CAPE TOWN – Disaster struck Manchester United on Sunday as they crashed to a 3-2 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Red Devils went 2-0 down and then trailed 3-1 as their defence let them down.
Captain Paul Pogba converted a consolation penalty in stoppage time.
But where to from here for United and manager Jose Mourinho?
Here are five remedies for their pain…
1 Pick the best XI worthy of Man United
The starting team against Brighton was hardly Manchester United material – the defence of Young, Lindelof, Bailly and Shaw is not exactly world-class. And neither are Andreas Pereira and Fred in midfield. Chris Smalling, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford were on the bench, and need to start.
2 Play two strikers upfront
Romelu Lukaku needs to be partnered by Marcus Rashford upfront. Playing Juan Mata and Anthony Martial in attacking roles to supposedly support Lukaku didn’t work.
3 Get the best out of Paul Pogba
The French World Cup winner was inspirational in the league opener, driving his team to victory against Leicester despite having only returned to training that week. Where was that Paul Pogba against Brighton?
4 Sort things out with Ed Woodward
The impact of the failure to sign a top-class defender in the transfer window was on display against Brighton. Eric Bailly was the biggest culprit, and Victor Lindelof wasn’t far behind. Vice-chairman Ed Woodward refused to trump up the cash for someone like Harry Maguire, and it’s something Jose Mourinho needs to fix.
5 Bring some Jose Mourinho magic!
Where’s the charismatic Portuguese magician who took Porto, Inter and Chelsea to Champions League glory? All we see nowadays is a grumpy, greying manager with nothing positive to say. And that’s showing in his team’s performances…