Brighton hammered Manchester United 4-0 to end the Red Devils’ faint hopes of finishing in the top four as their awful season hit rock bottom.
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Ralf Rangnick’s side were demolished from start to finish as goals from Moises Caicedo, Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard cut United to shreds.
Brighton were magnificent and they ruthlessly exposed United’s many weaknesses as the win pushed them up to ninth place in the table and they have 47 points.
Man United sit in sixth place and have 58 points as they have set many unwanted records from a truly shambolic season and are now in a battle to qualify for the Europa League.
Brighton vs Manchester United final score, stats
Brighton 4-0 Manchester United
Goals scored: Caicedo 15′, Cucurella 49′, Gross 57′, Trossard 60′
Shots: Brighton 17, Manchester United 15
Shots on target: Brighton 6, Manchester United 5
Possession: Brighton 42, Manchester United 58
Three things we learned from Brighton vs Manchester United
1. United finally hit rock bottom: This will be their lowest-ever points tally in the Premier League era. They will not finish in the top four. They have conceded more goals this season than any other campaign in the PL. The list of unwanted records goes on and on. Man United have been heading this way for a while this season but they’ve finally hit rock bottom. The only way is up from here but this is a real mess for Erik ten Hag to sort out in the summer and beyond. Many of these players know they won’t be around next season and they’re all over the place. Interim boss Ralf Rangnick probably won’t be around either given the shambolic nature of the second half of the season. United need a ruthless and rapid rebuild. These last few months will probably allow that to happen quicker. That is the only positive. ‘Shambles’ doesn’t explain how bad this was.
2. Seagulls are everything United want to become: Slick, clever and incisive, this was pure Potterball from Brighton. Their talented young coach has a clear plan and even when it doesn’t click in the final third they stick with it. It has clicked, and then some, in the last few weeks as they’ve now hammered Wolves and Manchester United in successive games. Brighton have already recorded their highest-ever points tally in the PL and could finish in seventh but will more likely be in the top 10. That is a superb achievement and their flowing style of play is so much fun to watch. What a job Potter has done and in many ways Brighton are exactly what Man United want to become.
4 – Brighton's 4-0 win over Manchester United saw them secure their biggest ever top-flight win in their history, in what was their 356th match at this level. Dreamland. pic.twitter.com/sC086SDstH
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 7, 2022
3. Ageing stars and castaways sum up United’s demoralizing decline: Ronaldo, Cavani, Matic and Mata all played and all four really shouldn’t be in the same team at this stage of their career. United have to get back to buying the best young talents and Erik ten Hag will demand that this summer. There has been no clear recruitment policy at United in recent years but that has to change. Now. That is the only way they will have any chance of getting out of this almighty rut. Yes, they finished second in the table last season but they are now so far away from their competitors. The regression from their ageing and unwanted squad mirrors the lack of identity the club currently has on and off the pitch.
Man of the Match: Marc Cucurella – Superb goal and involved in so much of Brighton’s best attacking play. What a signing the left back has been.
Seagulls soar early
United started sluggishly and Brighton made them pay, as Caicedo’s low strike from distance went through the legs of Victor Lindelof and beat David de Gea at his near post.
Brighton continued to click through the gears and had plenty of the ball as United spent most of the first half in their own half.
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Right on half time Brighton should have doubled their lead as a long ball forward found Danny Welbeck but he lobbed the ball over David de Gea and the goal when he should have scored.
The Seagulls did double their lead early in the second half as patient build-up play found Cucurella and he smashed home at the near post to put the hosts in dreamland.
Brighton then scored twice in three minutes to go 4-0 up.
First a flowing team move saw Robert Sanchez clip it out to Cucurella and he found Trossard who fed Gross to slot home.
Soon after it was 4-0 as Welbeck’s center was bundled home by Trossard and Brighton were in dreamland.
At the other end Sanchez did brilliantly to save an effort from Edinson Cavani as United tried to at least get on the scoresheet.
Alexis Mac Allister then hit the post as Brighton should have been 5-0 up after another flowing move, then Sanchez saved a fine drive from Fernandes.
Late on Danny Welbeck almost curled home a beauty as Brighton ran riot.