Manchester United’s Failure to Finish in the Top-four Confirmed by Brighton’s 4-0 Victory Over Them.

Manchester United’s Failure to Finish in the Top-four Confirmed by Brighton’s 4-0 Victory Over Them.

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08 May 2022
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Nick
Brighton

Brighton thrashed Manchester United 4-0 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, with United failed to gain any traction in the game and fortunate to be only one goal behind at half-time.

Ralf Rangnick is still hunting for solutions three decades after attending university in this area. Answers to why the music he composes is continuously bad, as well as how low Manchester United must sink before they rebound.

That will not happen under his watch. Rangnick just has one more game left in this dreadful job until Erik ten Hag takes over. So, who knows what type of send-off he’ll get from this gutless, shameless, witless band of chancers at Crystal Palace in a fortnight? That’s not to say Rangnick should be excused before he whistles and runs off to Austria. Not in the least. They were doing well under his leadership for a while, but that was a long time ago.

What about recently? It’s five victories in 18 games across all competitions, which ignores the defeats, none of which looked as bad as this. The 4-1 defeat against Watford in November was horrible. But this was far worse, a 3-0 defeat in which even their fans sang, “You’re not fit to wear the shirt.”

First, some housekeeping: the goals were scored by Moises Caicedo, who United attempted to recruit, and then by Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross, and Leandro Trossard, all of whom scored in the first 15 minutes of the second half. To argue United lacked bravery is overly simplistic, not to mention a rehash of what has already been shown several times.

Rangnick’s team had come with the wind in their sails after a 3-0 victory against Brentford. As a result, he made no changes to his lineup, with Juan Mata starting for the second time in a row behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who was deployed as the spearhead in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Mata was supposed to be the main channel of supply with his subtle service down the middle, as far as anyone can tell with United these days. The trouble is that none of it worked this time. Caicedo’s labor on either side of his goal muted Mata into insignificance, which was mostly responsible for this. It was similar in concept to Yves Bissouma’s smothering job on Son Heung-Min in Brighton’s triumph over Tottenham last month.

As a result, Ronaldo received no valuable information during the first half. When he did have possession, he was a shell of his former self, with one ball into touch, a dribble out of play, and a free-kick that flew 10 feet over the bar, all before being sent off for slamming into Lewis Dunk. The performance mirrored his emotions.

Brighton were having a great time while his sideshow was going on. The first goal, which came after a quarter of an hour, was the result of poor defense. The move began with a punt forward and became more intense when Alex Telles bungled a clearing by heading vertically. Pascal Gross then drove at the loose ball, which was redirected to Caicedo outside the area by a block. He returned a low shot with a minimal force that somehow beat David de Gea despite Victor Lindelöf’s freezing responses.

Rangnick sought assistance from the bench at halftime through Fred and Edinson Cavani, but it was soon a rout.

Trossard chased down an overhit cross with more zeal than anybody else in red, before drawing back for Marc Cucurella. He blasted into the sliver of space between De Gea and his near post – no one, of course, had followed his run.

Trossard then teed up Gross, who easily slipped past Raphael Varane and rolled across De Gea. Despite suspicions of handball and offside, Trossard added a fourth goal, but nothing went United’s way. They didn’t deserve any better.

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