0.

“When Donny van de Beek replaced McTominay, he passed a note, presumably ten Hag, to Maguire. Either way, it didn’t work out as Brighton, at the final whistle, were full value for the win.

The last word goes to Simon Stone of BBC website. “Amid United’s inevitable soul-searching over this appalling result, Potter’s influence at Brighton should not be underestimated.

“He lost Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella for a total of £88m from the team that beat United in May. Director of Football Dan Ashworth also left. None of Brighton’s summer signings have started this game.

“But they moved the ball with an absent goal from United, when Welbeck was a particular threat against his former club.

“Gross and Trossard were both superb and, even without Bissouma, Brighton controlled the midfield to ensure United were unable to turn their industry into something more tangible.

“No wonder the jubilant visiting fans chanted ‘Can we play you every week?'”

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