Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by Brighton and Hove Albion at the AmEx Community Stadium in the Premier League on Thursday evening. It was a match of many missed chances for both teams but more to the point, United’s attacking players unable to find a goal. Luke Shaw gave away a last minute penalty which Alexis Mac Allister scored to give Brighton all three points and a foot in Europe next season.
United started out well against Brighton with Antony on the attack and seeking to find an early goal. Bruno Fernandes played the through ball into him in the run up to the chance, but the Brazilian missed the target. At the other end of the pitch two minutes lated, Kaoru Mitoma was through on but David De Gea stopped the possibility of a goal taking the force of the ball to his face. After a few minutes of treatment, he was fine to continue for United.
Fernandes had a great chance on goal in the tenth minute of the match but he missed the target and will have been frustrated he missed that. Mitoma had another chance for Brighton in the 13th minute but he missed the target. In the 17th minute, Adam Webster had a chance on goal but De Gea saved it. Marcus Rashford then had a good chance in the 19th minute, which was blocked – Brighton were doing well to stop United breaking through.
Antony has another chance on goal in the 20th minute, missing the target after some good work from Anthony Martial. Six minutes later, Casemiro was through with a chance. The Brazilian hit it too high from a Luke Shaw cross. Rashford was through again in the 28th minute, played in by Fernandes but he saw his effort saved. A minute later, Antony was on the attack again. firing his shot towards goal only so see it saved. Martial had an effort in the 33rd and missed.
Brighton then went on the attack with Alexis Mac Allister firing towards goal in the 34th minute only for his effort to miss the target to the right. Julio Enciso had the chance to break the deadlock in the 37th minute, missing the target. This seemed to be a game of missed for both teams. Martial got another shot on the 39th minute, the Jason Steele made the save to deny the Frenchman from opening the scoring in this match. United needed to be so much better.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka got through in the 41st minute, but his shot was blocked. Casemiro found himself in the book in the 44th minute after a foul on Mac Allister. It was his sixth yellow card of the season in the Premier League. Facundo Buonanotte had a chance on goal for Brighton at the end of the first half, but he missed the target – the story of the half so far. Julio Enciso had a chance in added time, but also missed the target. It was 0-0 at half time.
At the start of the second half there were no substitutes for either team. Buonanotte started well for Brighton getting another shot on goal. However, just like the end of the first half, he missed the target. Enciso got through in the 52nd minute but was blocked. Adam Webster was shown the yellow card in the 52nd minute after a foul on Fernandes. Mitoma then got another chance on goal in the 55th minute, missing the target once again for Brighton.
A minute later, Rashford was on the attack at the other end of the pitch this time he was blocked. Moisés Caicedo then got on the end of the chance for Brighton, which was blocked. Diogo Dalot was booked in the 59th minute after a foul on Buonanotte. Brighton then made their first substitution of the match with Solly March replacing Facundo Buonanotte in the 63rd minute with the player seeking to avenge his penalty miss in the FA Cup semi final.
Encisohad a shot blocked in the 65th minute, which was pretty much in flow with the rest of the match. Three minutes later, Fernandes had a shot saved, which needed to be better for United to get a lead in the match. The three points on offer here were a must for both teams. In the 70th minute, there was a clash between Lewis Dunk and Anthony – both players were booked. Rashford had a shot blocked in the 73rd minute of the match.
In the 75th minute, Enciso missed the target again. Brighton then made a double substitution with Levi Colwill and Deniz Undav replacing Billy Gilmour and Danny Welbeck. United also made a double substitution in the 76th minute with Jadon Sancho and Marcel Sabitzer replacing Antony and Fred. Levi Colwill was then booked in the 77th minute for a foul on Sabitzer. Rashford then had a shot saved in the 78th minute with both teams seeking a late goal to win the match.
Undavhad a shot blocked in the 82nd minute and Mitoma also had one blocked in the 83rd minute with Brighton seeking to find the winner and the all-important three points from this match. Wout Weghorst replaced Anthony Martial in the 84th minute of the match. Sabitzer had a shot blocked in the 86th minute and March missed the target in the same minute. Moisés Caicedo was then booked for hacking down Fernandes in the 87th minute of the match.
Mac Allister had a great shot on goal in the 90th minute but De Gea saved it. Webster had a chance in the first minute of added time, but he missed the target. Pervis Estupiñán saw his effort saved in the third minute of added time. Luke Shaw was booked in the fourth minute. Brighton were then given a penalty in the last minute after Shaw handled the ball trying to clear it. Mac Allister took the spot kick and beat De Gea to take all three points from the match.
David De Gea: Stood up well for Kaoru Mitoma’s third minute effort on goal, it hitting his face. He made a good save from Alex Mac Allister but was beaten by the FIFA World Cup winner from the spot. It could’ve been his 16th clean sheet of the season. ★★★★★★★
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Did well with his duel against Mitoma, who was better than he was in the FA Cup semi final but Wan-Bissaka still got the better of him the majority of the time. What a game it was for him. ★★★★★★
Victor Lindelof: Made the mistake which allowed Mitoma through in the third minute. It was a lapse in concentration though. He was much better for the remainder of the match. He had a calm presence – unusually. ★★★★★★
Luke Shaw: The left-back once again played in the centre of the defence. He was mostly positive throughout the match but was booked late in the second half. That drama continued as he gave away a penalty which lost them the match. ★★★★★★
Diogo Dalot: Started at left-back with Shaw in the centre of the defence. He was cautious, which was understandable. He was on the hard end of everything but got plaudits from De Gea. A good game for him. ★★★★★★
Casemiro: Had the chance to score a header, but missed. Was also booked for the sixth time this season. Could have seen another red card in this match, but luckily he didn’t. United need to find major improvement. ★★★★★★
Fred: Started to counter Moises Caicedo but did not match his energy. Had no influence in the match and was quite sloppy with his passing. Christian Eriksen needed the rest, but this is a problem for Fred. ★★★★★
Antony: Had a great chance in the second minute of the match and squandered it. Had good line-up play but it was the frustration that got him. He was booked for a foul and was petulant to Lewis Dunk, who was also booked. ★★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: Took risks for United, which was warranted. Had some joy against Duncan Adam Webster. Could not get the ball into the back of the net. He waned massively in the second half. he’s played a lot of football. ★★★★★★
Marcus Rashford: He was bright from the start of the match and did well with a brilliant chance, which got too close to the goalkeeper. Played as the striker in the second half but could not score his 30th goal. ★★★★★★
Anthony Martial: The Frenchman is terrible at this time and his future at United needs to be up in the air. He’s unable to find a simple goal, which is a massive shame as he had some good form in pre-season. ★★★★
Jadon Sancho: Replaced Antony 76′. Played on the right-wing, which was rare. His impact was just not enough for United. ★★★★★
Marcel Sabitzer: Replaced Fred 76′. Pressed with some urgency to try and find a goal for United. Great to see that. ★★★★★★
Wout Weghorst: Replaced Martial 84′. Made another late cameo but was not going to find that elusive goal for United – sadly. ★★★★★
Goals: Alexis Mac Allister 90+9′ penalty
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Shaw, Dalot; Casemiro, Fred (Sabitzer 76′); Antony (Sancho 76′), Fernandes, Rashford; Martial (Weghorst 84′)
Substitutes Not Used: Butland; Maguire, Malacia, Williams; Eriksen, Pellistri
Bookings: Adam Webster 52′, Lewis Dunk 70′, Levi Colwill 77′, Moises Caicedo 87′; Casemiro 44′, Diogo Dalot 59′, Antony 70′, Luke Shaw 90+4′
Written by John Walker