You know things are getting bad when a Manchester United defeat to Brighton can't even be described as an upset.
Was anyone surprised when Brighton took the lead? When they time and again cut through United with ease? When they scored a second by taking advantage of slack defending? When they went 3-0 up at Old Trafford and treated it like another day in the office?
It must have been one of the most predictable defeats in United's history. The fourth Premier League loss to the Seagulls in succession, with the aggregate score now standing at 10-2. Yes, Erik ten Hag's side is down to the bare bones but the performances have hardly been inspiring when at full strength so far this season. United have scraped past the two teams worse than they have faced and been soundly beaten by the three teams better than them.
Fans reaction to Hojlund decision gives Ten Hag a new problem
United player ratings vs Brighton
Make no mistake, Brighton are a better team than United right now. They have a better tactical set-up, can adapt to in-game situations quicker, have several players for every position, a healthy mix of youthful talent and grizzled experience, defend as a unit and attack with speed, grace and a clinical edge. Everything United lacks.
United, of course, might have more talented players (though even that might be up to debate) but that's thanks to their significantly larger budget which could see them get away with their shortcomings. It's not been a good start to the season for Ten Hag, continuing from the slump his team began to suffer towards the end of his first campaign.
On the field, his side looks disjointed, frail and flat. Off the field, the turbulence and indiscipline he seemingly eradicated have come bitingRead on manchestereveningnews.co.uk