Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, expressed surprise at Brighton’s play during their victory at Old Trafford, saying the Seagulls adopted a more practical strategy than people are used to seeing from them.
Prior to this past weekend, Brighton had never triumphed at Old Trafford, despite crushing Ralf Rangnick’s United at the Amex Stadium in May. Pascal Gross, however, scored twice in the first half to secure a 2-1 victory.
Ten Hag has acknowledged that he didn’t anticipate Brighton to adopt a more possession-based style of play in favour of longer balls that countered United’s attempt to press.
“Brighton is a team who normally wants to play from the back, [but] they didn’t,” Ten Hag said.
“They played long ball, so it’s not about pressing, it’s about winning the second ball, and then in such occasions, we did not always do what we laid out before the game and we definitely have to learn from those lessons. I didn’t expect that this team would play long routines and I think it was a big difference.”