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The Red Devils’ off-field problems were compounded by a miserable home defeat against the under-strength but high-flying Seagulls.

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When it rains, it pours. After a nightmare international break off the pitch, Manchester United would have been desperate to get back to playing, but instead things got even worse as Erik ten Hag’s side sunk to a 3-1 defeat at home to Brighton.

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United made a bright start on Rasmus Hojlund’s debut, but their former homegrown hero Danny Welbeck put Brighton ahead, helped by some awful United defending. Hojlund thought he had equalised, but the goal was ruled out, and then early in the second half more poor communication between Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof allowed Pascal Gross to double Brighton’s lead before substitute Joao Pedro rubbed salt into United’s wounds.

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Hannibal Mejbri’s first goal for the club gave United some hope, but there was no great comeback and they fell to their first home defeat in over a year and their first Premier League defeat at Old Trafford since Brighton beat them 2-1 on the opening day of last season.