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Player Ratings: Fernandes penalty see United beat Brighton; Rashford scored a stunner after Dunk own goal

Manchester United beat Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Brighton opened the scoring in the 40th minute from the penalty spot through Neal Maupay. United equalised with a Lewis Dunk own goal three minutes later. Marcus Rashford put United into the lead in the 55th minute but Solly March scored a late equaliser. That was not it though, a late penalty by Bruno Fernandes saw United victorious. Back to Brighton on Wednesday for the Carabao Cup.

Brighton started as the better team with United still trying to find their feet in the Premier League this season. Mason Greenwood opened the scoring in the 33rd minute of the match but the goal was disallowed for offside. Seven minutes later, Bruno Fernandes, who had already been booked, gave away a penalty which Neal Maupay scored with a Panenka after Adam Lallana played the ball to Tariq Lamptey, who was fouled by the Portuguese midfielder. David De Gea had no chance to save the penalty.

Before the end of the half, United drew level after winning a free-kick which Fernandes fired towards the back post with Nemanja Matic, who was booked minutes before, keeping the ball in and playing it towards Harry Maguire, who aimed to find the back of the net. The goal was given to Maguire initially but it was Lewis Dunk who scored an own goal, putting United level in the game. It was fortunate for United that they could get something before the end of the half as they had been terrible.

In the 47th minute of the match, Brighton were given another penalty by the referee as Aaron Connolly broke into the area with Paul Pogba making chase. The Brighton forward ran across Pogba, looked to be pulling his shirt then went down in the area. It was not a penalty for me and was quickly reversed by VAR with the referee looking at the challenge, which seemed to be initiated by Connolly. It is good to see VAR being used correctly this season, after the shambles that it was last season.

United took the lead in the 52nd minute of the match through Marcus Rashford with a clinical near-post finish but it was ruled out by VAR, being United’s second goal to be removed from the match and a Brighton penalty, making the start of the second half interesting. Three minutes later, Rashford produced some magic on the left, drove into the Brighton box, holding his nerve and superbly placing the ball into the top-right corner in a solo finish, putting United in the lead.

United seemed to be riding their luck towards the end of the match with Brighton seeking an equaliser or more. Solly March had hit the post already but equalised in the fifth minute of added time, which broke United’s spirit. However, United broke forward, won a corner with Fernandes taking it, Maguire jumping to meet the ball to head towards the far corner. March cleared off the line to defend the set-piece but Maupay seemed to handball in the box. The penalty was given by VAR with Fernandes winning the game for United. What a second half.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Unfortunate to concede a penalty, which was brilliantly taken by Maupay in the 40th minute of the match. Produced some fins saves in the second half, including one in added time. Conceded an equaliser five minutes into added time.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Played well against Brighton. Unfortunate to see United conceded twice, once from the spot and a late equaliser. Good to see him back in the team and raring to go this season.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Does not have much support in the clubs fanbase because of poor defending. He did alright against Brighton but should be doing much better.

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5 Harry Maguire

Helped get United back into the game, despite Dunk scoring an own goal in the 43rd minute. Tried to get a winner for United after March's late equaliser, heading towards the top-left corner but March headed off the line. Maupay's handball gave United a penalty.

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23 Luke Shaw

Did well at left-back despite Brighton getting forward for much of the first half. Defended well and helped get the club forward as much as he could. He needs some competition in the position though, which will be a different dimension for United.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Slow but assured. Kept the ball in play from a Fernandes free-kick in the 43rd minute of the match, playing the ball to Maguire with Dunk scoring an own goal. United need his maturity, experience and defensive assurances in this team Other players around him can make up for the fact he is slow.

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6 Paul Pogba

I don't think the player is up to the levels of fitness that he should be after his positive coronavirus test. Saying that, he should be pushing himself to reach that fitness level. For two matches now, Pogba has been terrible for United. He much do better of Van de Beek will take his place leaving him on the bench. He was replaced by Fred in the 65th minute of the match.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Put United ahead in the 33rd minute of the match with a great finish but it was chalked off by VAR, which was unfortunate. He played well in the match with Brighton as the better side for the first half and some of the second. He was replaced by Bailly in the 83rd minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Booked early in the game then gave away a penalty in the 40th minute of the match. It was starting to look like a disasterclass for the Portuguese midfielder. He got himself an assist for Rashford's goal in the 55th minute, which put United into the lead in this game. Scored the winner for United from the penalty spot ten minutes into added time.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Scored twice, one being ruled out by VAR. Three minutes later, he produced some magic, running up the left, getting into the box and firing into the top-right corner of the net with a solo goal. He has something to give this season, just needs to find his feet after poor form coming back from his back injury. Rashford is a talent and he will be back to his best soon.

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9 Anthony Martial

It was a quiet game for the Frenchman, who has seen Rashford score twice in his last two appearances. He played a part in United's attacking play, which was good to see. He will be seeking to break his duck this season as soon as he can.

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Substitutes

17 Fred

Replaced Pogba 65'. Brought on to add some stability in the midfield, defensively. Kept hold of the ball most of the time and added more than Pogba did.

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3 Eric Bailly

Replaced Greenwood 83'. Good influence coming off the bench late into the game. United should have been better defensively, but still conceded a late equaliser.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced Martial 90+1. Came on late into the game. Perhaps played a good part un pushing United forward after conceding the equaliser. He will be happy that United won.

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Goals: Neal Maupay 40′ penalty, Solly March 90+5′; Lewis Dunk o/g 43′, Marcus Rashford 55′, Bruno Fernandes 90+10′

Assists: Alireza Jahanbakhsh 90+5′; Bruno Fernandes 55′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, Pogba; Greenwood (Bailly 83′), Fernandes, Rashford; Martial (Van de Beek 90+1′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Fosu-Mensah; Lingard, McTominay

Bookings: Leandro Trossard 42′, Ben White 74′, Lewis Dunk 83′; Bruno Fernandes 22′, Nemanja Matic 41′

Written by John Walker

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