Manchester United vs Brighton, result, goals, reaction, Cristiano Ronaldo laughing, Erik ten Hag, highlights

Ralf Rangnick apologised after Manchester United’s dismal season hit a new low with a “humiliating” 4-0 defeat against Brighton.

United have endured a host of loss in one of their most embarrassing seasons for decades and this lacklustre loss was among the very worst.

Rangnick’s side were routed by goals from Moises Caicedo, Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard at the Amex Stadium.

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Manchester United Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick had a lot of thinking to do.  (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Manchester United Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick had a lot of thinking to do. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP

After 5-0 and 4-0 defeats against arch rivals Liverpool, a 4-1 loss at Watford that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked in November and an FA Cup at home to Championship side Middlesbrough, it seemed impossible for United to fall any further.

But they were so gutless and hopeless on the south-coast that even United’s traveling supporters turned on them.

Sixth placed United cannot finish in the Premier League’s top four and are certain to miss out on the Champions League for only the fifth time in 30 seasons.

“It was a terrible performance. From the first until the last minute it was not enough, we can only apologise for this performance and a humiliating defeat,” Rangnick said.

“We just gave too much time and space. We were never in a position where we could stop them playing through our lines. We told the players be as compact as they could but we couldn’t stop it.”

At one point after United conceded another goal, cameras caught Cristiano Ronaldo laughing, a moment that Sky Sports pundits Dion Dublin and Graeme Souness described as telling.

“One of the tell tale signs, for me, is that there was a clip after one of the goals where Ronaldo was laughing,” Dublin said.

“And I think to myself, is he laughing at his players? At the situation? ‘Am I at Man United or am I not?’ And that, for me, summed up today.”

“He’s thinking the last time I was here, I had Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand, and now I’ve got this lot,” Souness added.

Ronaldo could not save Manchester United. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP

With 58 points and only one game left, United’s fifth successive away defeat means they will finish with their lowest points total in the Premier League era.

It would be no surprise if Erik ten Hag, the Ajax boss who has agreed to take charge from next season, was having second thoughts about his decision to accept the task of rebuilding a team languishing well behind the standards set by Liverpool and Manchester City.

Asked if United’s players had failed to follow his instructions, Rangnick said: “I don’t think they ignored the game-plan but we weren’t able to stop them.

“We gave them too much space and if you do that against a technically good team like Brighton, you will get punished.”

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