GREAT WINNING: Man Utd won 2-0 against Brighton on the day Lisandro Martinez returned, but still finished the Premier League with a record low position ever.ts.thanhdung

SORRY Erik, one positive does not outweigh a catalogue of negatives.

Second-half goals from Diogo Dalot and Rasmus Hojlund may have ended Manchester United’s miserable league season on a rare high here

Manchester United have had a terrible season

Manchester United have had a terrible season

The club recorded their lowest finish in the Premier League

The club recorded their lowest finish in the Premier League

This is despite beating Brighton on the final day of the season

This is despite beating Brighton on the final day of the season

But one look at the goal difference tally shows just how bad it has been.

United have now completed a campaign with a negative goal difference for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s team of 1989-90, finishing on -1.

Deluded Erik ten Hag would no doubt use that as reason to be optimistic for the future, given the amazing success Fergie went on to have.

But in reality, not even an FA Cup triumph over champion neighbours Manchester City – the chances of which look microscopic – could shine of this embarrassing campaign.

Newcastle’s win at Brentford meant no matter what United did here, eighth was the best they could hope for.

It is the lowest the club have ever finished in the league since its inception in 1992.

The finish has overtaken the 7th placed finish that the club slumped to in 2014, the season after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

That meant no Europe – unless they win at Wembley next week.

That was after a Premier League record of 14 defeats in a single season.

At least this result avoided the shame of a worst-ever Prem points tally for the Red Devils, which defeat would have managed.


United were short on attacking quality and fluffed their only good chance of the half when Bruno Fernandes played in Scott McTominay, only for the makeshift forward to blaze over.

De Zerbi has become famed for his angry outbursts on the side of the pitch when his side do not carry out his exact instructions.

And it was never going to be any different here just because it was his last game, and he ranted and raved with ten minutes to go to the break when an attack slowed down.

Joao Pedro had the goal at his mercy before half-time and just after it.

But in the first instance, he lashed wide, and in the second, a Casemiro block denied him before Lisandro Martinez repelled Adam Lallana’s follow-up.

It remains to be seen if this was Casemiro’s last United game, with the club actively trying to sell him in the hope a Saudi side comes calling.

But it was definitely the final Seagulls appearance for Lallana, who was in tears when subbed off in the 57th minute.

De Zerbi, who had previously described the ex-Liverpool man as a “teacher”, gave him a big bear hug.

While Bloom participated in the standing ovation as Lallana came off.

That sub was predictable – but Ten Hag taking off a booked Bruno Fernandes, who did not look injured, minutes later certainly was not.

Perhaps the Portuguese, undoubtedly United’s best attacking player, was being wrapped in cotton wool for the cup final.

Yet it was United who took the lead with 17 minutes to go.

Casemiro, who had attacked his critics in the build-up, clipped a long ball over the top which brushed Igor Julio’s hand and allowed Diogo Dalot to smash past Jason Steele.

Diogo Dalot puts the Reds ahead.

With two minutes remaining, Sub Hojlund put the finishing touches on the match, beating two men before smashing one in at the near post.

The Dane’s rookie season has not been easy, but 16 goals across all competitions is a respectable haul.

However, that cannot be stated about United as a whole, regardless of Ten Hag’s styling.

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