West Ham vs Man City LIVE: Premier League result and final score as Erling Haaland goals seal opening win

·29 min read

Erling Haaland scored twice on his Premier League debut as Manchester City opened their title defence with a dominant win at West Ham United.

The striker got off the mark in the first half at the London Stadium as he won and then converted a penalty to give City a deserved lead.

West Ham struggled in the heat as City took charge of the ball and it wasn’t until the hour mark that David Moyes’ side posed any questions of the champions.

But it left space at the other end and Kevin De Bruyne’s perfect pass released Haaland, as the 22-year-old finished under Alphonse Areola to double City’s lead.

Relive the action from the London Stadium below after Manchester United were beaten by Brighton

West Ham vs Manchester City

  • 35’ GOAL! Haaland wins and scores penalty to get off the mark in the Premier League

  • 65’ GOAL! Haaland races clear and finishes to double City’s lead with his second

West Ham United FC 0 - 2 Manchester City FC

FULL TIME: West Ham 0-2 Manchester City

18:26 , Jamie Braidwood

West Ham 0-2 Manchester City

18:22 , Jamie Braidwood

90 mins: Oof. Alvarez unleashes a shot that strikes Zouma in the face.

There will be three minutes of added time and Haaland is confirmed as man of the match, but you knew that anyway.

West Ham 0-2 Manchester City

18:19 , Jamie Braidwood

86 mins: City knock it about for fun as Bernardo gets round the outside, only for Johnson to block the cross.

Riyad Mahrez replaces Foden and Cole Palmer comes on for De Bruyne, while Kalvin Phillips will make his debut for City by replacing Rodri.

Silly depth.

West Ham 0-2 Manchester City

18:16 , Jamie Braidwood

84 mins: This is over as a contest, you could argue it has been for some time.

Rice, to his credit, tacks back to tackle De Bruyne - but Bernardo matches that energy by chasing back on Bowen.

West Ham 0-2 Manchester City

18:09 , Jamie Braidwood

77 mins: There won’t be a debut hat-trick for Haaland. He is coming off to a standing ovation from the away end as Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva come on. Gundogan makes way too.

West Ham 0-2 Manchester City

18:05 , Jamie Braidwood

73 mins: Scamacca tests Ederson with a header but was offside from Bowen’s cross. Fornals is then caught offside. West Ham have really struggled today.

West Ham 0-2 Manchester City

18:01 , Jamie Braidwood

70 mins: Oh and that could have been the hat-trick. Grealish clips it in from the byline and Haaland almost rises too early. The header is over the bar.

West Ham 0-2 Manchester City

18:00 , Jamie Braidwood

De Bruyne + Haaland x space = goals.

GOAL! West Ham 0-2 Manchester City (HAALAND 65’)

17:56 , Jamie Braidwood

Wow - how on earth do you stop this?

Haaland makes it two for City with his second goal - and that should be the three points going back to Manchester.

With West Ham pushing forward, City counter and De Bruyne plays a sublime pass through the defence.

Haaland races onto it, bursting clear, before tucking the finish under Areola. Unreal.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:55 , Jamie Braidwood

63 mins: And a shot from West Ham! The Hammers are doing better now, although it wasn’t hard to improve. Fornals sees his shot saved by Ederson after Bowen was close to connecting to a cross from the right.

West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:54 , Jamie Braidwood

61 mins: Chance! Oh this should be it. Foden plays it wide to De Bruyne on the overlap and the Belgian’s ball is typically dangerous. It’s slid across the face, missing Haaland, while Gundogan arrives late to put it wide from the angle.

West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:49 , Jamie Braidwood

56 mins: Changes for West Ham: Gianluca Scamacca is on for his debut, replacing Antonio. Said Benrahma is on too as Lanzini makes way.

It’s helped liven West Ham up, while City have started making errors.

West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:47 , Jamie Braidwood

55 mins: Better from West Ham but City remind them of their threat. De Bruyne carries the ball forward and slips in Haaland, who feeds it on to Gundogan. The German tries to find Haaland again but West Ham clear.

West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:46 , Jamie Braidwood

53 mins: But a chance! Gundogan gives it away cheaply in the City half. Antonio moves it wide and although the cut-back from Fornals is behind Bowen, it breaks to Rice on the edge. He can’t keep his shot down, though. Gundogan’s challenge might have put him off.

West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:43 , Jamie Braidwood

49 mins: It remains very subdued at the London Stadium. City have this match in total control and West Ham know that the game could get take away from them if they open up too soon.

Basically, what Miguel has just said:

West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:36 , Jamie Braidwood

Back underway!

That’s better from Grealish, who runs at Rice and plays a smart one-two with Haaland. Rice steps across well to cut it out.

HALF TIME: West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:29 , Jamie Braidwood

Lots of praise for Manchester City and their 80 percent of the ball. Gundogan’s smart turn and pass released Haalaand, and the striker’s acceleration has taken everyone by surprise. He was so fast over the first three or four yards.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

HALF TIME: West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:20 , Jamie Braidwood

A brutal half for West Ham and City lead through Haaland’s first Premier League goal from the spot.

West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:19 , Jamie Braidwood

45 +3 mins: A chance for West Ham before the break? Nope, Bowen’s free kick is headed away by the first man.

Guardiola is frowning at Grealish, whose product from the left after cutting inside has been really poor.

West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:16 , Jamie Braidwood

45 mins: There will be four minutes of added time. West Ham will be lucky to average a pass a minute at the break.

West Ham 0-1 Manchester City

17:14 , Jamie Braidwood

42 mins: West Ham have offered nothing since the opening couple of minutes, but Ake does well to shut down Bowen as the forward looked to get around the outside.

West Ham have completed 40 passes so far. City? 340.

GOAL! West Ham 0-1 Manchester City (HAALAND pen 35’)

17:06 , Jamie Braidwood

Brilliant penalty from Haaland. He steps up and sends Areola the wrong way as he strokes the ball into the bottom left corner.

City needed something to unlock West Ham and Haaland’s acceleration and burst of speed to win the penalty proved key. It almost caught Areola by surprise.

PENALTY! West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

17:04 , Jamie Braidwood

Penalty to Manchester City! The ball is played through to Haaland, who bursts onto the ball. Areola rushes out and brings him down.

Haaland will take it.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

17:03 , Jamie Braidwood

30 mins: Antonio went down after landing from a duel with Dias. He’s back up and hobbling but looks to be playing on. City continue to stroke the ball around but Walker, who is drifting into midfield positions, floats a pass out of play.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

17:00 , Jamie Braidwood

29 mins: Fabianski can play no further part and is replaced by Alphonse Areola.

It came from this incident as the goalkeeper flew in to make the punch.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:58 , Jamie Braidwood

27 mins: City have the ball in the net but Gundogan was offside in the build up. Haaland was involved in flicking it on to Gundogan, who cut it back to De Bruyne for the finish.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:56 , Jamie Braidwood

25 mins: Back underway. West Ham seem desperate for a touch of the ball.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:53 , Jamie Braidwood

22 mins: Another ball in towards Haaland but Fabianski punches away bravely. Haaland went flying in with his feet.

Moments before, Fabianski almost got caught with a poor clearance. It fell to Haaland but City couldn’t work a shot.

Given how hot it is, we’ll take a break for drinks.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:52 , Jamie Braidwood

20 mins: Chance! Cancelo switches it wide to Foden, who bends it in. It’s begging for a touch and Haaland is close to it, but he can’t connect with the header!

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:51 , Jamie Braidwood

19 mins: Grealish again looks for the ball inside but Johnson makes another good clearance, with Haaland waiting in behind. Rice then steps across well as De Bruyne looked to receive a one-two in the box.

City have killed the atmosphere with their possession.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:48 , Jamie Braidwood

16 mins: I’m struggling to remember Haaland touching the ball yet. Cancelo, though, is heavily involved and De Bruyne wins a corner on the right.

Fabianski easily collects Foden’s inswinger.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:45 , Jamie Braidwood

14 mins: First shot for City. Cancelo glided forward from left back and then looked for Foden out on the right. De Bruyne instead picks it up and his shot is dragged wide.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:43 , Jamie Braidwood

12 mins: Oof. Coufal flies into Grealish like a train and is lucky to get away without a yellow card. His foot was raised slightly as he slid in.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:41 , Jamie Braidwood

10 mins: After that early West Ham pressure City have settled and are dominating the ball. It’s a warm day in London, an afternoon to make the ball do the work, and there are few better at doing that than City. They are racking up the passes with West Ham dropping in.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:38 , Jamie Braidwood

6 mins; Grealish gets his first touch in an attacking area on the left. His cross is headed away by Johnson, who starts alongside Zouma in defence.

This is a big season for Grealish, who will have a run in the team to begin the year.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:35 , Jamie Braidwood

4 mins: Not yet. Ederson collided with Dias and has a, shall we say, shiner around his eye? The Brazilian stays on.

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:34 , Jamie Braidwood

3 mins: Oh, interesting. Ederson has unfortunately stayed down. Will City be forced into a change of goalkeeper?

West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:33 , Jamie Braidwood

2 mins: Hello? City gave it away cheaply at the back and a cross towards Antonio is awkward! West Ham ask more questions from the corner. Bowen’s shot is blocked and then Antonio heads over from Fornals’ cross! Lively start.

Kick-off! West Ham 0-0 Manchester City

16:31 , Jamie Braidwood

The final match at the opening weekend is underway in east London!

West Ham vs Manchester City

16:28 , Jamie Braidwood

There is a brilliant noise at the London Stadium - and a record attendence of 62,000.

Here are the teams:

West Ham XI: Fabianski, Coufal, Zouma, Cresswell, Johnson, Rice, Soucek, Lanzini, Bowen, Fornals, Antonio

Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Foden, Haaland, Grealish

West Ham vs Manchester City

16:25 , Jamie Braidwood

So from one side of Manchester to the other, as the Premier League champions begin their defence at the London Stadium and at West Ham United.

Erling Haaland leads the line for City. The striker’s Premier League debut means this match cannot be missed.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Gross double condemns woeful United to opening defeat under Ten Hag

16:16 , Jamie Braidwood

Manchester United’s new era begins much like the last ended. Erik ten Hag’s first competitive game in charge will be recorded as a defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion and will be remembered as even more deflating than the 4-0 reverse at the Amex in the penultimate game of last season: not just because this time it came at Old Trafford, but because it punctures any sense early optimism built by this latest cultural reset.

United’s aspirations of a top-four finish and a swift return to the Champions League under their new manager were made to look remote by Pascal Gross’ first-half double, which earned Brighton’s first-ever win at this ground. It was deserved. Bar a spell of pressure leading up to Alexis Mac Allister’s own goal, United offered precious little evidence of having made progress over the summer.

Report by Mark Critchley at Old Trafford

Pascal Gross double condemns Manchester United to opening defeat under Erik ten Hag

FULL TIME! Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

16:05 , Jamie Braidwood

Roy Keane is not surprised by the final score. “It’s the same shortcomings,” he says. Keane is full of praise for Brighton, who were excellent.

“Fred and McTominay are not good enough,” Keane adds.

We kind of knew that last season. How can United be going into the season with the same midfield?

FULL TIME! Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

16:04 , Jamie Braidwood

“We can’t ask for more,” Gross tells Sky Sports. “To win at Old Trafford in United’s first match. We created chances and took them.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

FULL TIME! Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

16:01 , Jamie Braidwood

Brighton did this after selling their best two players in the summer, while their line-up featured no new signings. Seriously impressive from Potter.

FULL TIME! Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:53 , Jamie Braidwood

What a result for Brighton! Their first ever win at Old Trafford and it will be remembered for years to come. They deserved the three points.

United, though, were woeful.

Welcome to Manchester, Erik.

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:52 , Jamie Braidwood

93 mins: Brighton are killing this game perfectly. The ball is still in the corner and the Seagulls are closing in on their first ever win at Old Trafford.

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:50 , Jamie Braidwood

90 mins: There will be five minutes of added time. Brighton have the ball in the corner with Lamptey as he wins a free kick.

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:48 , Jamie Braidwood

89 mins: Caicedo has been brilliant for Brighton and again break up play. United will now finally make their last three changes with Sancho, Shaw and Fernandes all departing.

It seems there were cheers as Fernandes went off but I may be wrong.

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:46 , Jamie Braidwood

86 mins: Brilliant defending! From the corner, it breaks to Martinez in his left foot. Out of nowhere, Lewis Dunk flies in to block the shot.

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:45 , Jamie Braidwood

86 mins: Eriksen’s shot is blocked before Sancho’s cross is punched clear. Sancho then sets up Ronaldo but his shot is blocked by Webster!

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:43 , Jamie Braidwood

84 mins: Good from Brighton. They’ve taken away some of United’s momentum and Ten Hag will react by bringing on Garnacho, Elanga and Malacia.

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:42 , Jamie Braidwood

82 mins: United back off Mac Allister but his shot is sliced well. Van de Beek helps it on to Sancho, who beats his first man but runs into Webster.

There are then groans as Fernandes gives the ball away.

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:40 , Jamie Braidwood

80 mins: Martinez has to hack clear after Welbeck’s knockdown looked to find Gross in the box. Brighton have not had as much of the ball in the last 10 minutes but some possession would really help Potter’s side as they look to close this out.

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:36 , Jamie Braidwood

77 mins: Martinez flashes a shot over the bar as another former Ajax player, Van de Beek, replaces McTominay. That leaves a midfield three of Fernandes, Eriksen and Van de Beek.

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:34 , Jamie Braidwood

74 mins: Dunk slides in to prevent the cross as United threaten down the right. Nervy moments in the Brighton defence.

A double change, though, as Lamptey and Mwepu replace Lallana and Trossard.

United are about to bring on Van de Beek.

West Ham vs Manchester City: Team news

15:32 , Jamie Braidwood

Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Foden, Haaland, Grealish

West Ham XI: Fabianski, Coufal, Zouma, Cresswell, Johnson, Rice, Soucek, Lanzini, Bowen, Fornals, Antonio

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:32 , Jamie Braidwood

73 mins: Dalot cuts in from the left and shoots, Sanchez spills and Brighton hack clear! Sanchez is looking shaky...

Manchester United 1-2 Brighton

15:29 , Jamie Braidwood

70 mins: United had been having a few more moments of threat. The corner came as Eriksen thundered a shot towards goal and Sanchez turned it behind. As I said moments ago, a United goal would change the game and Brighton are under pressure now.

GOAL! Manchester United 1-2 Brighton (OG 67’)

15:26 , Jamie Braidwood

United pull one back! It’s a scrappy goal but United do not care. Dalot made a nuisance of himself at the corner and Sanchez flapped at the cross. It bounced off Dalot’s back and towards the line, and I think it was Mac Allister’s attempted clearance that helped it over the line.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:24 , Jamie Braidwood

64 mins: Ronaldo slips in Dalot down the inside right but the defender’s cut-back is cleared as he looked for the return ball. Rashford then can’t keep Eriksen’s cross down as he met the ball on the volley at the back post.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:22 , Jamie Braidwood

62 mins: There are ‘oles’ as Brighton keep the ball on the halfway line. The travelling fans are enjoying themselves while United’s are growing agitated at loose touches from their side.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:19 , Jamie Braidwood

59 mins: How is this not 2-1! Ronaldo gets played in down the right and crosses for Rashford, who was free in the middle. He has to score but Sanchez makes himself big and blocks the shot from close range.

The offside flag went up, but Ronaldo was onside.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:17 , Jamie Braidwood

58 mins: That really looked to be a penalty against Martinez but Brighton go again as they continue to play in the United half.

One goal from United, though, and this will be a different game.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:14 , Jamie Braidwood

55 mins: Penalty? Martinez barges into the back of Welbeck, who goes down. It’s clumsy but nothing is given!

Meanwhile Maguire has been involved in a shoving match with Trossard. Both players are booked.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:10 , Jamie Braidwood

52 mins: Ronaldo is on. He replaces Fred.

Ronaldo gets a huge ovation and goes into the middle of United’s front three. Eriksen has dropped deeper.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:10 , Jamie Braidwood

50 mins: There are half appeals for a penalty as the ball brushes off Lallana but nothing is given. Webster then guides a Fernandes cross back to Sanchez - as Ronaldo prepares to come on.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:07 , Jamie Braidwood

48 mins: Chance! But Brighton go down the other end and keep United in by winning the ball back on the edge. It’s worked out wide and Welbeck gets too much of a connection on the header and the near post.

Eriksen then plays a dangerous ball to the back post but it evades Rashford, who was sliding in.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:06 , Jamie Braidwood

47 mins: United start with some pressure outside of the Brighton box, but as Shaw looks up there are few options in the middle and Webster can clear downfield.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:04 , Jamie Braidwood

Back underway and Ronaldo is immediately out warming up.

HT: Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:01 , Jamie Braidwood

There are no changes at the break from Ten Hag.

HT: Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

15:00 , Jamie Braidwood

Ronaldo was warming up just before half time and he wasn’t the only one. Both Varane and Van de Beek were loosening up as well.

Martinez and McTominay, both on bookings, might be favourites to come off - but it really could be anyone.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

HT: Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

14:56 , Jamie Braidwood

That was a car crash of an opening half from Manchester United - there were gaps everywhere in midfield and defence and the attack has already offered anything.

“We shouldn’t be surprised,” Roy Keane tells Sky Sports. “It goes back to last season but United are among the worst teams in the league.”

Brighton, though, have been brilliant. “They’ve taught United a lesson,” adds Karen Carney.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

HT: Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

14:48 , Jamie Braidwood

Well, well, well.

Boos at half time.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

14:47 , Jamie Braidwood

45+1 mins: Martinez gets caught out on the ball on the halfway line and is booked after bringing down March.

That will be it before the break.

Manchester United 0-2 Brighton

14:45 , Jamie Braidwood

42 mins: “We’re going to win the league!” sing the Brighton fans. This has been embarrasing for United. So many of the same problems are repeating themselves and Fred playing the ball out of play sums up their first half. Brighton though have been excellent and Ronaldo is sent to warm up.

GOAL! Manchester United 0-2 Brighton (GROSS 39’)

14:39 , Jamie Braidwood

Incredible! Brighton are 2-0 up at Old Trafford and this is turning out to be a nightmare first afternoon in the Premier League for Ten Hag! But what a goal this is from Potter’s side. They move the ball from one end of the pitch to the other, with March’s shot catching De Gea out and Gross tapping in the back post for his second!

Manchester United 0-1 Brighton

14:39 , Jamie Braidwood

37 mins: Ten Hag stands with his arms folded on the bench while Ronaldo watches on, looking concerned. McTominay then concedes another foul.

Manchester United 0-1 Brighton

14:35 , Jamie Braidwood

33 mins: Gross being on his own at the back post and Shaw being left with two to mark shows how well Brighton have stretched United and swarmed the midfield with their brave approach. This has been an impressive performance from Potter’s side.

“Can we play you every week?” is the chant from the away end. Remember that Brighton defeated United 4-0 at the Amex last season...

GOAL! Manchester United 0-1 Brighton (GROSS 29’)

14:30 , Jamie Braidwood

Wow! I was just about to say how well Danny Welbeck has been leading the line for Brighton, and the former United striker plays a huge role in the breakthrough! Welbeck makes a great run behind Maguire and then squares across the box, where Gross is waiting to tap in!

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:28 , Jamie Braidwood

25 mins: Oh no. Caicedo is down and looks to be in agony after blocking a shot from McTominay. The United midfielder is booked after following through with the challenge.

Caicedo is now back on his feet so that is good news.

McTominay is lucky that’s only a yellow as he boot was higher than Caicedo’s ankle.

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:25 , Jamie Braidwood

24 mins: It was all too easy for Brighton as Caicedo and Trossard exchange passes in the United box, before Martinez blocks Welbeck’s header.

But United then counter well. Fernandes taking a quick free kick and a break downfield ends with Eriksen clipping a shot into the arms of Sanchez.

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:23 , Jamie Braidwood

21 mins: Rashford gets his first chance to run at Veltman but the Brighton defender stays on his feet and wins possession back quite comfortably. Eriksen then gives the ball away with an inaccurate ball forward to Rashford. Strange to see that from him but it shows how Brighton are frustrating United so far.

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:20 , Jamie Braidwood

18 mins: Eriksen drifts wide left and then picks out a lovely switch to Fernandes, but his cross from the right is overhit. Brighton will be happy with their start here.

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:18 , Jamie Braidwood

16 mins: There are some groans as De Gea skelps the ball into the touch with Gross closing in. Brighton have been well on top over the last five minutes or so and Ten Hag is scribbling furiously into a notepad on the touchline.

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:16 , Jamie Braidwood

14 mins: More nice play from Brighton. There is a lovely ball slipped through to Welbeck, who peeled off Martinez, but the former United striker lost his footing at the angle with Trossard waiting for the cut-back.

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:14 , Jamie Braidwood

13 mins: Some smart play from Brighton leads to Caicedo having the chance to shoot from outside the box but Maguire gets the block in.

Chants of “We want Glazers out” can be heard from the Stretford End, and Avram Glazer is here at Old Trafford today.

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:12 , Jamie Braidwood

11 mins: Brighton have taken an aggressive approach at Old Trafford, playing a back three but pushing onto United and almost doing a man-marking job in midfield. United are looking to stretch them with Maguire switching play out to Rashford, who has seen more of the ball than Sancho in the early stages. United have had lots of the ball with 80 per cent possession so far.

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:10 , Jamie Braidwood

8 mins: Another scare for United as Fred this time is caught by Trossard close to his goal. But the midfielder makes ammends as he slides in to block Trossard as he shaped to shoot.

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:08 , Jamie Braidwood

6 mins: Chance! United should be ahead. McTominay makes a run into the box and the ball breaks to Fernandes from 12 yards out. Fernandes can’t keep his shot down and it blazes over the bar, just as you expected him to guide it into the corner.

Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:05 , Jamie Braidwood

3 mins: Rashford is pulling very wide on the left, with Sancho looking to do the same on the opposite flank. Martinez has started on the left of the centre back pair with Maguire on the right side. Maguire gets a cheer from the Stretford End as he wins a free kick at his corner flag.

Kick off! Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

14:00 , Jamie Braidwood

And an early chance for Brighton in just 15 seconds! Dalot is caught on the ball and Trossard ripples the side netting with a volley from the angle.

An early scare for United but they survive. Eriksen has indeed lined up as United’s false nine.

Manchester United vs Brighton

13:57 , Jamie Braidwood

The players are in the tunnel and we are just moments away from Manchester United’s Erik ten Hag era getting underway in the Premeir League at Old Trafford.

United initially lined up on the wrong side of the tunnel and there is an awkward moment as Harry Maguire and Lewis Dunk swap places.

Manchester United vs Brighton

13:46 , Jamie Braidwood

Erik ten Hag to Sky Sports, being peppered with questions on Cristiano Ronaldo. “He’s working really hard to get to the right fitness levels,” the Manchester United manager repeats. “It will take time, he only started pre-season last week. We have to see [when he starts]. It depends on how quickly he is progressing. He will do everything to get to the fitness levels as soon as possible.”

On who will play the striker role, Ten Hag reveals: “It can be Bruno but I think most of the time it will be Christian Eriksen, he has done it before. I want to see a team performance. It is everything, the most important. Brighton is a tough opponent. They play decent football in different systems. I like them.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United vs Brighton

13:39 , Jamie Braidwood

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named on the substitutes’ bench for Manchester United’s opening game of the Premier League campaign against Brighton and Hove Albion, the Independent’s Mark Critchley reports.

In his first competitive game in charge of United, Erik ten Hag has decided against starting the 37-year-old despite a lack of options up front.

Ronaldo’s only pre-season appearance came in last week’s 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano, when he left Old Trafford early after being substituted at half time. Ten Hag described his conduct and that of others who left early as “unacceptable”.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was expected to be among the susbtitutes for Sunday’s opener against Brighton until Anthony Martial suffered a hamstring injury earlier this week, ruling him out of contention.

Ten Hag has found no place for Ronaldo, however, instead trusting Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford as well as new signing Christian Eriksen to start.

Manchester United vs Brighton

13:29 , Jamie Braidwood

Erik ten Hag on Cristiano Ronaldo starting the Premier League season on the bench today: “He is working really hard to get to the right fitness levels. That will take time, it is normal. He started pre-season last week.”

When asked how long it will take for Ronaldo to be fit enough to start, Ten Hag adds: “I cannot say, it depends on how quickly he is progressing. He will do everything to get to the fitness levels as soon as possible.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Manchester United vs Brighton: Ronaldo on the bench

13:18 , Jamie Braidwood

“It was a straightforward call for the manager to make,” suggests Roy Keane on Sky Sports on Erik ten Hag’s decision to leave Ronaldo out of his starting line-up. “As brilliant as Ronaldo is, he’s only had 45 minutes in pre-season. He’s looking at the players he’s got, Brighton at home, and fancies his chances. There are issues behind the scenes but from a football point of view, Ronaldo needs more minutes under his belt before you trust him in a Premier League match.”

Manchester United vs Brighton: Team news

13:07 , Jamie Braidwood

So the big call from Erik ten Hag sees Cristiano Ronaldo being left on the bench and Marcus Rashford leading the line in the absence of Anthony Martial.

There are debuts for Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, who starts alongside Harry Maguire. Jadon Sancho is fit enough to start as well.

Manchester United vs Brighton: Ronaldo on the bench

13:01 , Jamie Braidwood

Manchester United XI: De Gea, Dalot, Maguire, Martinez, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, Eriksen, Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford

Brighton XI: Sanchez, Webster, Dunk, Veltman, Trossard, Caicedo, Lallana, March, Mac Allister, Gross, Welbeck

Mark Critchley: Premier League remains stacked in favour of the big six status quo

12:49 , Jamie Braidwood

This time last year on the eve of a new top-flight campaign, there was a theory that the era of a Premier League’s big six was coming to an end, if it had not ended already. The big six were certainly no longer synonymous with the top six, at least. Arsenal’s back to back eighth-place finishes had broken three years of big six dominance between 2017 and 2020. Tottenham Hotspur had also dropped into seventh in 2020-21 too, as Leicester City and West Ham gatecrashed the party to finish fifth and sixth respectively and qualify for the Europa League.

But just a year on, the status quo has been restored. The top of last season’s Premier League table had an all too familiar and all too predictable look to it. Despite Tottenham and Arsenal picking up where they left off and starting the campaign slowly, despite talk of a growing middle class ready to challenge the old order, and despite arguably the biggest and certainly the most successful club of the Premier League era having their worst season for a generation, the big six was the top six once again. Reports of their death had been greatly exaggerated.

As Mark Critchley writes, Manchester United’s worst season since relegation in 1974 and the fact it was only followed by a sixth-place finish, showed how competitiveness in the Premier League has been distorted.

The death of the Premier League’s big six was greatly exaggerated

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