Erik ten Hag will be hiding behind his sofa checking the small print on his deal for a get-out clause


THERE was plenty still to play for at Manchester United – not that you would have known it watching this sorry lot.

Ralf Rangnick and his rabble arrived at Brighton with the chance to all but bolt the door on West Ham behind them and secure a top six finish.


Ralf Rangick watched on desperately as his Manchester United flops were torn apart by BrightonCredit: AFP
Erik ten Hag would be forgiven for scanning his contract for a get-out clause


Erik ten Hag would be forgiven for scanning his contract for a get-out clauseCredit: PA

They left in a daze and knowing they would end the season with United’s lowest ever Premier League points tally.

Brighton – with effectively nothing left to play for – had ripped them apart and sent them packing.

Erik ten Hag, surely watching from behind the sofa in Holland, would be forgiven for frantically checking the small print on his deal to find a get-out clause.

The Seagulls, energetic and organised under Graham Potter, showed everything United lacked.

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Potter’s side played with pride, passion and a plan – the whole team together. The visitors could barely look one another in the eye.

They were sloppy from the off, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Scott McTominay sending easy passes out for a throw in their own half, and it only got worse from there.

Moises Caicedo started the party with a brilliant low effort to bag his first Brighton goal.

Rangnick tried to shake them up at the break with a double change – sending on Fred and Edinson Cavani.


That plan was in shreds following three Brighton goals in a frantic ten minute spell.

The first after the break came from Marc Cucurella, who could not hold back the tears following his first for the Seagulls.

How United could do with someone like the Spanish full-back, happy to run himself into the ground for his club every weekend – regardless of what is at stake.

Brighton last won at home on Boxing Day, but were playing with the freedom and confidence brought by a clear and coherent plan.

United were confused and have nothing to believe in, they don’t even look like they fancy playing for their futures.

Despite a European spot still being on the line, the end of the season seems to have descended into a farewell tour for Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic.

Both are leaving at the end of the season and simply have their pride to play for.

It is damning then that Mata looked like the only one in red who cared.

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The seasoned Spaniard may not have the pace of his earlier years, but still charged into tackles and tried to get United going before being replaced and given an ovation by the away end.

His teammates had spent the afternoon watching on in horror rather than trying to turn it around.

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