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Review & Ratings: Bruno Fernandes brace and Mason Greenwood stunner silences the Seagulls; Paul Pogba looking near to his best too

Manchester United beat Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 in the Premier League at the Amex stadium on Tuesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have been happy with is teams performance, the scoreline and the fact that another three points were in the bag. Mason Greenwood scored the opener with Bruno Fernandes scoring a brace. Paul Pogba played well in the match and United supporters will be happy to see him back.

United started the match well seeking to get a goal as early as possible after struggling so much against Norwich City in the FA Cup at the weekend. It was Mason Greenwood who opened the scoring in the 16th minute with United building the pressure. Aaron Wan-Bissaka fed the ball into Greenwood’s feet, setting up a on-on-one with Lewis Dunk that the teenager won, sliding the ball through the legs of Mat Ryan.

United doubled their lead in the 29th minute of the match with Bruno Fernandes scoring his fifth goal of the season. It was a great finish for the Portuguese magnifico, assisted by Paul Pogba, who had the ball played to him at the edge of the box, taking a moment to weigh up his options and despatching the ball to Fernandes, to slip home his fifth goal of the season. Solskjaer will be happy with what he has seen so far.

United scored their third goal of the match in the 50th minute, just five minutes after the restart with Fernandes scoring his second goal of the match and his sixth goal of the season. Greenwood provided the assist, playing the ball from the left to the Portuguese midfielder on the right with Fernandes thundering his effort into the back of the net. Game over for Brighton, who looked abject at best at the Amex.

Solskjaer made a triple substitution in the 63rd minute of the match with Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira and Brandon Williams replacing Fernandes, Pogba and Luke Shaw, who was booked before United scored the third goal of the match. 14 minutes later, Solskjaer made a double substitution with Odion Ighalo and Daniel James replacing Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.

United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday 4 July as they welcome south coast club Bournemouth, who are in the relegation zone at this present time, although they will face Newcastle United at home on Wednesday evening. United have kept the chase with Chelsea on, who face West Ham United on Wednesday evening with United supporter hoping they slip up. I know I will be. I despise them.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one had little to do against Brighton but when called upon he made a great save to deny the home side from scoring, helping United keep another clean sheet.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back has had a good season and had a good match against Brighton, assisting the opening goal which was scored by Greenwood. His defensive ability is great to see.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The iceman has been shaky recently but seemed composed in this match after a rest at the weekend. Another clean sheet and three important points is the best aspect of the match, along with ending the Amex hoodoo.

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5 Harry Maguire

The captain played well against Brighton and will be happy with another clean sheet this season. This match seemed easier than the one against Norwich City at the weekend with United struggling to break them down the the captain playing two hours of football, plus this match in the space of a few days.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back played a good game against Brighton but was booked early in the second half just before United went 3-0 up. He was replaced by Brandon Williams in the 64th minute and will be happy to have taken all three points back to Old Trafford.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfielder did well against Brighton, putting in a good midfield display and getting involved in the action, playing the ball into Greenwood on the right in the run to provide the assist for Fernandes' second goal of the match. He is a good player to have at the club and certainly seems to have turned his form around.

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6 Paul Pogba

It is good to have Paul Pogba back and playing for Manchester United. He cannot be faulted for the way he has returned, seeking to get things moving and getting United winning. His focus has been second to none and his eye for his teammates in advanced positions is great to see. He assisted United's second goal, scored by Fernandes.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The young forward scored his 13th goal for United, opening the scoring against Brighton with a great finish from a good attack. The 18-year-old assisted the third goal of the match with a cool cross to Fernandes on the right with United, who slotted his finish home.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

It was a good match for Bruno Fernandes against Brighton. His partnership with Paul Pogba is going to be a good one. Her scored a stunning goal in the 29th minute of the match, assisted by the Frenchman to put United 2-0 up in the match, then scoring his sixth goal and United's third of the game five minutes after the restart.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford had a good match against Brighton but needs to be scoring more goals. Solskjaer set him with a task to show him that he can score more and I reckon they will come before the end of the season. He was replaced in the 78th minute by Daniel James.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman was a little quiet against Brighton but still have a decent match. It is good to see the goals come from midfield and from a wide player, which shows that United can do more than expect the striker to score. He should still be seeking to improve though but will be happy it is not left to him all of the time. He was replaced in the 78th minute by Odion Ighalo.

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Substitutes

33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Shaw 64'. The left-back almost scored a goal for United shortly after his introduction in the match. He was pressed by Brighton in his position but did well.

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Andreas Pereira

Replaced Pogba 64'. The attacking midfielder needs to play a lot more to become part of United's future, amid speculation that he could be sold this summer. He did not have a bad game but should be capable of helping United finish their opposition, despite this actually being done before he came on.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Fernandes 64'. The Scotland international was unlucky not to score a goal against Brighton, seemingly stinging the palms of Mat Ryan. An impressive performance.

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21 Daniel James

Replaced Rashford 78'. The Welshman will have been happy to get on the pitch at 3-0 up but was unable to help United stretch the lead any larger. It was good to see him get some more gamete though.

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25 Odion Ighalo

Replaced Martial 78'. The striker did not get on the scoresheet this evening, but helped United pressure the home side towards the end of the match.

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Goals: Mason Greenwood 16′, Bruno Fernandes 29′, 50′

Assists: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 16′, Paul Pogba 29′, Mason Greenwood 50′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Williams 64′); Matic, Pogba (Pereira 64′); Greenwood, Fernandes (McTominay 64′), Rashford (James 78′); Martial (Ighalo 78′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly; Mata, Fred

Bookings: Luke Shaw 49′

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial, Rashford, Fernandes and Greenwood lead the attack against Brighton; Pogba and Matic in midfield

Manchester United will return to Premier League action this evening when they face Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were in action in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday evening, beating Norwich City 2-1, albeit after extra time which could cause freshness issues in Solskjaer’s side for this match. However, his squad is big enough to stop this from being a problem.

Brighton have not been in great form recently, although they did beat Arsenal 2-1 in the match previous to the 0-0 draw against Leicester City, which would have given Graham Potter’s side a week’s rest ahead of the visit of United, who will be seeking to keep their unbeaten run going, extending it with yet another victory, taking all three points back to Old Trafford, keeping chase on Chelsea.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Matic, Pogba;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Williams; Mata, Pereira, Fred, James, McTominay; Ighalo

Brighton and Hove Albion:

Ryan;

Duffy, Dunk, Burn;

Lamptey, Propper, Stephens, Bissouma, Montoya;

Mac Allister, Connolly

Substitutes:

Button, Maupay, Trossard, Gross, Murray, Mooy, March, Schelotto, Bernardo

United and Brighton have played five times in the Premier League with United winning three and losing twice. In total, United have scored eight goals conceding six. Both United and Brighton have kept one clean sheet. United have been awarded two penalties, scoring both with Brighton awarded one and scoring it. In total, United have received four yellow cards. Brighton have received 10 yellow cards. Neither team have had a player sent off.

United and Brighton have played five times in the Premier League with United winning three and losing twice. In total, United have scored eight goals conceding six. Both United and Brighton have kept one clean sheet. United have been awarded two penalties, scoring both with Brighton awarded one and scoring it. In total, United have received four yellow cards. Brighton have received 10 yellow cards. Neither team have had a player sent off.

How Manchester United could look against Brighton and Hove Albion; Rashford, Martial and Greenwood to inspire United to victory?

Manchester United will return to Premier League action on Tuesday evening when they face Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were in action in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday evening, beating Norwich City 2-1, albeit after extra time which could cause freshness issues in Solskjaer’s side for this match. However, his squad is big enough to stop this from being a problem.

Brighton have not been in great form recently, although they did beat Arsenal 2-1 in the match previous to the 0-0 draw against Leicester City, which would have given Graham Potter’s side a week’s rest ahead of the visit of United, who will be seeking to keep their unbeaten run going, extending it with yet another victory, taking all three points back to Old Trafford, keeping chase on Chelsea.

United and Brighton have played five times in the Premier League with United winning three and losing twice. In total, United have scored eight goals conceding six. Both United and Brighton have kept one clean sheet. United have been awarded two penalties, scoring both with Brighton awarded one and scoring it. In total, United have received four yellow cards. Brighton have received 10 yellow cards. Neither team have had a player sent off.

This will be another important match for Solskjaer as he looks to break into the top four of the Premier League, which with Chelsea sitting five points clear, is going to be a tough task. Another victory on the road for United will be a big boost for the remainder of the season. If United are to achieve UEFA Champions League football next season, winning every match will be needed in the hope Chelsea slip up or that Manchester City’s European ban is upheld.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one was rested for the 2-1 victory over Norwich City which earned United a semi-final place in the Emirates FA Cup, which will be played against Chelsea next month. De Gea made a mistake against Tottenham Hotspur in the first match back after the coronavirus pandemic, keeping a clean sheet in the 3-0 victory over Sheffield United. He will be fit and ready to go against Brighton on Tuesday evening.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United have a strong defence and despite conceding a poor goal against Norwich City on Saturday, they were resurgent despite three changes being made, including the goalkeeper. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Lindelof will be expected to return to the starting XI with Harry Maguire, who scored the winning goal in the FA Cup, and Luke Shaw keeping their places in the team. With injuries to Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones, Solskjaer will most likely choose to utilise Eric Bailly and Brandon Williams from the bench, if needed.

Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba

The midfield seems to be the key area in the team right now. With Fred and Scott McTominay, there does not seem to be enough balance for both Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes to play at the same time. Nemanja Matic stabilises that at this moment in time and it is something that the likes of Fred and McTominay could evolve with, seeing his Matic plays with Pogba, which I think would be the best option for Solskjaer when United face Brighton. However, Solskjaer might think of something else to try in this match.

Attacking Midfield: Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood

Attacking wise, creativity was not really a problem against Norwich but the finishing was poor most of the time with many chances being missed. Granted, it could have been a bad day at the office or could be just another indication that Solskjaer has some problems to deal with. Against Brighton, he should keep Bruno Fernandes in the centre with Marcus Rashford on the left and Mason Greenwood on the right. This could help solve some of the problems for United in both creativity and finishing. Players can have a bad spell, they are not robots.

Striker: Anthony Martial

The Frenchman was involved in four goals in his last two matches for the club, scoring a hat-trick against Sheffield United during the week and assisting the winning goal against Norwich City in the FA Cup on Saturday evening, which Harry Maguire scored. Anthony Martial was missed against Norwich and brought on six minutes into extra time, so he will be rested enough to play a part against Brighton with United needing all three points from the match.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Eric Bailly, Brandon Williams; Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James, Scott McTominay; Odion Ighalo

From the bench, Solskjaer will have five substitutes for the remainder of the season, which is a good thing for the game. Granted, he can only have three substitution slots, for a total of five players, not five individual substitutes. Sergio Romero will be back on the bench. In defence Eric Bailly and Brandon Williams will be there if needed. In midfield. Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James and Scott McTominay could be called upon with Odion Ighalo in attack, if needed.

Preview: Solskjaer seeking to overcome finishing problems against Brighton to earn another important three points on the road?

Brighton and Hove Albion -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Amex Stadium, Brighton

Tuesday 30 June 2020, KO 20:15 BST

Referee: Andre Marriner Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Neil Davies Fourth Official: Stuart Attwell

VAR: Andy Madley Assistant VAR: Andy Garratt

Replacement Official: Ian Cooper

Manchester United will return to Premier League action on Tuesday evening when they face Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were in action in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday evening, beating Norwich City 2-1, albeit after extra time which could cause freshness issues in Solskjaer’s side for this match. However, his squad is big enough to stop this from being a problem.

Brighton have not been in great form recently, although they did beat Arsenal 2-1 in the match previous to the 0-0 draw against Leicester City, which would have given Graham Potter’s side a week’s rest ahead of the visit of United, who will be seeking to keep their unbeaten run going, extending it with yet another victory, taking all three points back to Old Trafford, keeping chase on Chelsea.

Form: United unbeaten in 14 matches, scoring 35 goals, conceding four times, keeping 10 clean sheets; Brighton have won one in their last six, losing once and drawing four times.

Manchester United: WWDWWW

Norwich City 2-1 W, Sheffield United 3-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 D, LASK 5-0 W, Manchester City 2-0 W, Derby County 3-0 W

Brighton and Hove Albion: DWDLDD

Leicester City 0-0 D, Arsenal 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D, Crystal Palace 1-0 L, Sheffield United 1-1 D, Watford 1-1 D

Top Scorers: Martial and Rashford have scored more goals between them than Brighton have this season. United’s forward line (Rashford, Martial and Greenwood) have scored 50 goals between them this season.

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 12 – Mason Greenwood, 5 – Odion Ighalo, Scott McTominay, 4 – Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, 3 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United are unbeaten in 14 matches, scoring 35 goals, conceding four times, keeping 10 clean sheets and driving forward in their bid to reach the top four of the Premier League. United will need to ensure three more points are taken on Tuesday evening, hoping that Chelsea will stumble when they face West Ham United on Wednesday to have a chance in breaking into the top four with five points between the two teams.

Brighton and Hove Albion Goals: 9 – Neal Maupay, 3 – Aaron Connolly, Lewis Dunk, Leandro Trossard, Adam Webster, 2 – Pascal Gross, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Aaron Mooy, Glenn Murray, 1 – Florin Andone, Shane Duffy, Davy Pröpper, Haydon Roberts

Brighton do not seem to be in the best of form at this stage of the season, Granted, there was a three-month break because of the coronavirus pandemic but they need to be doing much better. They did beat Arsenal recently, which is not really a bragging right anymore as the club is terrible and have been that was for about a decade. A draw with Leicester in their last match was a good result for them. They will be seeking a win over United though and are capable of that.

Team News: United to be without Tuanzebe and Jones for this match whilst Brighton could be missing between two and five players for this match.

Solskjaer looks likely to be without both Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones, who have both missed all three of the matches the club has played since football resumed earlier this month. It is not exactly a blow for Solskjaer as he has other defenders to turn to should they be needed. It could also see the likes of Teden Mengi in the travelling squad, which would be a grid experience for him on his quest for first team football.

Brighton will be without both Jose Izquierdo and Adam Webster for the visit of United whilst Steven Alzate (50%) and Tariq Lamptey (75%) have chances to be involved in the match, albeit probably down to late fitness tests. Brighton will need to thwart United from overcoming their frustrations against Norwich, struggling to break them down and heading into extra time in the FA Cup victory on Saturday.

Predicted Starting XI: Rashford, Martial and Greenwood lead the line? Fernandes, Pogba and Matic in midfield? De Gea, Lindelof and Wan-Bissaka to return to the starting XI against Brighton?

Solskjaer rested David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka against Norwich City in a match which saw two hours of football played on Saturday evening, no doubt causing some tiredness in the United squad ahead of this match. Rashford, Martial, Greenwood, Matic and Pogba all came off the bench after the hour mark, late in the match of in extra time, so should be fresher for this important match.

Match Prediction: United should be able to deal with Brighton when they face them on Tuesday evening but the frustration of being unable to break down Norwich might haunt them.

United and Brighton have played five times in the Premier League with United winning three and losing twice. In total, United have scored eight goals conceding six. Both United and Brighton have kept one clean sheet. United have been awarded two penalties, scoring both with Brighton awarded one and scoring it. In total, United have received four yellow cards. Brighton have received 10 yellow cards. Neither team have had a player sent off.

United and Brighton have played five times in the Premier League with United winning three and losing twice. In total, United have scored eight goals conceding six. Both United and Brighton have kept one clean sheet. United have been awarded two penalties, scoring both with Brighton awarded one and scoring it. In total, United have received four yellow cards. Brighton have received 10 yellow cards. Neither team have had a player sent off.

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-2 Manchester United

Ratings: A captains performance was needed by Manchester United but nobody stood tall…

Manchester United were beaten 3-2 by Brighton and Hove Albion in the clubs first away match in the Premier League this season. United were poor as Glenn Murray (25′), Shane Duffy (27′) and Pascal Gross (44′) did the damage to United. Romelu Lukaku scored in the 34th minute of the match, Paul Pogba scoring a penalty at the death. A day to forget for United supporters.

United have to put in a lot of work in order to be a team capable of beating the top clubs in the league. The way United played today saw them picked apart by Brighton. If they were playing against Tottenham Hotspur, who they play a week on Monday, or even Manchester City, there would have been goals galore.

The lack of anything being put together on the pitch was embarrassing by United. Gone are the days where Manchester United are a feared team. The damage which has been done by the Glazers and Ed Woodward is starting to show itself. The damage has been done already. The Glazers are happy to keep United running as a business, not a football club.

Football clubs should aspire to do well on the pitch. United only do well in the boardroom. Today, at Brighton, United embarrassed themselves, each and every player on that pitch needs to look at their reflection in the mirror and say if they are happy with what they did. Answer whether they think they are putting in the work for their pay each week. Have they worked hard? In most cases, you can answer no to each question.

We are heading into dire times which will become toxic.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Left exposed by United's poor defence. Had little or no chance to save anything, even the penalty. If I was David De Gea, would I want to stay here long-term? That is the question.

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18 Ashley Young

The England full-back had problem after problem with Solly March but Young did well at times. It was his central defensive teammates which were the main problem.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Had a great World Cup and played well against Leicester. However, against Brighton, he was poor, out of place and not a player that had much confidence nor ability. Needs to do so much better.

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3 Eric Bailly

Poor performance by the Ivorian. Gave away a penalty. Was not defensively astute for the majority of the game. Can see why he was dropped last season. United's best defender but after today, he has a lot of soul searching to do.

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23 Luke Shaw

Can hold his head up high. Set up Lukaku's goal to take it back to 2-1. United's problems were all on the other flank. Shaw got an easier ride.

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17 Fred

This season will be more of a settling process for the Brazilian. It may take time. He did well on occasion but has a lot of improvement to make based on the money he cost the club.

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Andreas Pereira

Praised by Mourinho against Leicester. Hooked at half time against Brighton. Out of place in this squad at the moment. Could improve though, actually he will need to.

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6 Paul Pogba

Anonymous. Wore the captains armband, that was the only way you could tell he was the captain. Not good enough from a player that lifted the World Cup a matter of weeks ago. Scored the late penalty but it was not enough.

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8 Juan Mata

No influence in the game at all. Nice guy, no point him playing right now if he's got nothing to give. Not a right winger.

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Romelu Lukaku

Scored for United bringing the game to 2-1. Lacked service, which was telling last season. Worked hard at times. Can only do what he can do.

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9 Anthony Martial

Got a game as Sanchez was unavailable. Pointless in possession. No output. His fans will love him but he's given nothing to this team. When Martial plays for United, they are already down to ten men.

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Substitutes

14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Pereira 46'. Effort, determination, energy were given by the Academy graduate. Nothing was taken out of the game for that though. His teammates had already cause the destruction.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Mata 46'. Put in a lot of effort in the second half. It was always going to be a tough slog based on the state of this team and the fact they were ripped apart in the first half.

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27 Marouane Fellaini

Replaced Martial 60'. Had 30 minutes. Brought down and won the penalty which restored something to the team. Held the ball up well. Maybe should have started.

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Goals: Romelu Lukaku 34′, Paul Pogba 90+4′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Fred, Pereira (Lingard 46′), Pogba; Mata (Rashford 46′), Lukaku, Martial (Fellaini 60′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Smalling; Herrera, McTominay

Bookings: Anthony Martial 45+2′

Report: Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 Manchester United; a day to forget for United supporters

Manchester United were beaten 3-2 by Brighton and Hove Albion in the clubs first away match in the Premier League this season. United were poor as Glenn Murray (25′), Shane Duffy (27′) and Pascal Gross (44′) did the damage to United. Romelu Lukaku scored in the 34th minute of the match, Paul Pogba scoring a penalty at the death. A day to forget for United supporters.

Jose Mourinho made two changes from the squad which beat Leicester City last week with Ashley Young and Anthony Martial coming in for Alexis Sanchez and Matteo Darmian. Marcus Rashford was benched with Lukaku starting his first match this season. Jesse Lingard was also back on the bench for United after his summer break following the FIFA World Cup.

Brighton started the match with a good spell of possession and United were trying to close the South Coast side down quickly. Come the seventh minute, United had a chance to threaten the home side for the first time with Martial twisting and turning inside Martin Montoya but saw his shot deflected for a corner, which was delivered by Juan Mata but cleared by the Seagulls.

A minute later, Solly March dug out a cross from the left for Brighton but David De Gea was alert and pounced in order to claim the ball easily. In the tenth minute, Lukaku had a good chance after Brighton lost possession, Paul Pogba, today’s captain slipped the ball to the Belgian who dragged his left-footed shot wide of the target from his position inside the box.

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In the twelfth minute, Brighton captain Lewis Dunk had a problem and was down receiving treatment. The issue was  quickly resolved with the defender back on the pitch minutes later. In the 16th minute, Luke Shaw was adjudged to have fouled Anthony Knockaert, escaping a booking from referee Kevin Friend. Glenn Murray was flagged offside from the free-kick, taken by Dale Stephens.

In the 19th minute, Lukaku won a corner after his cross into the box was blocked by Gaetan Bong. United looked to be getting better in the game after good build up play from Mata and Ashley Young. In the 20th minute, Dunk had to come off through injury with Leon Balogun replacing the captain. United won another corner in the 21st minute, Young taking the set-piece but Stephens cleared the danger.

In the 22nd minute, Brighton started to dig in and get something from the game with Knockaert latching on to through ball, advancing into the box but fluffing his lines and firing wide of the target. Brighton took the mean three minutes later through Murray after March drilled a low pass which was flicked past De Gea. It was Brighton’s first goal of the new season.

It then got worse for United, who found themselves 2-0 down in two minutes after Shane Duffy opened his Premier League account for his club after beating the Spanish number on with a side footed finish from inside the box after United were unable to clear the danger from a corner. This was an embarrassment for United, who just did not seem to be able to organise anything on the pitch to avert the danger.

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United had a lot to do in order to get back into the game. However, they did come back from 2-0 last season away to Crystal Palace, winning 3-2 with that spectacular goal from Nemanja Matic. United started to enjoy a spell in possession after Brighton scored twice. Young won a corner in the 32nd minute of the match.

United were back in the game inside the 34th minute after Lukaku opened his account for the new season. The Belgian headed home from close-ranger, connecting onto a Shaw shot from the corner which was driven in by Young. United were back in the game, still with a lot to do in order to sap the pressure from this confident Brighton side.

Questions will now be asked of United’s captain, Paul Pogba on whether he can drive United on to a classic comeback of United old. Brighton nearly got through on goal again but the offside flag saved United’s blushes. Brighton won a free-kick from 22-yards which Knockaert stepped up to take. The Frenchman’s effort was too high and did not cause any trouble for United.

Brighton won a penalty in the 43rd minute of the match after Victor Lindelof was beaten and Eric Bailly thundered in to challenge Pascal Gross, giving away a penalty. Gross stepped forward to take the penalty, De Gea trying to save with his feet and sending the ball into the back of the net. It was now 3-1 to Brighton. Four minutes were added at the end of the half with Martial being booked two minutes into added time.

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Mourinho made a double substitution at the start of the second half with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard replacing Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira. It wasn’t the best start for United after Brighton, full of confidence continued to pressure them. Bailly just outside the box nearly lost the ball from an onrushing Brighton player. United recovered and Fred had a shot, which was well over the crossbar.

United won a corner in the 52nd minute, the ball was lofted into the box with Pogba rising for the header, which was off target. United needed to get stuck into this game and work hard to get something from it, whether it is a point, three points or just another goal. After Mourinho was not backed by the club’s board this summer, it was never going to be an easy ride.

Ten minutes into the second half, United were pushing to get back into the game again. Pogba played a pass to find Fred but Duffy did enough to hold back the Brazilian and the ball went out for a goal kick. Shaw then advanced on the left and delivered a cross into the box, which was missed by Bong but a United player could not get into get something from the opportunity.

Come the hour mark, United were turning the screw and applying pressure to Brighton. Marouane Fellaini was receiving some instructions from Kieran McKenna just before he replaced Martial in the 60th minute. A minute later, Shaw drove the ball into the packed penalty area but Lukaku was standing in an offside position and was flagged for offside.

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In the 67th minute, Murray was booked for Brighton after the referee signalled that it was for a succession of offences. United were still 3-1 down with just over 20 minutes to play. Pogba tried to pick out Fellaini at the back post with a deep cross in the 68th minute of the match, which could have put United back into the game. However, Mat Ryan was able to claim the ball to deny United from a goalscoring opportunity.

United have added urgency to their game and it would suggest that if United continued to push, something might give. However, the Red Devils were struggling to create anything going forward with Brighton solid and organised at the back, which is something this United side could learn from. This side, at this stage of the season, certainly make it look like the season is going to be long and tough.

Pogba had a chance, albeit from 25-yards, in the 75th minute but Ryan tipped the ball behind for a United corner. It was the closest United had come to scoring a goal in the second half. I don’t understand what is going wrong with the squad, although it will be blamed on the manager. Lukaku had a chance in the 78th minute, clipping a dangerous ball into the box, Ryan came to save Brighton again.

United were set to leave Brighton with their tails between their legs knowing that the club scalped them at their home again. Tomorrow will see players apologise, say they feel the disappointment and get on with their lives. That would be fine if they did something to justify their wages against this Brighton side. Perhaps they will win the war against the manager and get another one sacked? Who knows. Maybe it was an off day!

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In the 85th minute, Rashford lost the ball but showed his tenacity to win it back but was adjudged to have fouled Stephens. Brighton then won a corner after Stephens latched onto a Montoya free-kick. March took the corner but Pogba headed the danger away. United were vastly running out of time to mount a comeback. There were four minutes of added time played at the end of the second half.

United won a penalty at the death after Fellaini was fouled in the box. Pogba took the penalty, like he did at the start of the Leicester match, firing into the top if the net. It was 3-2 to United. Too little, too late. The match ended with Brighton overcoming defeat in their season opener, beating United at home for the second time in two seasons.

United face Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford a week on Monday, which will not be something many will want to come around quickly. Seeing what Brighton did to this United team, imagining what the likes of Spurs or Manchester City could do is not something many want to think of right now. United have a lot of work to put in on the training pitch in order to overcome this disastrous defeat.

Goals: Romelu Lukaku 34′, Paul Pogba 90+4′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Fred, Pereira (Lingard 46′), Pogba; Mata (Rashford 46′), Lukaku, Martial (Fellaini 60′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Smalling; Herrera, McTominay

Bookings: Anthony Martial 45+2′

Confirmed Starting XI: Mata, Lukaku and Martial lead the line; Pogba captains United once again

Manchester United face Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium in the Premier League this afternoon. Jose Mourinho’s side started their new season with a 2-1 victory over Leicester City at Old Trafford last weekend and will be seeking a first victory on the road today. In this fixture last season, United were beaten by Brighton, one of the three promoted teams from the Championship, of which United lost once to all three. Mourinho will have his mind on the defeat last season, aiming to overcome that and leave the South Coast with another three points in the bag.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw;

Fred, Pereira, Pogba;

Mata, Lukaku, Martial

Substitutes:

Grant; Smalling; Lingard, Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay; Rashford

This will be the twentieth competitive match between the two clubs. Of the 19 matches played already, United have won 12, drawn five and lost just twice. The last defeat for United was this fixture last season, a 1-0 defeat. The one previous to that was in 1982. United have a bigger and better squad this season with changes made to strengthen the midfield. However, United did not convince against Leicester last week, so will need to add the convincing part to their football on the road to three more points this season.

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial and Rashford start against Brighton

Manchester United travel to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League this evening. United have two more matches left in the league after tonight; West Ham United (A) and Watford (H), plus an Emirates FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley, which could end their season in style – with another trophy.

It has not been the best season but in terms of improvement, it has been a positive season. United have beaten more top six teams than they did last season, also winning more matches, scoring more goals and drawing fewer matches, something which was a problem last season. Those who say improvement has not been made need to face the facts, not make them up to fit their own agenda.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Darmian, Smalling, Rojo, Young;

Fellaini, Matic, Pogba;

Mata, Rashford, Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Lingard, Herrera, McTominay

Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion have played 18 times in the history of both clubs. This will be the third time United and Brighton have faced each other this season, the first time United have visited the Amex Stadium, the previous two matches this season both being played at Old Trafford.

United have only been beaten once by Brighton, on the 6th November 1982, a 1-0 defeat in the old Football League Division One. United have won twelve times, drawing five times. United won 1-0 in the reverse Premier League fixture this season, winning 2-0 in the FA Cup.

Preview: Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester United – Premier League 2017/18

Brighton and Hove Albion -v- Manchester United

Amex Stadium, Brighton

Premier League 2017/18

Friday 4th May 2018; KO 20:00 BST

Live on Sky Sports Premier League HD in the United Kingdom

Manchester United travel to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Friday evening. United have three matches left in the league; Brighton (A), West Ham United (A) and Watford (H), plus an Emirates FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley, which could end their season in style – with another trophy. It has not been the best season but in terms of improvement, it has been a positive season. United have beaten more top six teams than they did last season, also winning more matches, scoring more goals and drawing fewer matches, something which was a problem last season. Those who say improvement has not been made need to face the facts, not make them up to fit their own agenda.

The playing style is something that needs to improve with Jose Mourinho adopting a more pragmatic style of play, which if you look into it, rather than being incensed about it, is because United’s defence, despite being second-best in the league this season, has been largely inconsistent. There needs to be a central defensive partnership, one which is allowed to grow, rather than swapping and changing. United’s fullbacks require some work too, both of the first-choice fullbacks are not actually fullbacks, converted wingers to be correct, which shows the actual fullbacks at the club up as they have not really made anything easier. Mourinho has been credited with an interest in signing fullbacks this summer, which could highlight more improvement next season.

Form: Five wins in the last six for Manchester United, who are in great form at this important time; Brighton winless in their last six matches

Manchester United: WWWLWW – Arsenal 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 W, Bournemouth 2-0 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 L, Manchester City 3-2 W, Swansea City 2-0 W

Brighton and Hove Albion: LDDWLD – Burnley 0-0 D, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 3-2 L, Huddersfield Town 1-1 D. Leicester City 2-0 L, Manchester United 2-0 L

Top Scorers (all competitions): Manchester United have scored 100 goals in all competitions; Brighton have scored 39 goals in all competitions

Manchester United: 27 – Romelu Lukaku, 13 – Jesse Lingard, 12 – Marcus Rashford, 11 – Anthony Martial, 6 – Paul Pogba, 5 – Marouane Fellaini, 4 – Chris Smalling, 3 – Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Antonio Valencia, 2 – Own Goal, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ashley Young, 1 – Eric Bailly, Daley Blind, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Brighton and Hove Albion: 14 – Glenn Murray, 6 – Pascal Groß, 5 – Jose Izquierdo, 3 – Anthony Knockaert, 2 – Tomer Hemed, Jürgen Locadia, 1 – Lewis Dunk, Own Goal, Connor Goldson, Solly March, Dale Stephens, James Tilley, Leonardo Ulloa

Previous Matches: Manchester United have been dominant against Brighton, losing once in 18 matches

Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion have played 18 times in the history of both clubs. This will be the third time United and Brighton have faced each other this season, the first time United have visited the Amex Stadium, the previous two matches this season both being played at Old Trafford. United have only been beaten once by Brighton, on the 6th November 1982, a 1-0 defeat in the old Football League Division One. United have won twelve times, drawing five times. United won 1-0 in the reverse Premier League fixture this season, winning 2-0 in the FA Cup.

Team News: Eric Bailly back for Manchester United, however, Romelu Lukaku will miss this game

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Romelu Lukaku will miss the trip to Brighton on Friday evening. Mourinho, speaking in his press conference on Friday, said:

“I don’t know. I just know that, of course, [he is] not [available] tomorrow. Apart from that, we need to wait for more scans, more time, but not [available] tomorrow.”

When asked if Lukaku will be fit for the Emirates FA Cup final, against one of his former clubs, Chelsea, Mourinho said:

“I hope so. It looks positive, yeah.”

Sergio Romero still seems to be out of action after suffering an injury whilst playing for Argentina in March. Eric Bailly is back in the squad though after missing the Spurs victory due to sickness. Mourinho did give an extended brief as to why the Ivorian has missed the last few matches, saying:

“Bailly is fine, no injury. He is one of our five central defenders and honestly, my work is not about World Cups and preparing players for the World Cup or giving chances to players to do the World Cup, but he’s the only central defender whose country’s not in the World Cup.

“So, if I have to make a kind of more emotional, effective choice to try to help my players, he’s the one I am not going to help until the end of the season. Because, of course, Marcos Rojo, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, all of them are wishing to make the squad for the World Cup and Eric is not under that pressure.

“I try to be a good team manager and that means being cold, being selfish, but I am not as bad as that and I still have space for a little bit of feelings. So, when I look to the other four central defenders fighting for a position in the World Cup, I’m giving less [time] to Eric.”

Predicted Starting XI: Anthony Martial to lead the line with Romelu Lukaku on the sidelines through injury?

Predicted Score: Another clean sheet for David De Gea with Manchester United strengthening their bid to finish second this season

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-2 Manchester United

copyright: JW