Moises Caicedo and Marc Cucurella scored their first Premier League goals as Brighton embarrassed Manchester United with a 4-0 victory at the Amex Stadium.
The defeat is United’s 11th in the Premier League this season and means they will pick up their lowest points tally since the First Division was rebranded. Caicedo gave Brighton the lead in the 15th minute. He hit a low drive from 25 yards out which went through Victor Lindelof’s legs before beating David de Gea.
The Red Devils looked more lively immediately after going behind. But following an initial burst, Brighton began to dominate and continued to do so for the rest of the match.
The home team enjoyed plenty of possession in and around the United box, with Ralf Rangnick’s men unable to get up the pitch regularly.
Brighton could have doubled their advantage when Danny Welbeck pounced on a long ball. Raphael Varane and de Gea failed to clear, giving Welbeck the chance to chip his former team-mate. However, the striker could only guide his effort over the bar.
Rangnick, clearly frustrated by the performance from his team in the first half, made two changes at the interval. Fred and Edinson Cavani came on to replace Nemanja Matic and Anthony Elanga.
Despite these substitutions, the problems persisted for Manchester United as Brighton went 2-0 up in the 49th minute.
Leandro Trossard did well to keep the Seagulls’ chance alive after Alexis Mac Allister flashed a ball across goal. Trossard played into the path of Cucurella and the Spaniard made no mistake with his finish, firing into the roof of the net to give de Gea no chance.
Jaun Mata had United’s first sight of goal soon afterwards. Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk headed a cross from Diogo Dalot away, and Mata met the follow-up on the volley. But he could only send it into Sanchez’s grasp.
Brighton went straight up the other end and scored, to make United’s miserable day even worse. Cucurella, Trossard and Gross opened the United defence up with three simple passes. That allowed Gross to go round Raphael Varane before slotting into the far corner with relative ease.
And Graham Potter’s side had a fourth goal by the 60th minute. Welbeck was sent through on goal by a clever pass and he chipped over de Gea to leave the United keeper scrambling.
Brighton put Man Utd to the sword
Trossard followed the shot up and, despite Dalot’s best efforts, the Belgian winger managed to bundle over the line.
Cavani then forced a smart stop from Robert Sanchez at the other end.
Brighton continued to threaten the United goal, catching the visitors on the break with 65 minutes on the clock. Mac Allister and Gross linked up well, although they were prevented from scoring by a last-ditch Dalot challenge.
Five minutes later, Rangnick brought Harry Maguire on as a replacement for Mata.
Maguire helped improve United’s threat from set pieces, and they had the ball in the back of the net through Cavani soon after. But the Uruguayan’s close-range finish was ruled out due to offside.
Brighton comfortably saw out the win to reach 47 points from 36 matches, as well as ninth place. United, meanwhile, remain in sixth and could still be caught by West Ham.