The Erik ten Haag era at Manchester United began with a 2-1 Premier League defeat at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, as the Dutch manager was shown just how much work lay ahead of him.
There were even louder and angrier protests against United’s owners, the American Glazer family, before kick-off and it was also a familiar scene on the pitch.
Brighton took the lead on the half-hour when Leandro Trossard found former United forward Danny Welbeck, who headed the ball in at the back post for Pascal Gross to score.
Nine minutes later, Gros doubled the lead with his sixth career United goal after David De Gea failed to push Solly March straight into the path of the German, who again made no mistake.
Ten Haag introduced Cristiano Ronaldo in the 53rd minute and the Portugal forward, who is reported to want to leave the club, provided the spark for United’s comeback attempt.
The home side leveled in the 68th minute when a scramble ended with Alexis McAllister turning the ball into his own net, but Brighton held on for a second straight victory over United after a 4-0 win in May.