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.
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