Brighton took on Manchester United, looking for back-to-back wins and Manchester United aimed to prevent back-to-back defeats in the league. It was one of the craziest games I’ve seen in a long, long time! Imagine the opposition hitting the post five times in the same match! Imagine your team scoring a goal after the last blast on the whistle, a goal that decides the game. It sends you wild! THIS IS FOOTBALL, BLOODY HELL!
But things could’ve been really different if we weren’t awarded the penalty as Manchester United’s overall performance simply failed to reach mark. To be honest, one could even say that Brighton dominated us all game long. We were really lucky to get 3 points from a tie that could easily been
another big loss.
First Half Performance
Brighton started out really confident and were dominating Manchester United as well as threatening David de Gea’s post. Trossard hit the post twice under the first 25 minutes while De Gea pushed off an awkward header looping goalwards from Webster. That moment seemed to trigger United as they pulled off a great move with Greenwood finishing it off. However, the official disallowed the goal in the end as she deemed Rashford offside in the build-up. It was Brighton who went ahead first through Maupay’s panenka penalty after Bruno tripped Lamptey. Bruno quickly made up for his mistake as he whipped in a deadly ball to the back post from a freekick as Matic helped it on to the centre of the box for our captain to finish it off. We finished the first half on level terms after a spurring end.
Second Half Performance
The second half started with what became a routine in the last 45 minutes. VAR. Match referee, Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot as Connolly went down inside the box after pressure from Pogba. But after the VAR check, both, the decision to award and the Frenchman’s yellow card were overturned. VAR yet again proved to be the decider as Rashfordhad another goal disallowed. But Rashy didn’t have to wait too long to open his Premier League account as Bruno threaded a brilliant through ball for the LW. The Englishman decked Ben White not once, but twice before coolly netting
in past Matt Ryan. He scored his 45th Premier League goal for Manchester United and United’s 10,000th in their history.
What came next was a flurry of Brighton attacks and oh boy, we should consider ourselves really lucky to come out almost unscathed. Trossard fired straight at De Gea when left clear in a crowded box as the Spaniard made a vital save. March did get the equaliser for Brighton in 95th minute as he was left free to head the ball in from 5 yds. But this tie wasn’t to be settled so easily. United won a corner and Maguire’s header hit Maupay’s hand as Brighton’s hero quickly became their villain. VAR forced Cavanagh to overrule his decision to blow the full time whistle and instead award a penalty to Manchester United. Bruno Fernandes stepped up to take the penalty and continued his 100% record from the spot as he sealed all 3 points for us with the last kick of the game.
As exhilarating game it was, we need to accept that it was not a performance our players would be proud of. We were really shaky defensively and a bit loose in passing as well. I felt that Pogba especially seems to be lacking match sharpness. We were really lucky with all those Brighton shots hitting the woodwork. De Gea seemed evidently frustrated with his backline as they constantly failed to quickly close down the Seagulls players. As Bruno said in the post-match interview that sometimes you just have to be lucky, but then again, luck won’t always be on our side.
We need to work really hard defensively and work on our passing and build-up play. Manchester United meet Brighton again in the span of four days and it’ll be interesting how we go about that tie as today we got a glimpse of what our opposition is capable of. I want to take the positives from this match which definitely are the three points but let’s not ignore the fact that we need to get a lot better to even challenge for top four this season. The competition seems to be immense this season as a lot of teams would be vying for top spots.
WE NEED TO GET PLAYERS IN!