The clash was Erik ten Hag’s first competitive outing as Manchester United manager and, when all was said and done, the Dutchman was unable to come away with a win on the day.
Manchester United started the tie the much brighter side. But for all their good work, Brighton opened the scoring after 30 minutes.
Scott McTominay lost the ball in midfield. Leandro Trossard then nutmegged Diogo Dalot to find Danny Welbeck who found and unmarked Pascal Gross at the back post.
Brighton then added a second after 39 minutes. The Seagulls broke from near their own corner flag to eventually get a shot off at David de Gea, the Spaniard then parried the ball straight at Gross who had no issue tapping in his second of the day.
Manchester United looked a much better side in the second half when Eriksen was moved into the Fred role and Cristiano Ronaldo came on.
It was an Eriksen shot from range that led to the corner United scored from. Robert Sanchez tried to clear the ball but Mac Alister put it into his own net after a scramble.
United were unable to find a second though and came away with no points.
Manchester United player ratings
David de Gea (4) – Was not especially comfortable playing out from the back. Parried the ball straight to Gross for his second goal.
Diogo Dalot (4) – Poor control nearly gifted Brighton a goal inside 10 seconds. Was nutmegged in the build-up to the Brighton goal.
Harry Maguire (4) – Struggled to mark Danny Welbeck.
Lisandro Martinez (4.5) – Was very comfortable on the ball. His distribution was excellent and, despite his height, he was strong in the air.
However, the defensive side of the Argentine’s game was very suspect. He found it hard to mark Welbeck and was very lucky not to give a penalty away early in the first half.
Luke Shaw (4) – Left Gross unmarked at the back post for his goal.
Fred (4) – Lost the ball several times which led to Brighton chances. Failed to react quick enough to De Gea’s save before Gross’ second goal. Off after 52 minutes.
Scott McTominay (3) – Was often the furthest forward of United’s midfield pivot but his ability on the ball is simply not up to the standard needed for the role Erik ten Hag wants him to perform. Probably lucky not to have been sent off for a challenge on Caicedo and he lost the ball in the build up to Brighton’s opener.
Bruno Fernandes (5) – Received the ball unmarked in the Brighton box but skied his effort when he should have scored. Produced a few key passes and was more effective once Ronaldo came on.
Jadon Sancho (5.5) – Produced a great cross-field ball to Fernandes for United’s best chance of the first half. Created a few chances in the second half once Ronaldo was on and he had a target to aim at.
Marcus Rashford (3) – Did very little of note in the first half. Missed a huge one-on-one he should have scored when set up by Ronaldo. He then skied another great chance after 64 minutes.
Christian Eriksen (6.5) – Lost his balance when through on goal following an excellent United break and failed to pose much of an attacking threat. More suited to the holding role he was moved to in the second half.
Cristiano Ronaldo (6) – Improved United’s attack when he came on, including setting up Rashford who missed a one-on-one.
Donny van de Beek (3) - Did little of note when he came on for 13 minutes.
Antony Elanga (N/A)
Tyrell Malacia (N/A)
Alejandro Garnacho (N/A)
Brighton player ratings
Robert Sanchez (5) – Had little to do in the first half but should have left the ball when Mac Alister was trying to clear it. Instead, the Spaniard pushed the ball into the midfielder’s path for an own goal.
Joel Veltman (6) - Solid at the back, helped Brighton dominate in the air.
Lewis Dunk (6.5) – Passing was solid and he marked Eriksen out of the game before his role switch. Made a great block late on to deny a goal.
Adam Webster (5.5) - Didn’t do an awful lot wrong on the day.
Solly March (6) – Did well to work space for a shot which was eventually deflected to Gross for his second.
Adama Lallana (6.5) – Pressed well and made several key passes.
Moises Caicedo (7.5) – Was excellent at bringing the ball out from deep to start attacks, including for Brighton’s second goal.
Leandro Trossard (7) – Caused United all sorts of issues down their right flank, winning the ball off Dalot inside 10 seconds before hitting the side netting. Clever ball to Danny Welbeck in the build-up to Brighton’s opener.
Pascal Gross (8) – Good finish for the opening goal. Also scored Brighton’s second, tapping into an open net.
Alexis Mac Allister (4) – Scored an own goal following a mix-up with Sanchez.
Danny Welbeck (7.5) – Was a real nuisance for United’s centre-backs all game, and set up Gross’ first goal with a lovely weighted pass across the United box.
Tariq Lamptey (4.5) – Helped Brighton see out the game.
Enock Mwepu (4) – Pressed well when he came on.
Levi Colwill (N/A)
Deniz Undav (N/A)