Troubled Manchester United plunged deeper into crisis as Brighton swept to a shock 3-1 win at Old Trafford in Saturday’s Premier League clash.
Erik ten Hag’s side were rocked by a first-half goal from former United forward Danny Welbeck before Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro put Brighton further ahead after the interval.
Hannibal Mejbri’s first goal for the club was no consolation for United, who were booed off at the final whistle.
It was United’s second successive defeat after their 3-1 loss at Arsenal before the international break.
With three defeats in five league games already this season, United are languishing in 12th place and have the look of a club in turmoil on and off the pitch.
Ten Hag appeared to have stabilised United last season when he ended the club’s six-year trophy drought by winning the League Cup and qualifying for the Champions League in his first campaign.
But hopes of a title challenge are already fading after a dismal start to the new season, with a daunting Champions League opener at Bayern Munich on Wednesday threatening to add to United’s woes.
In response to a rash of disciplinary issues involving his players, Ten Hag claimed this week that he arrived at Old Trafford following his move from Ajax to find “no good culture” among the squad.
On Friday, Ten Hag said he did not know whether exiled forward Jadon Sancho will play for United again.
Sancho has been banished to train away from United’s first team after the England international angered Ten Hag when he claimed he was a “scapegoat” after he was dropped for the Arsenal loss.
United had lost their past three league games against Brighton, including last season’s corresponding fixture in Ten Hag’s first match in charge.
Once again, Brighton proved impossible for United to subdue, despite a bright start from the hosts.
Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund both missed early chances to put United ahead and Brighton took the lead in the 20th minute.