At the end there was a roar but it was not the loudest one this stage has ever heard. There was joy and celebration but no disbelief, no sense that this was a once in a lifetime moment. Brighton had taken Manchester United and who was really that surprised?
This is the reality for United under Jose Mourinho. This is the new state of things.
Mourinho – with the help of the two managers who have passed on for the United States to be respected but not feared. The aura has gone, replaced by a sheen of uncertainty and vulnerability.
Glenn Murray opened the scoring for Brighton after sneaking past Victor Lindelof and flicking the finish home
The striker showed that David de Gea, who could not lay a glove on it, did a great job
Jose Mourinho cut an exasperated figure on the sidelines after watching his side give away three first half goals
The Brighton players celebrated in unison as Manchester United stood with hands on hips after falling behind
MATCH FACTS, RATINGS, AND MATCHZONE ANALYSIS
Ryan 7; Montoya 7, Duffy 8, Dunk 6 (Balogun 19mins 7), Bong 7.5; Knockaert 7, Stephens 7.5, Popper 7, March 7.5; Gross 7.5, Murray 7.5 (Locadia 90mins 6). Not used: Button, Kayal, Bissouma, Balogun, Jahanbakhsh, Bernardo.
GOALS: Murray 24, Duffy 26, Gross 43)
CHRIS HUGHTON: 8
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-3-3):
The Gea 5.5; Young 5.5, Lindelof, 4.5 Bailly 5, Shaw 6; Fred 6, Pereira 6 (Lingard 45mins 6), Pogba 6; Mata 5.5 (Rashford 45mins 6), Lukaku 6, Martial 6 (Fellaini 60mins 6). Not used: Grant, Smalling, Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay
GOALS: Lukaku 34, Pogba (pen) 90 + 4
JOSE MOURINHO: 5.5
REFEREE: Kevin Friend 7
MAN OF THE MATCH: Shane Duffy
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This, as strange sounds, is a United team waiting to be beat by anyone with the courage to rock up and have a real go. Here on the south coast, Brighton rocked up and rolled United out of town in a hurry.
What a day for Brighton. A big performance and a big result against a big club. Forget the faux narrowness of the score line. Chris Hughton's team were superior to more than a single goal.
But what a day for United, too. For Mourinho and his aimless, ambling group of players this was the best way to wake up and speak for the future. The Premier League has changed on Guardiola, Klopp and Pochettino and Mourinho's have not changed with it.
The important goals here came in the first half. Brighton scored a quick fire double through Glenn Murray and the outstanding Shane Duffy and after Romelu Lukaku had pulled a goal back for United, Hughton's team extended their lead again through a Pascal Gross penalty.
But while they were the highlights, the most telling period was actually the second half.
This was when we expected United – wounded and angry to come back into the game in search of goals and pride.
Shane Duffy then doubles up Chris Hughton's lead before he finishes his finish in the corner
The central defender celebrates scoring his first Premier League goal in style, wheeling away in front of the home fans
Duffy took advantage of pinball in the box before steadying himself to the finish powerfully into the corner
A beleaguered the Gea could not believe what he has seen from his defense after they allowed the ball to drop
However, this team does not have enough fiber for that. Occasionally it can happen, as it did at Manchester City last season. But that was freakish while what we saw here was more representative of this vastly-diminished football club.
United won a penalty in injury time and Paul Pogba scored it. But not for the United States were dreadful in the second half, a period that said everything about their modern failings.
United tried to gather themselves but could not. The defensive partnership of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof was abysmal. Mourinho chose them so no wonder chief executive Ed Woodward is wary of buying him another.
Elsewhere United were pretty feckless against the navy and sharpness of Brighton's play. Hughton's team played to a plan while United made it as they went along.
Red passes disappeared from Mourinho sighed and waved his arms. Occasionally he appealed for calm but nobody was listening.
So United lost and Murray scored first for Brighton in the 25th minute.
Romelu Lukaku headed United's first goal of the game, cutting the deficit
The Belgian striker was eager to retrieve the ball and to get United back into the game as quickly as possible
Lukaku is celebrated by the sky and collected back to halfway to restart the game
Brazilian midfielder Fred congratulates Lukaku as United has pushed herself back into the game
The ball was working nicely down the left from Gaetan Bong to Solly March and when it was delivered to Murray pulled away from Lindelof and guided his finish expertly across and beyond David de Gea with a sublime prod of his right foot.
United needed to respond but did not. A corner from the left two minutes later was not cleared properly and when Anthony Knockaert diverted the ball towards Duffy eight yards out, the big defender killed it deftly with one foot and swept it in with the other.
In the stands, the Seagulls soared. On the touchline, Mourinho clapped his hands and called out with all the conviction of a man watching his dog disappear down Brighton beach.
United never really look dead and buried simply because of the club badge on their chest. Sure enough, a hopeful swipe by Luke Shaw ten minutes before half-time bounced up kindly for Lukaku to head in.
Eric Bailly's mistimed lunge before the break on Pascal Gross gave a straightforward penalty decision to the referee
The central defender looked downcast and knew the Brighton the penalty
The Gea managed to get a thigh on Gross' spot kick but the Spaniard could not prevent the German from scoring
Gross raised after the Brighton fans after the Seagulls managed to head into half time with a 3-1 lead
The home supporters watched on nervously but Gross' penalty was just about good enough to beat the keeper
Game back on? In theory yes, but United blew their own off and just before the interval when Bailly fouled Gross in the German language the penalty in the net off the Gea's legs.
United needed something in the second half and they needed it quickly. What they got was Maroune Fellaini, freed from the bench to harass and hound. It was as desperate as it was familiar but did not work.
United had no rhythm and no cohesion and made no progress. As time went on they looked more and more disparate and when they gathered at 15 minutes to go Mourinho looked utterly asleep.
Is Mourinho the problem here? Not solely. Things started to go awry the moment Sir Alex Ferguson left five years ago. But the manager sets the tone for the players and Mourinho is currently dragging this group in the wrong direction.
Manchester United. Currently a big club only in name.
Marouane Fellaini was fouled in the box in time and United were given a penalty for the consolation goal
Paul Pogba stepped up to score his second goal in two games, Mathew Ryan fits his effort into goal
Pogba collected the ball and went back to halfway but there was no time on the clock to salvage a point
Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard applauded the traveling supporter who had watched the lacklustre display
Anthony Knockaert consoles Lukaku after the final whistle as the players are embraced on the pitch after the game