Man Utd record lowest EVER Premier League finish despite 2-0 win over Brighton as embarrassing season comes to an end

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 seasonCredit: Reuters

The club recorded their lowest finish in the Premier LeagueCredit: Rex

This is despite beating Brighton on the final day of the seasonCredit: Reuters

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 the s*** 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, initially under David Moyes in the season after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

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

And also meant 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.

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Ten Hag was already claiming United were in a better position compared to last year in the build-up to the game, so you can imagine how rosy he saw things after this game.

But for many, he still looks on borrowed time and there is a strong chance he gets his P45 from Sir Jim Ratcliffe this summer.

That eventuality would mean both these two sides were looking for new bosses this summer, with Brighton chief Roberto De Zerbi stepping down after this fixture.

The headstrong Italian is consciously uncoupling as his ambitions do not match that with owner Tony Bloom.

Kieran McKenna, the mastermind behind Ipswich’s back-to-back promotions, is firmly in their sights as a successor.

Brighton supporters made their mixed feelings known about the change happening in the dugout.

A banner of Roberto De Zerbi was unfurled before kick-off, and the outgoing Italian’s name was sung too, having taken them to Europe for the first time in their history.

But so was that of visionary owner Bloom, who has masterminded the club’s rise from the lower leagues and whose judgement remains unquestioned in these parts.

Final-day games are usually full of goals but chances were thin on the ground in the first half here.

Though Seagulls centre-back Adam Webster should have buried at least one of his hat-trick of headers.

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.

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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 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.

Sub Hojlund wrapped things up in style with two minutes to go, beating two men before cracking one in at the near post.

It has been a difficult maiden season for the Dane, but 16 goals in all competitions is not a bad return.

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The same cannot be said for United overall, though, no matter how Ten Hag may dress it up.

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