Brighton survived a late onslaught to safe a primary win at Previous Trafford and condemn Erik ten Hag to a dropping begin as Manchester United supervisor.
Pascal Gross’ first-half double shocked the house supporters, who had been determined to see their crew put a depressing finish to final season behind them.
Nonetheless, United had been completely outplayed in that opening interval by Graham Potter’s aspect, who beat them 4-0 on the Amex Stadium in Might on their approach to a ninth-placed end, their highest in historical past.
Not even the second-half introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo might deny Brighton, though United did threaten a comeback when a scramble contained in the guests field ended with Alexis Mac Allister turning the ball into his personal web after goalkeeper Robert Sanchez had touched it into his path below stress from Harry Maguire.
In 9 earlier league visits, Brighton had managed just one draw, so this victory was historic.
With the solar shining and a brand new supervisor in place, there was a way of optimism round United earlier than kick-off.
Ten Hag has began to impose his persona on the membership, to the extent of ousting among the ‘prawn-sandwich brigade’ from their company hospitality suites so his gamers might have their pre-match meal.
But so lots of the outdated points remained. Protests in opposition to the United house owners earlier than kick-off meant the membership store needed to be shut.
Co-chairman Avie Glazer was paying a uncommon go to and would have heard the songs to his left calling for his household to get out of the membership.
On the pitch, there was no cohesion regardless of respectable debuts from Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.
Brighton, effectively drilled and fluid, took benefit. Leandro Trossard volleyed into the side-netting inside 15 seconds of the beginning and United didn’t impose themselves on the sport till it was far too late.
For the opener, Welbeck’s run cut up Maguire and Martinez. The latter got here throughout from the left to cowl the cross, leaving an enormous gap within the six-yard field and, as United’s defence scrambled to plug the gaps, Gross was on his personal to faucet dwelling on the far put up.
He was in an identical place however on the opposite put up when Solly March reduce inside and unleashed a low shot, which keeper David de Gea became his path.
The boos that accompanied the half-time whistle had been predictable and deserved. Inside eight minutes of the resumption, Ronaldo had been launched to try to lead a rescue mission.
The 37-year-old had a negligible affect. It was one other Portuguese, Diogo Dalot, who created the confusion that led to United’s purpose. However by the top it was Brighton who appeared extra prone to rating once more.
Amid the inevitable soul-searching for United at this dreadful consequence, Potter’s affect at Brighton shouldn’t be underestimated.
He has misplaced Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella for a mixed £88m from the aspect that beat United in Might. Director of soccer Dan Ashworth has additionally gone. None of Brighton’s summer time signings began this match.
However they moved the ball with a objective absent from United, whereas Welbeck was a selected menace in opposition to his outdated membership.
Gross and Trossard had been each very good and, even with out Bissouma, Brighton managed midfield to make sure United weren’t in a position to flip their trade into one thing extra tangible.
Little marvel the jubilant visiting followers chanted “can we play you each week?