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Harry Maguire says Manchester United got off to a "nightmare start" against Brighton in Erik ten Hag's first game

Dylan Penketh

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Harry Maguire says Manchester United got off to a "nightmare start" against Brighton in Erik ten Hag's first game

Manchester United’s Premier League season has gotten off to a tragic start under Erik ten Hag.

After an initial good opening few minutes, Brighton took the lead through Pascal Gross, who then doubled his and the Seagulls’ goal tally before half time.

Despite an own goal giving United a lifeline, the team were unable to get themselves back on top and finished the match as 2-1 losers.

Erik ten Hag’s debut in English football has ended in disaster, and there is a lot to learn from the fixture if the club want to end in the Champions League places.

Speaking on the fixture, Harry Maguire recognises the magnitude of an opening-day defeat.

"We went into the game positive, we had a good pre-season and it was the worst possible start to be 2-0 down at half-time at Old Trafford. Not good enough.

“We got a goal back but we huffed and puffed a bit and it’s a bad start for us.

Credit: Manchester United
Credit: Manchester United

“We started pretty well and on the front foot and as a team we had control. Then we conceded the first goal and that knocked us badly.

“We need to look at not letting that first goal set us back as much as it did. It was a nightmare start to be 2-0 down at half-time.”

At half-time, many fans were wondering how the side would react to going down in such a shocking and dismal manner.

“We spoke about getting the next goal [at half-time]. I think in the second half you saw good parts to our game but overall we didn’t do enough.

“We had a lot of pressure and a lot of ball but we need to be a bit more creative and we need to improve on that.

“It’s something we need to address or it’ll keep happening. The first goal felt like a big blow to all 11 of our players.”

One positive from the game, although minor in the grand scheme of things, was the debut of new signing Lisandro Martinez, who partnered Maguire for the fixture.

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“It’s great to have Lisandro Martinez at the club,” Maguire said. “We have competition for places at centre-back. We’ve not played much together and in that first period we weren’t on the same wavelength.

“Centre-back partnerships are built over time and we will get a lot better and keep clean sheets.

“Everyone knew the task. We had a bad season last season. We’ve got a new manager trying to put his philosophy on the team but when we don’t get it right we look far too open.”

Manchester United are set to take on Brentford in London next weekend, and will look to bounce back from the opening day defeat.

Featured Image Credit: Manchester United

Topics: Manchester United, Harry Maguire, Erik Ten Hag, Brighton And Hove Albion, Premier League

Dylan Penketh
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