Four Manchester United players were embroiled in a heated post-match dressing room brawl following their dismal 3-1 loss to Brighton.
Danny Welbeck, Pascal Gross, and Joao Pedro scored to defeat Erik ten Hag’s side for the third time in five Premier League games this season. Hannibal Mejbri scored a late consolation goal for the Red Devils, who have only six points from a potential 15.
Following the game, tempers boiled in the United locker room as the Red Devils suffered yet another humiliating defeat, following defeats at Arsenal and Tottenham in recent weeks. The Sun reports that club captain Bruno Fernandes approached Scott McTominay, and that central defensive duo Victor Lindelof and Lisandro Martinez were also embroiled in heated exchanges at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag attempted to calm the players as the Dutchman digested what he saw from his side against in-form Brighton, who have won four of their first five league games this season.
Fernandes got into a spat with McTominay after the Scotland international was recalled for his first start of the season. Ten Hag used a diamond formation in midfield with Casemiro at the base, McTominay and Christian Eriksen on each side, and Fernandes as the No.10. With Antony out, Ten Hag went with Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund up front.
It worked for the first 20 minutes as United had the best of the play, but as Roberto De Zerbi’s side figured it out, there was only one winner.
Jadon Sancho was also absent from the squad after being barred from first-team training earlier this month for infuriating Ten Hag. Sancho said he was a “scapegoat” after United manager Jose Mourinho admitted that his training performances were the reason he was not selected to face Arsenal. Instead, Sancho spent his Saturday afternoon watching the club’s Under-18s play Nottingham Forest.
Ten Hag commented after the game, “We are disappointed, and I think that’s normal, especially after seeing the game.” Such close calls, such razor-thin margins.
“We created a lot of chances in the first half but didn’t score, and they scored on their second attack, their first chance, and we conceded a goal.” The opening 20 minutes were excellent. We had chances, and I thought we played well in the first half, but we didn’t score. We didn’t complete.”
Former United captain Gary Neville questioned whether Ten Hag has manufactured some of his own problems with dissatisfied players who have fallen foul of the harsh Dutchman and his ways in a TikTok video post-game.
“How popular is Sancho in the dressing room?” he asked. How well-known is Maguire? Ten Hag has some bugs in there, and we have no idea what discomfort and confusion is being caused on the inside.
“You’ve got a player who is most likely changing in the first-team dressing room but is with the academy.” You have Harry, who was captain of these players a year ago but has now been relegated to the third, fourth, and fifth centre-half positions.
“So Ten Hag has some circumstances in there, and I’m not sure how much damage it is doing. Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, there have been several good managers who have experienced obstacles at United.