LONDON: Manchester United’s troubled start to the season took another unexpected twist as they lost limply 3-2 at Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday with manager Jose Mourinho admitting they were punished for making too many mistakes.
Earlier, Sergio Aguero netted his 13th hat-trick for Manchester City as the champions made light of the absence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne to thrash Huddersfield Town 6-1 and move joint top of league.
The prolific Argentine scored on 25, 35 and 75 minutes, also hitting the post in a devastating display to which the visitors, who last season were the only side to stop City scoring in the league at home, had no answer.
Gabriel Jesus also netted, along with David Silva on his 250th league appearance for City, with the rout completed by a Terence Kongolo own goal late on after excellent work from substitute Leroy Sane.
“I am happy,” said man-of-the-match Aguero, who was about to be replaced when he scored his third. “I was a little bit tired. I try two or three times to get the third goal.”
Watford maintained their 100 percent start to the season as Andre Gray returned to haunt Burnley in a 3-1 win at Turf Moor.
Former Burnley forward Gray struck in the opening minutes and although James Tarkowski equalised for Burnley soon after, but Javi Gracia’s side turned on the style in the second half for a second successive victory.
Woeful defending led to two Brighton goals in two first-half minutes as 34-year-old Glenn Murray and Shane Duffy outsmarted United’s 117 million pound ($149.21 million) back four to demonstrate why manager Jose Mourinho had sought to upgrade it.
Eric Bailly was particularly exposed and, having conceded a needless corner that led to Duffy’s first Premier League goal, he blundered in to foul Pascal Gross, who put away the penalty via David de Gea’s leg on the stroke of halftime.
Although Romelu Lukaku had earlier reduced the deficit with a trademark header, United looked ill-equipped to mount a comeback and were often second best to the ball.
Paul Pogba’s injury-time penalty, after Marouane Fellaini was brought down, made the scoreline closer than the match itself with Mourinho admitting that his side deserved to lose.
“We made big mistakes and were punished,” said Mourinho, although he refused to criticise individuals.
“The accumulation of those mistakes, and the fact that they were punished by goals, gave confidence to Brighton and took it away from us.”
Brighton’s Murray said their 3-1 home win over United last season gave them confidence that could spring another surprise.
“It was all about the balls being played in to me, I got quality support,” said the striker.
Mourinho had started with Anthony Martial but the winger, who is reported to be unsettled at the club, made little impact even when Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford were brought on at halftime in an attempt to give United more of a threat up front.