Manchester United win 2-0, and are now in the semi -finals of the F.A Cup, where a trip to Wembley awaits them.
Lukaku and Matic provided the best performances. Matic, especially. With a Man Of The Match performance from him. Assisting Lukaku for the opening goal in the thirty seventh minute, and putting the game beyond Brighton by scoring himself, in the eighty fourth minute.
It was a better team performance than the one against Sevilla in the Champions League on Tuesday. Still a lot of room for improvement. Manchester United struggled for fluency, especially in the midfield. A lot of heavy, incomplete passes and crosses. But overall, I would say it was a satisfactory performance.
Manchester United by no means played Brighton off the park, but they got the job done. They got the win. As Football is a results business, the win is all that matters. As the saying goes “It doesn’t matter how you get to the finishing line, as long as you cross it”.
Manchester United were lucky to not concede. Brighton had a go. They gave their all. They never sat back. They played to win. They were unlucky to not at least force the game to go to extra time.
If it wasn’t for Sergio Romero, and some excellently timed, last second tackles from the Manchester United defence in many key areas, the result of the game would have looked a lot different.
Our defence can be very shaky when pressure is applied. Chris Hughton, and Brighton knew this full well going into the game. It is something Mourinho needs to work on, along with increasing the fluency of our play. If we continue to play the way we have played in the last two games, against a more ruthlessly attacking side, we will be punished. There is no doubt about that.
A perfect performance from the Argentina number one. Did everything in his job description. He kept Brighton out. And always looked in control between the sticks. Saving a dangerous looking Lewis Dunk header, and saving attempts from Jurgen Locadia.
Antonio Valencia – 8/10
He was caught out of position, and caught in possession a few times. But the huge plus for him, was that he approached the game with his usual aggression and intensity. He remained an attacking threat throughout the game.
Eric Bailly – 8.5/10
He was defensively sound for the most part. He made a few very important blocks and interceptions, which were very crucial. He did show signs of rust on occasion. But that’s to be expected, after coming back from injury.
Chris Smalling – 8/10
Made one brilliant block to deny Jurgen Locadia a golden scoring opportunity, when the score was 0-0. And also came close to scoring in the first half, but was denied by the post. A much-improved performance than the one against Sevilla.
Luke Shaw – 5/10
Didn’t influence the game much. He lacked confidence, and any real attacking intensity and was substituted for Ashley Young at half time because of it.
Nemanja Matic – 10/10
Man Of The Match performance. His cross for Lukaku for the first goal, was on the money. He capped off a great performance, by scoring the second, six minutes from time. He also put in a solid defensive display, by making crucial blocks on the edge of his own box. And his overall performance in the midfield, was very commanding. One of his best performances in a Manchester United shirt.
Scott McTominay – 8/10
He used the ball efficiently for long periods of the game. But lacked concentration at times, and was caught in possession cheaply. He did, however, play with the typical aggression that has catapulted him into the starting eleven. But did not take advantage of the many times that huge space was left by Brighton.
Juan Mata – 7.5/10
Put in a decent performance. His highlight, was a brilliant one -two link up play with Anthony Martial. Which was Barcelona like. Which showed what we can do, when we’re playing confidently. But Mata failed to score from it. He was substituted for Marcus Rashford, in the seventy fifth minute.
Jesse Lingard – 6/10
Had very little impact with his passing or movement around Romelu Lukaku. He struggled to get involved in the game as a whole. He was substituted for Marouane Fellaini in the eighty eighth minute.
Anthony Martial – 7.5/10
A very mixed performance from him. In the beginning of the game, he looked the most likely to make something happen. In the first half, he threatened whenever he got the ball. But his performance faded from the second half onwards.
Romelu Lukaku – 10/10
Very good performance from the Belgian. He finished his headed goal well. He was good at holding up the ball. And really put a shift in defensively too. He was all over the pitch helping out. The bonus for him, was that he continued his record of scoring in every F.A Cup game for Manchester United this season. The only negative, was that he looked very isolated at times. Through no fault of his own.
Ashley Young – 7.5/10
Put in a solid performance after coming on for Luke Shaw at half time. Assisted Matic for the second goal. Got injured during the game, but carried on. The only negative, was that he lost possession on occasion.
Marouane Fellaini – 5/10
Came on in the eighty – eighth minute. Didn’t have any noteworthy impact.
Marcus Rashford – 7.5/10
Looked lively after coming on in the seventy – fifth minute for Juan Mata. He gave Manchester United a much needed shot of energy. He gave the Brighton defence some problems, but nothing to really trouble them.