3 key takeaways from Manchester United's defeat against Brighton
Jose Mourinho's men were defeated 3-2 at Amex Stadium on Sunday which gave Manchester United an early blow in this season's Premier League title race. They have suffered defeat for a third league game in a row away as first-half goals from Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy, and Pascal Gross were sufficient for the hosts.
It was a defensive horror show from Manchester United defenders with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof producing an error-prone display. Chris Hughton's men were deserved winner on the day as they capitalized on defensive errors and punished United. This is only the tenth time in Premier League history that Manchester United have conceded three first-half goals in a game and the first time since October 2015 vs Arsenal.
Manchester United produced another disjointed display with Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku struggling in attack. Paul and Fred also struggle to impose themselves in midfield and lost the ball on many occasions.
#3 United should have signed Toby Alderweireld
Manchester United's defence came under fierce criticism after their defeat at Brighton on Sunday. Jose Mourinho had spent almost the entire summer transfer window complaining about the club's lack of spending in the transfer window. He stressed the need for at least signing a central defender. However, the Manchester United board turned down Mourinho's plea as they chose not to sign Toby Alderweireld deeming his valuation by Tottenham as excessive.
Jose Mourinho had chosen to start Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof as his preferred central defenders in the new season. Against Brighton, they were playing in a two-man partnership together for the just second time which shows Mourinho's lack of trust even after signing both of them after his arrival at Manchester United.
Red Devils clearly lack a vocal leader at the back who would organise the backline. United's defence was threatened every time Brighton crossed the halfway line. The same Brighton that did not even manage a shot on target against Watford on the opening day of the Premier League. Victor Lindelof was put aside by Glen Murray quite easily for Brighton's opening goal whereas Bailly conceded a needless foul to gift the seagulls a penalty for their third goal.
Jose Mourinho while praising Eric Bailly in the pre-season game against Liverpool clearly suggested that he didn't consider Eric Bailly as a leader.
"I don't think he's a leader. I don't think anything goes to change with that. I think he's a team boy, a great boy, and an honest man, honest to put everything for the team and that is why we still have him and why he is going to stay with us." said Mourinho.
Although Eric Bailly clearly has the potential to be a top defender, sometimes he seems quite excitable and sometimes makes rash decisions. Having an experienced defender in Toby Alderweireld would have helped him who would have organized the Manchester United backline. It would have also solved United's problem of playing from the back as the Belgian is extremely comfortable with the ball also.