Old Trafford boss Jose Mourinho has some big changes to make at the back before the game vs Spurs next week.
Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly will have been relieved their numbers did not go up on the fourth official’s board at the Amex. As perverse as that sounds.
For a defender, particularly, it is the most humiliating and confidence-shattering thing that can happen – being substituted after a mistake.
And, let’s be honest, Bailly and Lindelof would not have had any complaints had they been hooked at half-time after a shocking first 45 minutes.
It was just their second competitive game playing together in a two-man partnership and they looked like strangers.
There are not many vocal leaders back there –
David de Gea is not one to shout – and United’s defence was at sea every time Brighton crossed the halfway line. The same Brighton that did not even manage a shot on target against Watford eight days previously.
United’s backline did not move or defend as a unit; on one occasion, when Ashley Young and Bailly pushed up to set an offside trap, Lindelof was still hanging back.
Mourinho has already acknowledged that he is ‘punishing’ Lindelof by playing him as a left-sided centre-back even though he is better on the right because he feels his technical ability compensates for that. There is no doubt he believes in him.