Brighton vs Man United
The weekend’s Premier League action got underway a short time ago.
The first tie of gameweek two saw Manchester United travel to Brighton for a 12:30 PM kick-off.
United no doubt headed into the clash desperate to bounce back from their first league outing of the season.
The Red Devils were put to the sword by Crystal Palace last weekend, whilst Brighton managed a comfortable 3-0 win over Newcastle United.
And, when all was said and done at the Amex, bounce back is exactly what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co. managed.
Solskjaer opted for the same starting XI which fared so well for United over the second half of last season:
The team news is in!
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 26, 2020
Meanwhile, Brighton made just one change from their 3-0 drubbing of Newcastle last weekend, with Adama Lallana having come in for the suspended Yves Bissouma:
The #BHAMUN team news is in!
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) September 26, 2020
The attack-minded Brighton started the tie well, earning a corner inside the first few minutes – though it came to nothing.
The Seagulls continued to press, however, and actually had a fair bit of joy getting in behind United’s full-backs.
Leandro Trossard then had the first decent chance of the game, smashing an effort off the post just before the 10-minute mark.
United, for their part, didn’t really test Matt Ryan early on, with a Bruno Fernandes cross which narrowly missed Anthony Martial’s head having represented the away side’s only real chance of the first 20 minutes.
This opportunity was followed moments later by Trossard once again hitting David de Gea’s post.
The United shot-stopper was then forced to bat away a looping header from Brighton’s Adam Webster with half an hour gone.
The Spaniard could do nothing about Neal Maupay’s penalty in the 39th minute, though, which fired Brighton into a deserved lead.
The Seagulls had completely dominated the opening 45, pressing better, showing more desire, creating better chances and simply putting in more effort.
And when the in-form Tariq Lamptey was brought down by Bruno Fernandes, Graham Potter’s men were finally rewarded for their endeavours:
How cheeky is that from Neal Maupay?
The Brighton striker pulls off a perfect panenka after Bruno Fernandes gave away a penalty. pic.twitter.com/BjH67zE9uZ
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 26, 2020
Fernandes, though, swiftly went on to redeem himself, on the stroke of the interval.
The midfielder whipped a free-kick to Ryan’s far post, which Nemanja Matic cut back for Harry Maguire to tap in, handing the visitors an undeserved equaliser.
Maupay hands Man United the win
United, who had just found a way back into the game, nearly blew it once again just moments into the second 45, when Paul Pogba was adjudged to have brought down Aaron Connolly in the box.
However, the decision was overturned following a VAR check.
Marcus Rashford then appeared to have fired the Red Devils into the lead 51 minutes in, when Mason Greenwood played a lovely ball across to his attacking partner. But VAR worked against United this time, correctly ruling Rashford’s effort out for offside.
Their disallowed leveller, though, did appear to boost the Red Devils’ confidence, with the away side having begun to press Brighton to solid effect.
And VAR was not involved minutes later, when Rashford scored a superb individual goal to fire Solskjaer’s men into the lead.
Ben White, for his part, though, probably should have done better for the hosts, as the centre-back allowed Rashford onto his right foot far too easily:
That is absolutely brilliant by Marcus Rashford
Man Utd’s number takes things into his own hands after a brilliant ball through by Bruno Fernandes!
Sat the defender down twice… pic.twitter.com/wgEcrFuab1
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 26, 2020
Brighton, to their credit, bounced back well, with Solly March this time hitting de Gea’s post 60 minutes in.
This led to Solskjaer opting to replace Paul Pogba, who put on another rather poor display, with Fred.
United, however, continued to give up chances late on despite the change.
In fact, rather bizarrely, Trossard then went on to hit the woodwork for the 3rd time with just under 15 minutes remaining.
This was followed by Solly March’s close-range effort being deflected wide by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, before de Gea made a big save in injury-time to deny Trossard again.
United’s goal was eventually breached for a second time in the 95th minute, after the unmarked March, who was free at the back post after some poor defending from Maguire and Fernandes, nodded home.
However, Brighton, who really deserved the three points on Saturday, were, in the end, the architects of their own downfall.
In the dying second of the game, Neal Maupay needlessly handled Maguire’s header inside his own box.
Bruno Fernandes then stepped up to convert the ensuing spot-kick in typically calm fashion.
The full-time whistle blew with United 3-2 victors.
The Red Devils’ overall display, though, despite having had their best eleven on the field from the get-go, proved majorly disappointing.
The performances of Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire will likely have proven the biggest concern for Solskjaer.
After their rather embarrassing defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace last weekend, however, Solskjaer and co. will no doubt have just been pleased to get three points on the board, even if they came courtesy of a sub-par showing.
Credit should also be given to Brighton and Graham Potter, who gave it their all at the Amex, and caused United a whole host of problems.
The Seagulls will no doubt feel majorly aggrieved that they came away from today’s clash with nothing – especially given the fact that they hit the woodwork a staggering five times.
But they should nevertheless take a lot of confidence away from their latest display, the level of which will no doubt see them bag plenty of points against lesser opposition over the course of the season ahead.
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