Last Saturday at Old Trafford was meant to be a celebration. It was new manager Erik Ten Hag’s first game in charge of Manchester United, and following a supposedly impressive preseason – in which they dispatched rivals, Liverpool, in a friendly – the club were looking set for an impressive campaign.
All was set for an impressive season and one of many including Oddschecker, which compares odds and offers from online bookmakers and provides free tips on Premier League football, had expected United to be challenging for the top four this season. But whether they can remain in contention remains to be seen.
What the fans in attendance were treated to at the weekend however was anything but celebratory. Brighton & Hove Albion rolled up to Manchester without any fear and played their more illustrious opponents off the park at times. Goals from German midfielder Pascal Groß secured a 2-1 victory for the visitors, their second in a row against United.
The most worrying aspect wasn’t the hosts’ lack of cutting edge, but it was how the Seagulls carved them open at will, especially on the counterattack. With Jürgen Klopp’s Reds lurking on the horizon, alarm bells are already ringing in the red half of Manchester, and rightfully so.
Another 5-0 drubbing on the cards?
Ten Hag needs to get his side’s act together, and fast. Their recent transfer activity has been farcical, to say the least. Their pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie De Jong looks dead in the water, thanks to the €17m he’s owed by the Catalans in unpaid wages.
As such, United are now turning their attention to the likes of Adrien Rabiot and Marko Arnautovic, which is going to worry fans even more.
They appear to be a club in disarray, and they have a fortnight to get things right ahead of their rivals’ visit. Last season, Liverpool thumped them 5-0, on home turf. Mohamed Salah’s hat trick as well as goals from Naby Keita and Diogo Jota put the home defense to the sword.
The visitors were actually 5-0 up at halftime, and if they didn’t take their foot off the gas in the second half, we could have been looking at a cricket score. Ten Hag, star man Cristiano Ronaldo, captain Harry Maguire and the club’s millions of fans the world over will be desperate to put things right as soon as possible, because who knows what score it will be this time if they don’t?