Goals from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood ensured Manchester United would perform a second-half comeback. Despite former United man Danny Welbeck scoring for Brighton, their lead would eventually slip away.
A Poor Manchester United Performance:
The three teams closest to United dropped points this weekend. As a result, a game against sixteenth placed Brighton was the perfect opportunity for United to show they are the best of the rest.
While the result would eventually go United’s way, the performance was lacklustre at best. United would start brightly but, go a goal down just thirteen minutes in. Danny Welbeck a Premier League winner with Manchester United would get in between both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Lindelof before slotting home despite an initial save from Dean Henderson.
Rather than keeping up their early momentum and try to respond to Brighton’s goal, United crumbled. Manchester United looked largely lost, deploying a more hit and hope strategy than anything in the way of real tactics.
Coming off an international break it is understandable for teams to look somewhat sloppy, easing their way back in. The worry for United, however, is that of their eleven starters, six failed to register a single minute of game time over the break. This leaves little excuse for the lack of energy on show.
In the second-half United admittedly were better dominating possession. Brighton however, would fail to register a single shot and instead sat back and soaked up the pressure.
United would find then find their equaliser fifteen minutes into the second-half. Marcus Rashford on his return from injury would cooly slot the ball into the bottom corner.
In what was a brutal twist of fate for Brighton they had what looked a dead-cert of a penalty waved away.
With the game level, Manchester United captain Harry Maguire would impede Welbeck denying a goalscoring opportunity. The decision would go to VAR but, no action was taken. Particularly harsh as in the reverse fixture back in September, penalty controversy would give United the win.
Things soon worsened for Brighton, as a misfired Paul Pogba shot opened up Greenwood to head United into the lead. With less than ten minutes left this would give United the win. Whilst it would be false to say United deserved all three points, credit has to be given to The Red Devils for always finding a way to come back from behind.
Manchester United will see this as a mixed bag of a result. They moved eleven points clear of dropping out of the Champions League places and again came from behind to win. However, the performance was poor and key players failed to show up. United will need to be better with Spurs next in the league.
For Brighton, it is yet more of the same. The football they play is exciting but, sitting just six points clear of the relegation zone dropping points from winning positions is not an option. Graham Potter’s side can take huge positives but, naturally will be worried with tough games to Everton and Chelsea next.