Ralf Rangnick apologised to Manchester United fans following a dismal 4-0 defeat at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday. Goals from Moises Caicedo, Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard ensured Brighton leave with all three points and give United plenty to ponder as the season draws to a close.
“To start with, it’s important we apologise to our supporters who came all the way from Manchester here to Brighton,” Rangnick said following the game.
“We were just not good enough from start to finish. The performance was not only poor, it was extremely poor.”
Manchester United’s 3-0 win at home against Brentford might have given them confidence coming into this game, but the electric atmosphere at the Amex Stadium appeared to suck the life out of them early. Brighton looked the sharper of the two sides and captured the majority of early possession.
The Seagulls’ early dominance was rewarded with a goal in the 15th minute as a sloppy clearance from inside the box fell to the feet of United transfer target Moises Caicedo. The Ecuadorian rifled his effort past David De Gea and into the bottom corner, much to the delight of the home support.
Brighton manager Graham Potter praised the impact of Caicedo following the game – “He’s a good young player and we’re delighted that we’ve got him.
“He must think the Premier League is easy because his results have been fantastic since he’s been there. We’re so happy for him.”
The second half brought with it much of the same as Marc Cucurella made it 2-0 in the 49th minute. Leandro Trossard’s short pass found the feet of the Spaniard who smashed the ball past De Gea.
Ralf Rangnick’s men were rocking and their agony was compounded less than ten minutes later as Brighton passed through their defence like a hot knife through butter, ending the move with a smart finish by Pascal Gross. The 58th minute strike made it 3-0 and all but ended the game as a contest.
A number of red shirts appeared to want the ground beneath them to eat them up, but a couple of minutes later it was 4-0, as Danny Welbeck’s cross was converted by Trossard after an attempted clearance from Diogo Dalot ricocheted into the back of the net off the Belgian.
Manchester United made minor attacking inroads thanks to substitutes Edinson Cavani and Harry Maguire, but Graham Potter’s men controlled the game well enough, subjecting their opposition to another debilitating defeat.
“It was a humiliating defeat today and even more so for a team like Manchester United,” Rangnick said.
“But it’s not only that you lose 4-0, it was the way that we played and this is just unacceptable, very difficult to deal with and cope (with).”
The loss means United are now set to record their lowest points total in the league since 1991 – another unwanted stat in a very disappointing season for the English giants.