Cristiano Ronaldo was left with a frowned face as he sat on the bench in the first half and watch Manchester United torn apart by Brighton in their 2022 2023 Premier League opener at Old Trafford.
The look on his face confirmed that the Portugal international is indeed having a difficult time with the Old Trafford club.
Manchester United demonstrated an abysmal first-half performance to the dismay of the fans as they allow the visitors to dominate and control the game from the start. New Man United manager stood speechless as he pondered what he must have gotten wrong with his tactics.
Brighton controlled the game and dominated the entire first half creating great chances although they fail to convert most of them.
Brighton was finally able to break through a rickety and uncoordinated United defense to score an opening goal in the 30th minute. Gross struck twice in a space of 9 minutes to hand Brighton a well-deserved first half lead.
The Red Devils struggled to get into the game with no success as a ravaged midfield coupled with a poor and lacklustre United frontline compounded their woes.
After the two goals, Brighton still pressed for a third. It was indeed a shabby and disappointing first half showing by the Red Devils.
Erik Ten Hag stood up from his seat and moved to the touchline confused. Cristiano Ronaldo could not hide his disappointment and unbelief as he sat in anger while watching the Reds fall apart in front of their home fans.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had to be called upon to warm up but was disappointed with the outcome of the game in the first half.
Erik Ten Hag had made it clear that he would not start Cristiano Ronaldo in Man United’s opening match against Brighton. The former Ajax manager had complained bitterly of Ronaldo’s fitness since he did not join the team during most of their preseason training and matches.
Before United faced Brighton in the Premier League opener, Ronaldo had sent a clear message to Ten Hag of his readiness to play for Man United in their opening match. The 37-year-old posted on his Instagram page his resolve and readiness to feature in Ten Hag’s Premier League opener.
Erik Ten Hag ignored the message as he benched the multiple Ballon d ‘Or winner against Brighton at Old Trafford. However, it is evident that he has not gotten his selections and tactics right as United fell in pieces to a team which is considered a mnnow in the Premier League.
The first-half result was a clear verdict on Ten Hag’s Man United tactics. Although it may be too early to judge and assess his performance, Ten Hag still has a backlog of tasks to do at Manchester United.
Despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence from the preseason training and matches, it is not enough to write off the player in a crucial Premier League opener. The Portugal international did not just go on vacation but has shared photos of him training and keeping fit ahead of the 2022-2023 Premier League season. He has temporarily dropped his call for exit and is eager to play for the Red Devils.
The two goals slump to Brighton at Old Trafford was both a slap to the face of the Portugal international and also a mockery of Ten Hag’s lopsided and undeveloped tactics.
It was after the coach introduced Cristiano Ronaldo into the game in the 53rd minute of the first half that Manchester United were able to get a goal back via an own goal. But that came too late as Manchester United fell 2-1 at home in favor of Brighton.