Manchester United were utterly humiliated in their Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday evening.
In what has arguably been the club’s worst ever season in England’s top-flight since the 1992 rebranding, the Red Devils sank to a crushing nadir as they were pasted 4-0 by the Seagulls.
Yes, Brighton have been superb this season and yes, they’ve secured some big results over the ‘big six’, but nobody could have seen the way in which they embarrassed United coming.
Brighton take an early lead
And they really did set the tone early, lighting up the Amex Stadium by taking the lead just 15 minutes into the game courtesy of a player who once dreamed of playing for United.
Moisés Caicedo got the party started with a fine finish from outside the penalty area that fizzed through the legs of Victor Lindelof, past the hand of David de Gea and into the bottom corner.
"THROUGH THE LEGS OF VICTOR LINDELOF" 😬— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 7, 2022
Moisés Caicedo gets his first Brighton goal to put them 1-0 up against Manchester United! pic.twitter.com/aYgok6kF8y
Cucurella shines with a goal
From that point onwards, there was at least some reprieve for the Old Trafford club as it wasn’t until after the break that Graham Potter’s men really turned the screw.
And their second strike came courtesy of the magnificent Marc Cucurella, who crowned what was already panning out to be a stellar performance on the south coast by firing into the roof of the net.
"What a GREAT day this is turning into for Brighton!" 👏— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 7, 2022
A brilliant finish from Marc Cucurella to double their lead at the Amex… pic.twitter.com/0irLtjZpkp
Brighton go 3-0 and 4-0 up
Then, the floodgates really opened with Brighton scoring in the 57th and 60th minutes to extend their lead into the sort of territory that ensures United will be teased about it for years to come.
Pascal Gross showed great composure in the penalty area to bag the first goal of Brighton’s double knockout blow, breezing past Raphael Varane before slipping the ball beyond De Gea.
"It is turning into ANOTHER nightmare for Manchester United"— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 7, 2022
How easy was that? 😳 pic.twitter.com/QWWawpa6GZ
And Leandro Trossard made it four when he arrived on the scene to bundle the ball into the net when Diogo Dalot cleared Danny Welbeck’s initial chipped effort off the line. Embarrassing scenes.
FOUR FOR BRIGHTON!! 😱— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 7, 2022
A TOTAL capitulation from Manchester United… pic.twitter.com/IOfrBxbfHH
Ronaldo could only laugh
In fact, the scenes were so embarrassing for the Old Trafford club that Cristiano Ronaldo could be seen laughing and smiling in complete disbelief at the situation after one of Brighton’s goals.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner clearly couldn’t get his head around what has proven to be a truly unique season for him where the team he’s playing for simply hasn’t completed at the top level.
Ronaldo laughing at Man Utd defense. Even the goat is astonished damn 😭 pic.twitter.com/fy9Up7GeVV— whyal3n (@whyal3n) May 7, 2022
Ronaldo laughing at Man Utd defense. Even the goat is astonished damn 😭pic.twitter.com/kuGCHnwwbN— NUNGUA BURNA ( FACTOS RONALDO ) (@viewsdey) May 7, 2022
And frankly, it’s hard to blame him for laughing because things really have gotten so bad at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ that having a chuckle is probably the only thing that you can do.
No matter where United go from here and into the Erik ten Hag era, there can be no denying that the 2021/22 season will be one to forget – and it truly hit rock bottom with the trip to Brighton.