Manchester United’s woes deepened as they suffered a surprising 3-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford in Saturday’s Premier League encounter. Former United player Danny Welbeck netted in the first half, further unsettling Erik ten Hag’s team. The second half saw Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro extending Brighton’s lead. Although Hannibal Mejbri scored his first goal for the club, it offered little solace for United, who were met with boos as the final whistle blew. This loss marked their second consecutive defeat following a 3-1 setback against Arsenal before the international break.
United, with three defeats in five league matches this season, find themselves in 12th place, presenting a picture of turmoil both on and off the pitch. While Ten Hag had seemingly steadied the ship last season by ending the club’s six-year trophy drought and securing Champions League qualification, hopes of mounting a title challenge are dwindling with this lackluster start to the new season. Their upcoming Champions League opener against Bayern Munich looms as a potentially daunting challenge that could compound their woes.
Ten Hag, in response to a series of disciplinary issues involving his players, remarked this week that upon his arrival from Ajax, he found a lack of a positive team culture at Old Trafford. Regarding exiled forward Jadon Sancho, Ten Hag stated on Friday that he was uncertain if Sancho would play for United again. Sancho has been relegated to train separately from the first team after expressing frustration at being dropped for the Arsenal match and labeling himself a “scapegoat.”
Meanwhile, United forward Antony is currently on a leave of absence, contesting allegations of domestic violence made against him by three women, allegations he vehemently denies. Antony’s situation arose shortly after Mason Greenwood was sent on loan to Spanish side Getafe due to domestic abuse allegations, which were subsequently dropped.