Brighton v Man Utd: Pictures
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Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo could not hide his laughter when his side went three goals down against Brighton at the Amex Stadium. It was the second in a flurry of second-half goals for the Seagulls, and dreadful defending allowed Pascal Gross to fire home and compound the Red Devils’ misery. Ronaldo somehow saw the funny side on another torrid afternoon for Ralf Rangnick’s men, who only have one more Premier League match to play this season.
United went into Saturday’s clash with faint hopes of a late-season surge after impressing against Brentford last time out. Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane and Ronaldo himself were on target at Old Trafford last week, which restored a hint of positivity in an otherwise miserable spell under Rangnick.
But the Red Devils quickly came under fire against Brighton. Moises Caicedo’s goal gave the Seagulls a one-goal lead at the break, before second-half strikes from Marc Cucurella, Gross and Leandro Trossard put Graham Potter’s men in the drivers’ seat.
Ronaldo found the third goal particularly amusing, or perhaps it was simply an ‘if you dont laugh, you’ll cry’ moment as wayward defensive organisation allowed the home side to power towards a memorable result at United’s expense.
Such was the scale of Brighton’s dominance, Rangnick eventually opted to throw on Harry Maguire for Juan Mata, reverting to a five-back formation in the hope of avoiding more humiliation. Signs of frustration were evident as Edinson Cavani booted the ball into the sky after having a late tap-in disallowed for offside.
In general, United fans are counting down the days until Erik ten Hag finishes up his duties with Ajax and joins them at Old Trafford before next season. The Dutchman has a superb reputation for what he has achieved in his homeland, but Saturday served as another indication that he has a mountain to climb and a major rescue mission when he becomes Red Devils boss.
Rangnick, who initially steadied the ship after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure, will transition into a part-time consultancy role after months of getting to know the club from the inside. The German will share those duties with managing the Austrian national team, and many United fans will be glad to see the back of him, at least on the touchline, after one win in their past five matches, and three in their past 13.
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