Premier League English

Roberto De Zerbi admits United have a ‘problem’ as Brighton were surprised by Ten Hag’s side

Roberto De Zerbi truly deserves the accolade for having coached his Brighton side to a convincing 3-1 victory at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

The game saw Brighton reverse the situation immediately after the early stages of the match to survive the unexpected Manchester United pressure to go 3-0 up.

Almost immediately after the third goal went in, United reciprocated their solitary goal with Hannibal Mejbri beating Jason Steele from 25 yards out curling in his first goal for the club. Unfortunately that effort was hardly sufficient to inspire a United comeback.

Overall, De Zerbi clearly out-maneuvred and out-classed the Dutchman across the length and breadth of the pitch and he subsequently addressed the issues he had encountered with United speaking post-match as he admitted having problems trying to identify the issues United are currently experiencing.

“I don’t know the problem of Manchester United, I can explain my team.”

He then went on to praise his team, even suggesting that Ten Hag had surprised him, saying: “We are playing with courage. In the first 15, 20 minutes we suffered a lot because Man United played in a different way than we prepared for but after that we played a great game. I think the game was changed when we kept the ball.”

The Italian’s evaluation of the game is indeed fair as United had launched off on the front foot due to a change in system, which took Brighton completely by surprise initially.

However the moment Brighton regained their composure to re-establish control of the game, they were unassailable to the end as they continued to pile on the pressure at a pace United obviously couldn’t keep up with.

The midfield set-up with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen trying disparately to pull things together looked particularly suspect and clearly needs to be looked at.

Overall the issue isn’t with the quality of the players after the heavy investment United has poured into rebuilding the team. It seems more an issue with determination, effort and either the lack of a strategy game plan or the inability of the players to adhere to what Ten Hag had already laid out.