alternate start, Cristiano Ronaldo waved his arms to encourage his teammates when the Manchester United conceded 0-1 against Brighton and Lucas Gross, who scored 0-2 before the break and portrayed Erik Ten Haag’s team, a defensive bargain and a minor team in their strange present, beyond the subsequent reaction with the departure of the Portuguese star and 1 -2 that Mac Allister scored in his own door.
In the first half, Brighton were better in each and every one of the aspects that define the difference on the pitch, in aptitude and attitude, in order, ambition and transition, in attack and in defence; in the second, United awoke from the imagination of Christian Eriksen and the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who entered the field in the 53rd minute, but was unable to level the match, among other things because Rashford missed his chances.
The substitution of a scorer like the Portuguese star, perhaps explained by his intention to leave or his late arrival in the preseason, is an unaffordable concession today for Manchester United, a vulnerable team in every sector of the pitch and a insubstantial block in its group, which is entrusted to a collection of individualities that give off a level that today does not have as a whole. And there are few like Cristiano Ronaldo, very few, no matter how much he is already 37 years old or wants to leave.
The official staging of the Ten Haag era was a fiasco. His first Sunday halftime at Old Trafford cannot be described in any other way, which described a team overwhelmed by the high pressure of its opponent, misplaced in the withdrawal, overwhelmed when it had to contain in its rearguard, irrelevant when it had to create its attacks in the other area and that in just 10 seconds he had already given his rival the first chance. To Trossard.
When Brighton pressed him up, he took the ball out as an insoluble hieroglyph. He needs a lot more work. His goleada in the first duel of the summer against Liverpool was a mirage of which there is no trace. Atlético de Madrid demonstrated it a week ago, disarming it with two weeks less preparation. Or the Lightning. The beginning of the competition corroborated all the problems that were appreciated in United.
On the verge of half an hour, the scoreboard reaffirmed its disappointing present, when Brighton dismantled it with a simple uncheck by Danny Welbeck. It was undetectable for Lisandro Martínez and Harry Maguire, pictured in action. The striker, between the two, fell to the right wing to receive Trossard’s pass and completely alone gave continuity to the combination with the pass to the area that Pascal Gross (0-1) clinched, alone.
Contemplative, the United defense was unaware of any of those moves, but neither did they show the tension, focus or intensity required in the first half or at 0-2 ten minutes later, when March entered the opponent’s box as if out his to unleash a low shot with the right. De Gea put out his hand to clear it to the side, where he was waiting for Gross again to push the 0-2. Everything was a mess.
Hardly anyone was spared from the noisy shipwreck of the first half. Perhaps Eriksen, the only protagonist of United’s only occasion in the first act, with a loose shot at the goalkeeper’s hands. Ten Haag did not wait any longer. Planned -it doesn’t seem like it-, coincidence or necessity, the coach ordered Cristiano Ronaldo to warm up just after the 0-2. He did not use it at intermission, from which his team left amid the anger of his followers.
Yes later. Six minutes after the break, with only half a game in this preseason, the coach turned to him. In the 52nd minute. Acclaimed when he entered the game he transmitted the dimension of him to his teammates. His first pass was an express gift for Marcus Rahsford’s 2-1, had it not been for the formidable intervention of Spaniard Robert Sánchez, whose miraculous left arm parried United’s goal. A fantastic stop.
A light, still dim, in the tunnel through which United had passed throughout the first half, as was the next chance for Rashford, who badly finished off Bruno Fernandes’s shipment, while the clock counted down minutes, although it was already Another thing, although the sensations were radically different from the entire previous stretch, and Robert Sánchez was running as a figure in Brighton’s goal, one shot from Eriksen… until he failed at 1-2. He failed to clear a corner, perhaps due to Dalot’s effect, and the ball ended up in the net, due to Mac Allister’s involuntary push against his own goal. It was the 67th minute. United did not give it any more, whose debut confirmed the decline of recent times.
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