Erik ten Hag blame five star as He was surprised by tactical change in Manchester United defeat to Brighton
Brighton won for the first time at Old Trafford, and Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag was taken aback by their new approach.
Brighton’s decision to play long balls, according to Erik ten Hag, was vital in their 2-1 victory over Manchester United.
Pascal Gross scored his fifth and sixth goals against United to give Brighton their first-ever victory at Old Trafford and to hand United their seventh opening-game defeat in the Premier League history.
Brighton used their preferred 3-4-2-1 shape and are known for playing out from the back under coach Graham Potter, but Ten Hag remarked that they avoided short goal kicks in favor of scrapping with United higher up the pitch.
“Normally, Brighton prefers to play from the back, but they didn’t today,” Ten Hag added. “They played long ball, so it’s not about pressing, it’s about winning the second ball, and in such situations, we did not always execute what we laid out before the game, and we absolutely need to learn from those lessons.”
“I didn’t expect this squad to play long routines, and I believe that made a major difference.” Our opponent has their routines, they have been together for a long time with a certain mindset and a certain plan, you can see the synergy between coach and team. And there are moments when we aren’t.
“However, losing this game was unnecessary.”
Ten Hag’s choice to play Christian Eriksen in place of an out-and-out striker in the front three failed, as United only improved after Cristiano Ronaldo was added in the 53rd minute, with Eriksen sliding back into midfield.
Potter was unsurprised that United went with a striker-less formation: “We weren’t sure with Martial’s injury, but you never know.” I have no opinion on whether or not they play with a striker because he (Ten Hag) is Dutch.
“From our standpoint, it wasn’t really surprising. They have several possibilities. I wasn’t sure how much Cristiano had played. Our squad impressed me; there is a lot of responsibility out there.”